Research studies on the paleo diet

Last week reviewed and compared five research studies that aimed to uncover how the Paleo Diet can affect our health and wellbeing. Each study focused on either a different aspect or demographic of the population. Although none of these studies are large, or long, enough to give us definitive scientific proof that our beloved diet is truly superior, but they do offer directional evidence that our Paleolithic ancestor’s diet was likely heathier than the average person’s today. Take a gander at the studies and their results below.

1. Lindeberg S, et al. A Paleo diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia, 2007.

The Study: This study followed 29 men, all diagnosed with heart disease and high blood pressure or type two diabetes. Fourteen of the men ate a paleo diet while the other fifteen ate a Mediterranean Diet.

The Results: Both groups of men lost weight. The men on the Paleo Diet however lost more, an average of 11lbs vs. 8.4lbs for the Mediterranean diet group. The Paleo Diet group also saw a larger reduction in their waist size, 2.2 in vs. 1.1 in respectively.


2. Osterdahl M, et al. Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008.

The Study: This study conducted on fourteen healthy medical students had them eat a strict Paleo Diet for three weeks while their weight and blood pressure were monitored.

The Results: The medical students lost an average of 5lbs, their body mass index declined by 0.8, and waist size decreased on average by 0.6 in.

3. Jonsson T, et al. Beneficial effects of a Paleo diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 2009.

The Study: This study asked 13 people with type 2 diabetes to follow the Paleo Diet for three months and monitored their weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

The Results: Participants lost an average of 6.6lbs and saw marked improvements in their cardiovascular health when compared to a diabetes diet.


4. Frassetto, et al. Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009.

Study: This study evaluated nine healty people while consuming a Paleo Diet for ten days. They were give strict calorie control requirements so that they would lose weight.

Results: Across the entire participant pool total cholesterol went down by 16%, LDL cholesterol declined by 22%, Triglycerides declined by 35%, Insulin AUC declined by 39%, and Diastolic blood pressure declined by 3.4 mmHg.


5. Ryberg, et al. A Palaeolithic-type diet causes strong tissue-specific effects on ectopic fat deposition in obese postmenopausal women. Journal of Internal Medicine, 2013.

Study: Ten healthy, nonsmoking, postmenopausal women consumed a paleo diet for five weeks while having their liver fat, muscle cell fat, and insulin sensitivity tested throughout the study.

Results: All Participants lost an average of 9.9 lbs. which resulted in an average reduction in waist circumference of 3.1 inches.


For more detailed information on all of this research be sure to visit the Healthline article here!

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