Tag Archives: low carb

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet | The Paleo Diet

Many are aware that ketogenic diets offer a plethora of health benefits.1,2,3,4,5 Among the ketogenic diet’s best properties are its anti-inflammatory effects.6,7 However, despite the emerging popularity of the diet, the scientific community is still relatively uncertain about the exact beneficial mechanisms behind this dietary approach.8,9,10 Recently however, a new study was published which looked at the potential mechanisms underlying the specific anti-inflammatory properties of ketosis.11

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet | The Paleo Diet

Eitel, Julia. “Innate Immune Recognition and Inflammasome Activation in Listeria Monocytogenes Infection.” Frontiers. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

For those unfamiliar, a ketogenic diet is one which contains very little – if any – carbohydrate.12 One classic example of this dietary approach is seen in the Inuit people.13 The Inuit are indigenous people, who live in the Arctic region.14 Alaska, Canada and Greenland all have Inuit populations.15 In one of the more famous nutrition stories of recent times, Dr. Vilhjalmur Stefansson ate nothing but meat for one year, after being inspired by living with the Inuit, and seeing their remarkably low rate of disease.16,17,18 This was despite the Inuit’s (then) controversial diet of nothing but meat, whether it came from fish or other sources. Stefansson saw no ill effects from a year of an all meat diet, with basically zero carbohydrate. He also consumed no vegetables. It is worth noting, that he also became very ill when he consumed only low fat meat, and nothing else. When he added the fattier meat back in, he immediately felt better.

The many reported benefits of the ketogenic diet include, but are not limited to: less hunger while dieting, improved cognitive function in those who are cognitively impaired, improved LDL cholesterol levels, improved weight loss, and improved levels of HDL cholesterol.19 This is in addition to the aforementioned anti-inflammatory effects. When we look to the scientific literature, we see that the anti-inflammatory nature of the diet has been studied for many years.20,21,22,23,24 The ketogenic diet has also been established as an adequate anticonvulsant therapy.25

This newly published research looks specifically at the ketone metabolite beta-hydroxybutyrate, which seems to inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome.26 Since the NLRP3 inflammasome was previously found to have been linked to obesity and inflammation, as well as insulin resistance, inhibiting it would make mechanistic sense.27 The resultant weight loss and anti-inflammatory effects, commonly seem (at least anecdotally) when adopting a ketogenic diet, would then make sense as well. The NLRP3 inflammasome also drives the inflammatory response in several disorders including autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and autoinflammatory disorders.28,29

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet | The Paleo Diet

Kossoff, Eric H. “More Fat and Fewer Seizures: Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy.” The Lancet. N.p., July 2014. 

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet | The Paleo Diet

Menu, P, and J E Vince. “The NLRP3 Inflammasome in Health and Disease: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Clinical and Experimental Immunology 166.1 (2011): 1–15. PMC. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

Could it all be so simple? Possibly, though there is certainly likely more to be more scientific discoveries, relating to the beneficial effects of this specific dietary approach. Moving away from glucose and instead utilizing ketone bodies as a source of metabolic fuel, results in many profound changes, of which we are only beginning to scratch the surface of, scientifically.30,31,32

This new discovery will likely be the first of many new findings regarding the ketogenic diet, and its abundance of benefits. If you are looking to adopt a ketogenic approach, simply follow the many nutritious tenets of the Paleo Diet, and then lower your carbohydrate intake to below 100g per day. How low you need to go for optimum quality of life is highly variant, and many people report different results with different amounts of carbohydrates. Dialing in the best nutrition plan for you, when adopting a ketogenic diet, is integral. Be sure to consult with a professional to avoid possible nutrient deficiencies.

 

REFERENCES

[1] Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004;9(3):200-5.

[2] Paoli A. Ketogenic diet for obesity: friend or foe?. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014;11(2):2092-107.

[3] Zajac A, Poprzecki S, Maszczyk A, Czuba M, Michalczyk M, Zydek G. The effects of a ketogenic diet on exercise metabolism and physical performance in off-road cyclists. Nutrients. 2014;6(7):2493-508.

[4] Hussain TA, Mathew TC, Dashti AA, Asfar S, Al-zaid N, Dashti HM. Effect of low-calorie versus low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet in type 2 diabetes. Nutrition. 2012;28(10):1016-21.

[5] Millichap JG, Yee MM. The diet factor in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics. 2012;129(2):330-7.

[6] Schugar RC, Crawford PA. Low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets, glucose homeostasis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012;15(4):374-80.

[7] Masino SA, Kawamura M, Wasser CD, Wasser CA, Pomeroy LT, Ruskin DN. Adenosine, ketogenic diet and epilepsy: the emerging therapeutic relationship between metabolism and brain activity. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2009;7(3):257-68.

[8] Poff AM, Ari C, Seyfried TN, D’agostino DP. The ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy prolong survival in mice with systemic metastatic cancer. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(6):e65522.

[9] Krilanovich NJ. Benefits of ketogenic diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(1):238-9.

[10] Mandel A, Ballew M, Pina-Garza JE, Stalmasek V, Clemens LH. Medical costs are reduced when children with intractable epilepsy are successfully treated with the ketogenic diet. J Am Diet Assoc 2002;102:396–8.

[11] Youm YH, Nguyen KY, Grant RW, et al. The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. Nat Med. 2015;

[12] Rogovik AL, Goldman RD. Ketogenic diet for treatment of epilepsy. Can Fam Physician. 2010;56(6):540-2.

[13] Phinney SD. Ketogenic diets and physical performance. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004;1(1):2.

[14] Bjerregaard P, Dewailly E, Young TK, et al. Blood pressure among the Inuit (Eskimo) populations in the Arctic. Scand J Public Health. 2003;31(2):92-9.

[15] Helgason A, Pálsson G, Pedersen HS, et al. mtDNA variation in Inuit populations of Greenland and Canada: migration history and population structure. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2006;130(1):123-34.

[16] Stefansson V: Not by bread alone. The MacMillan Co, NY 1946. Introductions by Eugene F. DuBois, MD, pp ix-xiii; and Earnest Hooton PhD, ScD, pp xv-xvi.

[17] McClellan WS, DuBois EF: Clinical calorimetry XLV: Prolonged meat diets with a study of kidney function and ketosis. J Biol Chem 1930, 87:651-68.

[18] McClellan WS, Rupp VR, Toscani V: Clinical calorimetry XLVI: prolonged meat diets with a study of the metabolism of nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. J Biol Chem 1930, 87:669-80.

[19] Pérez-guisado J. [Ketogenic diets: additional benefits to the weight loss and unfounded secondary effects]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2008;58(4):323-9.

[20] Yang X, Cheng B. Neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activities of ketogenic diet on MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. J Mol Neurosci. 2010;42(2):145-53.

[21] Masino SA, Kawamura M, Wasser CD, Wasser CA, Pomeroy LT, Ruskin DN. Adenosine, ketogenic diet and epilepsy: the emerging therapeutic relationship between metabolism and brain activity. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2009;7(3):257-68.

[22] Gasior M, Rogawski MA, Hartman AL. Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet. Behav Pharmacol. 2006;17(5-6):431-9.

[23] Kim do Y, Hao J, Liu R, Turner G, Shi FD, Rho JM. Inflammation-mediated memory dysfunction and effects of a ketogenic diet in a murine model of multiple sclerosis. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(5):e35476.

[24] Masino SA, Ruskin DN. Ketogenic diets and pain. J Child Neurol. 2013;28(8):993-1001.

[25] Bough KJ, Rho JM. Anticonvulsant mechanisms of the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia. 2007;48(1):43-58.

[26] Youm YH, Nguyen KY, Grant RW, et al. The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. Nat Med. 2015;

[27] Vandanmagsar B, Youm YH, Ravussin A, et al. The NLRP3 inflammasome instigates obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance. Nat Med. 2011;17(2):179-88.

[28] Menu P, Vince JE. The NLRP3 inflammasome in health and disease: the good, the bad and the ugly. Clin Exp Immunol. 2011;166(1):1-15.

[29] Zhou R, Yazdi AS, Menu P, Tschopp J. A role for mitochondria in NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Nature. 2011;469(7329):221-5.

[30] Guzmán M, Blázquez C. Ketone body synthesis in the brain: possible neuroprotective effects. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004;70(3):287-92.

[31] Laffel L. Ketone bodies: a review of physiology, pathophysiology and application of monitoring to diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 1999;15(6):412-26.

[32] Henderson ST. Ketone bodies as a therapeutic for Alzheimer’s disease. Neurotherapeutics. 2008;5(3):470-80.

The BEST Fat Loss Diet in The World | The Paleo Diet

It’s officially 2015, the New Year is upon us and with it many resolutions to lose weight and get into shape. With so many magazines and websites filled with latest fad diets, how do you know what diet really works best? The good news is the scientific research is actually quite clear with respect to the ‘best diet’ for not only promoting fat loss but also improving your overall health.

A low-carb diet (LC), or its cousin the very low-carb ketogenic diet (VLCK), are head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to promoting weight loss and upgrading your health. A low-carb diet is typically classified as a diet consisting of 100g of carbs or less per day, whereas a very low-carb ketogenic diet is generally 50g of carbs or less. (It’s called a ketogenic diet due to the ketone body by-products produced when the body switches over to primarily fat- burning for fuel.)

Practically, adopting a LC or VLCK diet entails decreasing your intake of starchy carbohydrates while increasing your consumption of tasty lean proteins, healthy fats, nutrient-dense veggies and whole fruits.

For some this might be a whole new approach to eating, for others something you’ve experimented with in the past. How do low-carb and very low-carb ketogenic diets work to promote weight loss? There are numerous physiological mechanisms at play. Let’s take a closer look.

A low-carb diet dramatically improves your blood sugar control and the function of your blood sugar hormone insulin.1 After you eat a meal, insulin’s job is to get the sugars from your bloodstream into your cells.  The more overweight or out of shape you are, the greater the amount of insulin your body produces to get the job done. This leads to higher insulin levels in the blood, which directly blocks your capacity to burn fat via the hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) enzyme. This person would be called insulin insensitive and if the condition persisted they would eventually become insulin resistant and develop type-II diabetes.

How does this relate to carbohydrates? Carbohydrates exert the greatest impact on your insulin output, therefore by reducing your carb intake (and increasing your consumption of healthy proteins and fats) you’ll improve your body’s insulin sensitivity or efficiency at shuttling the food you eat into your cells where it can be used for energy.

A recent meta-analysis in the British Journal of Nutrition of 1,400 people adopting a very low-carb diet showed significant reductions in bodyweight, as well as lower triglycerides and improved good HDL cholesterol.2 Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine of 322 obese patients revealed that the low-carb group on an unrestricted calorie diet lost more weight than subjects on a calorie-restricted low fat diet, or a Mediterranean diet.3 The beauty of a low-carb diet for weight loss is that you don’t have to bother counting calories and you’ll still see results.

It’s not just the hormone insulin contributing to all the positive outcomes. Low-carb diets increase your body’s satiety signals via the increase in protein consumption and improved efficiency of the satiety hormone leptin.4,5 Low-carb diets also trigger greater lipolysis – the breakdown of body-fat – as your body shifts to burning fat as a primary fuel source.6 There is also an increase in the metabolic cost of producing glucose (gluconeogenesis) when on a low-carb diet, which requires your body to burn more energy and translates into a slimmer waistline and better health for clients.7

A Paleo dietary approach fits perfectly with a low-carb or very low-carb ketogenic diet due to the inherently higher intake of lean proteins, healthy fats, and abundant vegetables.  The natural elimination of grains on a Paleo diet quickly and easily reduces your total carb intake (although it’s important to remember that not all Paleo diets need to be low-carb, particularly in athletes). The goods news is you’re replacing the nutrient poor starchy grains with nutrient-dense veggies and fruits. This promotes not only superior weight loss but better overall health.

The latest research shows a low-carb diet also comes with a myriad of other health benefits, such as; improved blood pressure, triglycerides, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and reduced inflammation.8,9,10 These are profound and dramatic changes that stem from simply eating more in-tune with how your body has evolved. (Not even best drugs in the world could improve these parameters so significantly!)

So, why isn’t everyone who is overweight or out of shape on a low-carb Paleo diet? Unfortunately, even many old diet and nutrition myths still persist in doctor’s and dietician’s offices across the country.

One of the most common mistakes is avoiding saturated fats for fear they will worsen a patient’s cardiovascular health. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, studies continue to pour out of the scientific literature confirming that your dietary intake of saturated fat does NOT impact your blood levels. In fact, the study goes on to show that carbohydrates are the real culprits (if you are overweight or out of shape), increasing blood levels of saturated fats alongside a key marker associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type-2 diabetes.11 In short, cut the carbs to get your health and bodyweight back on track.

Now that you know why a low-carb diet is best way to lose weight and improve your health, the next step is implementing the diet into your day-to-day routine.

If you are new to the Paleo diet or have a lot of weight to lose, start out slow and scale up. Remember, whether you’re just starting out or have been following Paleo for sometime, our 85:15 Rule permits the inclusion of three ‘cheat’ meals per week, where you can loosen the rules, not feel too restricted, and ease into the Paleo lifestyle.

Here is a sample day of meals for beginners with recipes to get you started!

By following this approach many will lose weight gradually, feel satiated and content, and not compromise health or performance at work or in the gym.

Make 2015 a year to remember, transform your body and mind with a low-carb Paleo diet and unlock your weight loss and performance potential.

REFERENCES

[1]Ballard, K et al.Dietary carbohydrate restriction improves insulin sensitiv­ity, blood pressure, microvascular function, and cellular adhesion markers in individuals taking statins.Nutr Res.2013 Nov;33(11):905-12.

[2]Bueno, N et al.Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v.low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.Br J Nutr.2013 Oct;110(7):1178-87.

[3]Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, et al. Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet. N Engl J Med 2008;359:229-41.

[4]Veldhorst M., Smeets A., Soenen S., Hochstenbach-Waelen A., Hursel R., Diepvens K., Lejeune M., Luscombe-Marsh N., Westerterp-Plantenga M. Protein-induced satiety: Effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiol. Behav. 2008;94:300–307.

[5]Sumithran P., Prendergast L.A., Delbridge E., Purcell K., Shulkes A., Kriketos A., Proietto J. Ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 2013;67:759–764

[6]Cahill G.F., Jr. Fuel metabolism in starvation. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 2006;26:1–22.

[7]Tagliabue A., Bertoli S., Trentani C., Borrelli P., Veggiotti P. Effects of the ketogenic diet on nutritional status, resting energy expenditure, and substrate oxidation in patients with medically refractory epilepsy: A 6-month prospective observational study. Clin. Nutr. 2012;31:246–249.

[8]Perez-Guisado, J.Munoz-Serrano A.A pilot study of the Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: an effective therapy for the metabolic syndrome.J Med Food.2011 Jul-Aug;14(7-8):681-7.

[9]Crane P.et al.Glucose Levels and Risk of Dementia.NEJM.Sept 2013 Vol 369.

[10]Heilbronn LK et al. Energy restriction and weight loss on very low-fat diets reduce C-reacctive protein concentrations in obese, healthy women. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2001;21:968-970.

[11]Volk B et al. Effects of Step-Wise Increases in Dietary Carbohydrate on Circulating Saturated Fatty Acids and Palmitoleic Acid in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome. Plus ONE 2014, Nov 21:1-16.

Calcium Leafy Vegetables | The Paleo Diet

More and more high-profile individuals are achieving measurable results on The Paleo Diet. These public triumphs threaten the antiquated low fat, high carbohydrate diets still officially endorsed by the government and prominent medical institutions. Accordingly, defenders of the low-fat doctrine are increasingly lashing out against the Paleo movement.

Just last month, The Wall Street Journal publicized NBA superstar Lebron James’ Paleo success, encapsulated by a viral photo posted to his Instagram account.1 This prompted NBC’s The Today Show to publish an article by Registered Dietitian Elisa Zied, in which Zied asserts, “There’s little science supporting the weight loss or health benefits of a Paleo diet.”2

According to Zied, the Paleo Diet “falls short on calcium and vitamin D,” and includes proportionally too much protein and fat and not enough carbohydrates. Paleo detractors say surprising things, but Zied’s comments are particularly fantastic. Let’s start with her vitamin D claim.

Vitamin D

Many are of the opinion the Paleo Diet is vitamin D deficient with the exclusion of milk, which is typically fortified with vitamin D. This would imply that non-Paleo Diets are vitamin D adequate only due to supplementation. After all, fortified milk is simply a food combined with a supplement. It would therefore be strange to call the Paleo diet vitamin D deficient when vitamin D supplements, if necessary, could always be added to the Paleo Diet.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), we should be consuming 600 IU/day of vitamin D with an upper limit of 4,000 IU/day.3 Excluding fortified foods, the foods richest in vitamin D are fish and seafood, which, of course, are Paleo compliant. Just 100g of herring, for example has over 1,600 IU. Mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout, halibut, and shrimp are also particularly good sources.

Calcium

Others speculate the Paleo Diet also “fall short on calcium” because it excludes dairy. The IOM recommends 1,000 mg/day of calcium for adults with an upper limit of 2,500 mg. The foods highest in calcium are Paleo foods, including leafy green vegetables, herbs, and clams. A standard Paleo Diet, including plenty of leafy greens and seafood provides plenty of calcium.

Fat to Protein Ratio

In her article, Zied references a recent review of 19 studies published in PLoS, which concluded that overweight and obese people lose similar amounts of weight whether on low-carb or low-fat diets.4 But if you look at those 19 studies, one by one, the low-carb, Paleo Diets are clearly favorable. 9 of the 19 studies showed cardiovascular disease risk factors decreased on low-carb diets compared to low-fat diets. 8 of the studies suggest that low-carb and low-fat diets yield similar results, and only 2 studies, both published by the same author, suggest low-fat diets are better. Furthermore, the PLoS study did not include at least 10 additional randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, all of which show low-carb diets to be superior for weight loss and/or the prevention of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

The latest, recently published study, funded by the National Institutes of Health concluded, “The low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet. Restricting carbohydrate may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.”15 Zied claims little scientific evidence supports the Paleo Diet, but in fact over 60 published studies support core aspects of the diet.

Criticisms to the Paleo Diet are consistently unscientific, which suggests these challenges are perhaps motivated by an interest in protecting the obsolete low-fat model of nutrition.

Christopher James Clark, B.B.A.
@nutrigrail
Nutritional Grail
www.ChristopherJamesClark.com

Christopher James Clark | The Paleo Diet TeamChristopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Nutritional Grail.

 

References

1. Cohen, Ben. (August 18, 2014). Why LeBron James Is Suddenly Skinny. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2014

2. Zied, Elisa. (August 21, 2014). Want to try LeBron James’ Paleo diet? 3 things we get wrong about carbs. Today.com. Retrieved September 11, 2014.

3. Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium. (November 2010). Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Institute of Medicine. Retrieved September 11, 2014.

4. Cameron, W. (July 2014). Low Carbohydrate versus Isoenergetic Balanced Diets for Reducing Weight and Cardiovascular Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PloS One, 9(7). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

5. Guldbrand, H., et al. (August 2012). In type 2 diabetes, randomisation to advice to follow a low-carbohydrate diet transiently improves glycaemic control compared with advice to follow a low-fat diet producing a similar weight loss. Diabetologia, 55(8). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

6. Volek, J., et al. (April 2009). Carbohydrate Restriction has a More Favorable Impact on the Metabolic Syndrome than a Low Fat Diet. Lipids, 44(4). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

7. Shai, I., et al. (July 2008). Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet. New England Journal of Medicine, 359(3). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

8. Gardener, C., et al. (March 2007). Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal WomenThe A TO Z Weight Loss Study: A Randomized Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 297(9). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

9. Daly, ME., et al. (January 2006). Short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate-restriction advice in Type 2 diabetes—a randomized controlled trial. Diabetic Medicine, 23(1). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

10. Volek, J., et al. (2004). Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women. Nutrition Metabolism, 1(13). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

11. Yancy, W. et al. (May 2004). A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 140(10). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

12. Brehm, B., et al. (July 2013). A Randomized Trial Comparing a Very Low Carbohydrate Diet and a Calorie-Restricted Low Fat Diet on Body Weight and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Healthy Women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 88(4). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

13. Sondike, S., et al. (March 2003). Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight adolescents. Journal of Pediatrics, 142(3). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

14. Bazzano, et al. (September 2, 2014). Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 161(5). Retrieved September 11, 2014.

15. Ibid, Bazzano.

Scientific Verification of Paleolithic Diets

I would like to report some good news for The Paleo Diet community. We now have the first long term, 2 Year Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to show The Paleo Diet to be superior health wise to low fat, high carbohydrate diets.11 This study, “Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial”  adds to the increasing body of scientific literature to substantiate the therapeutic health effects of contemporary Paleo diets tested experimentally in humans.1-10

Past criticism of The Paleo Diet by the U.S. News and World Reports, which rated the Paleo Diet dead last among 32 popular diets, indicated that the Paleo Diet had not been adequately tested in the long term in the scientific and medical literature. This criticism is unfounded given this new study11 which corroborates the numerous experimental studies demonstrating the various therapeutic health effects of The Paleo Diet.1-10 The criticism is also hypocritical given that the majority of the popular diets listed in the USNWR rankings have never been tested in the long term, nor have they even been examined in the medical literature.

Experimental human studies have shown the Paleo Diet to be superior health-wise to diabetic diets in a randomized crossover trials2, 10 and to Mediterranean diets.4, 5 Further, The Paleo Diet is nutritionally superior to the USDA My Plate (formerly the My Pyramid) diet in the 13 nutrients most lacking in the US diet.12, 13

In this new study11 The Paleo Diet proved superior to a low fat, high carbohydrate diet for weight loss at 6, 12 and 18 months, for body fat, waist circumference and sagittal, abdominal diameter at 6 months. Further, The Paleo Diet caused greater improvements in blood triglycerides after 2 years than the low fat, high carbohydrate diet.

It should be noted that because the sample size in this study at 24 months (27 subjects in the Paleo group, 22 subjects in the low fat, high carbohydrate group) was relatively small, it lacked the statistical power to detect non-significant therapeutic changes that occurred in the Paleo Diet group relative to the low carbohydrate group. Specifically, improvements occurred in the following variables for the Paleo Diet: 1) systolic blood pressure (p=0.29), 2) blood cholesterol (p=0.23), 3) LDL cholesterol (p=0.29).

Finally, it should be noted that consumption of The Paleo Diet resulted in important dietary characteristics which improved significantly (p<0.05) after 2 years: these variables included: increases in dietary protein, reductions in dietary carbohydrate, increases in monounsaturated fat, increases in polyunsaturated fats, increases in omega 3 fatty acids, reductions in omega 6 fatty acids, and reductions in dietary cholesterol. All of these nutritional changes are known to have multiple positive health effects that reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome diseases, cancer and autoimmunity. Future studies12 will help to further establish how contemporary Paleo diets may improve health and well being.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Professor Emeritus

REFERENCES

1. Frassetto LA, Schloetter M, Mietus-Synder M, Morris RC, Jr., Sebastian A: Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009.

2. Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahrén B, Branell UC, Pålsson G, Hansson A, Söderström M, Lindeberg S. 3. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2009;8:35

3. Jonsson T, Granfeldt Y, Erlanson-Albertsson C, Ahren B, Lindeberg S. A Paleolithic diet is more satiating per calorie than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Nov 30;7(1):85

4. Lindeberg S, Jonsson T, Granfeldt Y, Borgstrand E, Soffman J, Sjostrom K, Ahren B: A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia 2007, 50(9):1795-1807.

5. O’Dea K: Marked improvement in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic Australian aborigines after temporary reversion to traditional lifestyle. Diabetes 1984, 33(6):596-603.

6. Osterdahl M, Kocturk T, Koochek A, Wandell PE: Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr 2008, 62(5):682-685.

7. Ryberg M, Sandberg S, Mellberg C, Stegle O, Lindahl B, Larsson C, Hauksson J, Olsson T. A Palaeolithic-type diet causes strong tissue-specific effects on ectopic fat deposition in obese postmenopausal women. J Intern Med. 2013 Jul;274(1):67-76

8. Frassetto LA, Shi L, Schloetter M, Sebastian A, Remer T. Established dietary estimates of net acid production do not predict measured net acid excretion in patients with Type 2 diabetes on Paleolithic-Hunter-Gatherer-type diets. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;67(9):899-903.

9. Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Lindeberg S, Hallberg AC. Subjective satiety and other experiences of a Paleolithic diet compared to a diabetes diet in patients with type 2 diabetes. Nutr J. 2013 Jul 29;12:105.

10. Mellberg, C., Sandberg, S., Ryberg, M., Eriksson, M., Brage, S., Larsson, C., et al. (2014). Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.290 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24473459.

11. Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand-Miller J. Origins and evolution of the western diet: Health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:341-54

12. Cordain L, The nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups. J Am Neutraceut Assoc 2002; 5:15-24.

13. Fontes-Villalba M, Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Frassetto LA, Sundquist J, Sundquist K, Carrera-Bastos P, Fika-Hernándo M, Picazo O, Lindeberg S. A healthy diet with and without cereal grains and dairy products in patients with type 2 diabetes: study protocol for a random-order cross-over pilot study – Alimentation and Diabetes in Lanzarote -ADILAN. Trials. 2014 Jan 2;15(1):2

Kidney Function | The Paleo Diet

Professor Cordain,

I just finished The Paleo Answer and I’m eager to start dieting. However, I’m a bit concerned about the diet’s impact on my one kidney. I lost one kidney in a snowboarding accident about 15 years ago. I’ve been taught that for the kidney, proteins are bad and carbs are good. Having read your book, I’m beginning to doubt this.

My main question: Is the Paleo Diet good for kidney function? Subsequently, should I tailor the diet to include less protein and more carbs? I have no renal issues and annual checkups show 100% functionality. Weight loss and better blood chemistry is my goal, but kidney function is most important.

I appreciate any input and any interesting studies. I’d love to read them.

Thanks,

Matthew

Dr. Cordain’s Response:

Hi Matthew,

There are at least two randomized controlled trials in healthy normals showing that high protein diets don’t adversely affect kidney function. 1, 2 The data shows that the kidney responds like muscle tissue to “increased loading” – it improves function by increasing the amount of protein by-products that it can eliminate. So, increasing dietary protein does not cause albumin to appear in the urine and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), the rate the kidney filters the blood, when normalized by increased kidney volume remains normal and healthy. Nevertheless, I suggest that you check in with your nephrologist before and a week or two after you begin The Paleo Diet.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

The Paleo Diet | Dr. Loren CordainDr. Loren Cordain is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 20 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans. Dr. Cordain’s scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter-gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans. He is the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and has lectured extensively on the Paleolithic nutrition worldwide. Dr. Cordain is the author of five popular bestselling books including The Paleo DietThe Paleo Answer, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, summarizing his research findings.

REFERENCES:

1. Skov AR, Toubro S, Bülow J, Krabbe K, Parving HH, Astrup A. Changes in renal function during weight loss induced by high vs low-protein low-fat diets in overweight subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Nov;23(11):1170-7

2. Friedman AN et al. Comparative effects of low-carbohydrate high-protein versus low-fat diets on the kidney. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2012;7: 1103-1111