Paleo Diet: What does Research Say

by OneGoodFoodBlog
Paleo Diet Research

What Does Research Say About the Paleo Diet?

So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold water. A review analyzed four randomized controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with diets used as controls.

Another article, published in the journal Australian Family Physician in January 2016, reviewed clinical trials that explored the effect of paleo on health markers including weight, inflammation, and insulin health. Some of the studies found similar evidence that the paleo diet may be linked to weight loss, lower blood pressure, and improved blood lipid levels — but the article concluded that because of the small sample sizes, short duration, and the similar frameworks of most existing studies on this diet, further research is needed to prove whether it lives up to the bold health claims made by some of its proponents.

In fact, many scientists have expressed concern that we do not yet have enough evidence to make any strong claims about the paleo diet’s health benefits, especially its long-term effects. In an article in response to the first review, authors Tanis R. Fenton and Carol J. Fenton, from the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine in Alberta, wrote a letter to the editor in which they expressed their disappointment with the review.

Among their arguments: Some of the results were not statistically significant, nor did they show “any important clinical effects.” They concluded that they did not believe that the results of the review showed any evidence in favor of the paleo diet, and they called for more care in reaching health recommendations for the general public.

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