But I thought the paleo diet was better than many others. Not according to this meta-analysis published and Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Recently, the Paleolithic diet became popular due to its possible health benefits. Several, albeit not all, studies suggested that the consumption of the Paleolithic diet might improve glucose tolerance, decrease insulin secretion, and increase insulin sensitivity. Therefore, the aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the effect of the Paleolithic diet with other types of diets on glucose and insulin homeostasis in subjects with altered glucose metabolism. Four databases (PubMed, Web of Sciences, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library) were searched to select studies in which the effects of the Paleolithic diet on fasting glucose and insulin levels, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and area under the curve (AUC 0-120) for glucose and insulin during the oral glucose tolerance test were assessed. In total, four studies with 98 subjects which compared the effect of the Paleolithic diet with other types of diets (the Mediterranean diet, diabetes diet, and a diet recommended by the Dutch Health Council) were included in this meta-analysis. The Paleolithic diet did not differ from other types of diets with regard to its effect on fasting glucose (standardized mean difference (SMD): -0.343, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.867, 0.181, p = 0.200) and insulin (SMD: -0.141; 95% CI: -0.599, 0.318; p = 0.548) levels. In addition, there were no differences between the Paleolithic diet and other types of diets in HOMA-IR (SMD: -0.151; 95% CI: -0.610, 0.309; p = 0.521), HbA1c (SMD: -0.380; 95% CI: -0.870, 0.110; p = 0.129), AUC 0-120 glucose (SMD: -0.558; 95% CI: -1.380, 0.264; p = 0.183), and AUC 0-120 insulin (SMD: -0.068; 95% CI: -0.526, 0.390; p = 0.772). In conclusion, the Paleolithic diet did not differ from other types of diets commonly perceived as healthy with regard to effects on glucose and insulin homeostasis in subjects with altered glucose metabolism.
Steve Parker, M.D.