4

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Scientific Backing for Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 14, 2012 at 1:45 AM

I'm wondering what the best scientific resources are that relate to the paleo diet. There is a lot of money that big agra risks losing and I feat it won't be long before they go full force on the smear train. I for one would like us to be highly educated as a community so that we aren't caught looking like fanatical idiots when the attacks inevitably ratchet up.

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on April 15, 2012
at 05:40 AM

You're right, we don't have to limit ourselves to studies that specifically mention the Paleo diet, there are tons of evidence about gluten sensitivity, leaky gut & autoimmune diseases, omega-6 tom omega-3 ratio, the superiority of grass-fed meat vs. factory meat, etc....! I can't list them all!!!

E76821f1019f5284761bc4c33f2bf044

(383)

on April 14, 2012
at 07:51 PM

I think we need to cast a wider net here; we can look at articles on inflammation reduction, low carb diets nad diabetes, that kind of thing with no requirement for it to be explicitly paleo. This one, f.ex, suggests vitD could outdo statins at their own game: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22398934

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 14, 2012
at 06:32 PM

That's about it, isn't it? Linderberg, Eaton and Cordain, that's about all the academics I've seen doing studies on Paleo.

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6 Answers

9
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on April 14, 2012
at 08:04 AM

Here are a few scientific papers supporting the Paleo diet:

  • A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet; Diabetologia; Linderberg et al; 2007 [http://www.springerlink.com/content/h7628r66r0552222/]
  • Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gather type diet - EJCN- [http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v63/n8/abs/ejcn20094a.html]
  • Origins and evolutiono f the Western diet - health implications for the 21st century - AJCN 2005 - Cordain et al. [http://www.ajcn.org/content/81/2/341.full]
  • Paleolithic Diets as a Model for Prevention and Treatment of Western Disease - Am J Human Biology 2012 (by Lindeberg) [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajhb.22218/abstract]
  • Cereal Grains - Humanity's Double-Edged Sword; World Rev Nutr Diet; Loren Cordain; 1999 [http://www.direct-ms.org/pdf/EvolutionPaleolithic/Cereal%20Sword.pdf]
  • Evolutionary Health Promotion A Consideration of Common Counterarguments; Preventive Medicine; S. Boyd Eaton et al; 2002 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11817904]
  • The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization [http://s3.amazonaws.com/files.posterous.com/temp-2011-03-10/zxwmzamcavamnbbrsnrpCihmAzkcpbEdgEkdkontEfCjaDChxbeeqaswJuDE/RRCC-16919-the-western-diet-and-lifestyle-and-diseases-of-civilization_030811.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJFZAE65UYRT34AOQ&Expires=1334390841&Signature=f6WOe9EZI5hNmmkfhOL3SpsB8FY%3D]

The book "Food and Western Disease" is also a great resource: http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/


E76821f1019f5284761bc4c33f2bf044

(383)

on April 14, 2012
at 07:51 PM

I think we need to cast a wider net here; we can look at articles on inflammation reduction, low carb diets nad diabetes, that kind of thing with no requirement for it to be explicitly paleo. This one, f.ex, suggests vitD could outdo statins at their own game: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22398934

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 14, 2012
at 06:32 PM

That's about it, isn't it? Linderberg, Eaton and Cordain, that's about all the academics I've seen doing studies on Paleo.

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on April 15, 2012
at 05:40 AM

You're right, we don't have to limit ourselves to studies that specifically mention the Paleo diet, there are tons of evidence about gluten sensitivity, leaky gut & autoimmune diseases, omega-6 tom omega-3 ratio, the superiority of grass-fed meat vs. factory meat, etc....! I can't list them all!!!

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 14, 2012
at 03:46 PM

There's little direct evidence for the paleo diet as a whole. There's quite a bit of observational stuff with respect to hunter-gatherers that gives some hints that paleo is worthwhile. A lot of things people point to are very isolated and limited in nature, i.e. study of single variable X produces Y result, paleo does X and we want Y so paleo must be good! A bajillion confounding variables later... you get the idea. More recently there have been some studies on a paleo-type diet itself, good results, but limited in scope, time and subjects.

If anything, all the studies people use to support paleo just indicate that more study of paleo principles are very much needed.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2012
at 06:42 AM

I for one would like us to be highly educated as a community so that we aren't caught looking like fanatical idiots

You don't think we look like that already? LOL. I've been doing since about the mid 90's when it was considered even nuttier than it is now. Some people on here have been doing it far longer than me. They probably know all about being considered idiots just because they choose to eat in a way that makes them feel good. :)

1
9ba98ff40c0c4045be98682fa3e4d819

on April 14, 2012
at 03:06 AM

There's a lot packed into the article by Tim Ferriss at his blog http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/09/19/paleo-diet-solution/ We're going to have to educate whole generations about metabolism, indigestibility, protein and amino acid chemistry. The science is definitely there. But the complexity of it needs to be tackled in a way that clarifies the chain of causality from protein chemistry to initial reaction to partial "tolerance" to addiction to chronic inflammation to degeneration and disease. Its also a somewhat new and threatening paradigm for what might or might not define optimal "sustainability" in an evolutionary sense

0
1cb121f0a76d95eefd9e21253d11bf91

on April 14, 2012
at 06:10 AM

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1405197714 This has been my favorite book. It collects a massive amount of nutrition studies. It does specifically prescribe "the" paleo diet, but it's very much in line with principles.

0
D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on April 14, 2012
at 03:45 AM

Depends on which dogma of Industrial Farming you are targeting. The Whole Soy Story targets legumes and especially soy, filled with citations.

Taking on the saturated-fat-and-dietary-cholestoral-is-bad dogma, look to anything by Uffe Ravenskov, his Ignore the Awkward was his latest salvo repeating the same charge that the science is being ignored (and he cites the science). Anthony Colpo's book is good. Ernest N. Curtis's The Cholesterol Delusion was excellent, full of references to research.

Loren Cordain's latest The Paleo Answer has 81 pages of references (I have the ebook, don't know how many pages in the dead tree edition).

If you follow Michael Eades or Chris Kresser on twitter, they regularly post links to past and current research that is Paleo-relevant.

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