Table 3: Studies investigating the use of VLCDs as an intermittent treatment.

StudyNNumber of malesInterventionTotal duration of interventionWeight at baseline (Kg)Weight after 1st VLCD (Kg)Weight at end of study (Kg)HDL at baseline
(mmol/L)
HDL after 1st VLCD (mmol/L)HDL at end of study (mmol/L)

Lantz et al. [31]11735450 kcal/d for 16 weeks, followed by a refeeding to a hypocaloric diet (minus 500 kcal/d).
VLCD was repeated for 2 weeks every 3rd month or as soon as their body weight passed an individualised predetermined level.
>2 years (16 week VLCD followed by 3 week refeeding and 2 years of hypocaloric diet with intermittent or on demand VLCD)113.9 (16.2)Δ −14.9
(CI: −15.9; −13.9)*
Δ −9.6 (CI: −11.6; −7.7)*1.2 (0.3)Δ −0.1 (CI: −0.2; −0.07)*Δ 0.2 (CI: 0.1; 0.2)*
Shoji et al. [8]60Intermittent LCD and VLCD. In the 1st LCD, energy intake was reduced from 1440 kcal to 1280 kcal to 880 kcal/d.In the 1st and 2nd VLCD periods, patients consumed 420 kcal/d. In the intermission period, the same 880 kcal meal used in the 1st LCD was given. In the 2nd LCD, daily energy intake was increased weekly from 880 kcal to 1280 kcal or 1440 kcal with the same menu used in the 1st LCD.14-15 weeks (3 weeks LCD, 4 weeks VLCD, 1 week intermission, 4 weeks VLCD, 2-3 weeks LCD)105 (range: 69–156)Δ −12.7
(range: 9.6–16.0 range)
Δ −18.9 (range: 14.3 –31.4)*1.10 (SE: 0.11)0.81 (SE: 0.05)*0.95 (SE: 0.05)
Shoji et al. [29]80As described above14–15 weeks (3 weeks LCD, 4 weeks VLCD, 1 week intermission, 4 weeks VLCD, 2-3 weeks LCD)102 (range: 72–156)Δ−18.5 Kg*1.11 (0.07)0.87 (0.06)*0.98 (0.05)
Williams et al. [30]189Type 2 diabetic patients 1,500–1,800 kcal/d diet for 20 weeks except for a total of 20 study days during which they consumed 400–600 kcal/d VLCD.
Patients followed the VLCD for 5 consecutive days during week 2 and then 1 day a week for 15 weeks.
20 weeks (LCD except for 20 days of intermittent VLCD)103.5 (16.8)Δ −9.6
(SE: 5.7)*
( 𝑛 = 1 6 )
1.10 (0.20) ( 𝑛 = 1 6 ) 1.03 (017)*1.13 (0.23)
Williams et al. [30]187Type 2 diabetic patients 1,500–1,800 kcal/d diet for 20 weeks except for a total of 20 study days during which they consumed 400–600 kcal/d VLCD.Patients followed the VLCD for 5 consecutive days during weeks 2, 7, 12, and 17.20 weeks (LCD except for 20 days of intermittent VLCD)104.8 (13.7)Δ −10.4 (SE: 5.4)* ( 𝑛 = 1 5 ) 1.09 (0.17)
( 𝑛 = 1 5 )
1.00 (0.15)*1.08 (0.22)
Wing et al. [21]4515400–500 kcal/d for weeks 1–12 and 24–36 of the programme.
During the intermittent phases, refeeding to hypocaloric balanced diet (1000–1200kcal/d).
48 weeks (12 weeks VLCD, followed by 12 weeks refeeding, and then another 12 weeks VLCD, followed by 12 weeks refeeding)105.8 (19.4)Δ − 16.0 (5.8)*Δ −14.2 (10.3)*1.12 (0.21)1.17 (0.23)*1.25 (0.3)*

Values are reported as means (standard deviation) unless stated otherwise.
N: number of participants
* 𝑃 < . 0 5 compared to baseline
Δ Values reported as change
CI: confidence interval; SE: standard error.