If you were to design a study that would truly examine the merits of the paleo philosophy, what would it look like?
Would it make sense to start with a population of SAD dieters and introduce paleo slowly? Or would you have to start from children and compare children raised on SAD to paleo?
Would it be completely different?
asked bypaleopete_1 (229)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on April 24, 2011
at 07:40 PM
I think you would have to do the different aspects of paleo in different studies. Eliminating fructose, grains, and excess O6 separately to make sure that each of them has a positive effect. Then I would also eliminate them all together and compare the results.
It might also be worth it to do paleo with fruit, nuts, white rice, and dairy, (again separately) to see how each of those fits into the paleo lifestyle in terms of health outcomes.
Paleo is so complex that I'm not sure one study will suffice. You can cut out sugar, grains, and meat and be healthier, but you can't necessarily pick out which factors were the important ones. At the same time, though, it would be really interesting to see the effect of all the positive changes together.
on April 24, 2011
at 10:10 PM
Good studies only examine one detail at a time. Otherwise you don't know what actually caused the change, or lack thereof.
Comprehensive evidence comes from many studies at multiple levels, studying the effects of individual substances in solution, in animals, and in humans, in addition to studies focusing on more general changes in diet and lifestyle, and finally a suite of studies on the various combinations and permutations of those diet and lifestyle changes.
Ideally, the relevant studies would then be repeated on groups with various diseases that are suspected to be affected by non-paleo foods, complete with control groups of "normal" people.
Both cross-sectional and longitudinal versions of some studies would be required, to account for regional differences and to more firmly establish causality.
Science is like a laser pointer. It tells you all kinds of super-accurate details about one very specific point, but almost nothing about anything around it. You can extrapolate and guess based on what you know about that one point, but to really be sure what you're looking at you have to point your laser at lots of different places in that area. The more you examine the less guesswork is involved and the more complete your picture is.