A Diabetes Specialist Contemplates the Paleo Diet

In 2009, David Klonoff, M.D., reviewed the existing scientific literature on treatment of diabetes with a Paleolithic diet.  The majority of his comments refer to Jönsson’s 2009 research in Cardiovascular Diabetology, which involved only 13 patients.  Dr. Klonoff, by the way, is an endocrinologist and diabetes specialist in California.

Here are a few quotes from the Dr. Klonoff:

The main ingredient lacking in a Paleolithic diet is calcium, which must be supplemented to prevent bone mineral loss.  [No references cited.]

The Jönsson study was the first to assess the potential benefit of the Paleolithic diet compared to a diabetes diet for patients with T2DM [type 2 diabetes mellitus].

The implications of identifying a safer and more effective diet than what is currently being recommended for patients with obesity or T2DM are enormous.  The paleolithic diet is certainly not a new discorvery.  What is needed now is more clinical data with greater numbers of subjects and longer study durations so that more robust conclusions can be drawn.

Potential disadvantages of a Paleolithic diet might include deficient intake of vitamin D and calcium as well as exposure to environmental toxins from high intake of fish.

The Paleolithic diet might be the best antidote to the unhealthy Western diet.

Dr. Klonoff didn’t mention whether any of his patients had tried a paleo diet.  How about now, two years later?

Steve Parker, M.D. 

Reference: Klonoff, David.  The beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on type 2 diabetes and other risk factors for cardiovascular diseaseJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 3 (2009): 1,229-1,232.

2 responses to “A Diabetes Specialist Contemplates the Paleo Diet

  1. It is important to emphasize intake of healthy carbohydrates, healthy proteins, and healthy fats with each meal. Intake of saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, which are low in fiber and quickly absorbed, should be avoided. The Paleolithic Diet can achieve these dietary goals and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  2. Thanks for your input, Dr. Klonoff. Over the next five years, I think we’ll see results of the clinical studies you called for in 2009.