Paleo Diet No Better Than Several Other in Terms of Glucose and Insulin

He can’t choose his diet

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.

Source: The Effect of the Paleolithic Diet vs. Healthy Diets on Glucose and Insulin Homeostasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Contro… – PubMed – NCBI

Steve Parker, M.D.

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2 responses to “Paleo Diet No Better Than Several Other in Terms of Glucose and Insulin

  1. 98 whole subjects? That’s about as unimpressive a study as I have ever seen. And what was the carb intake in what they are calling “Paleo lithic”? 50? 60? I’ve seen eating plans called Paleo with that many carbs in them.
    As presented, without that information, I can make no assessment as to the value of that review.

    (Not to mention it is completely contrary to what we observe in people following a 20 or 30 carbs a day eating plan, who uniformly end up off their insulin, and often their metformin as well.)

  2. Were the subjects scrutinised 24/7? Or were they given the meals and trusted to eat them and not eat anything else?

    No doubt the statisticians will say that they allowed for people that did not follow the diet but how do you allow for that? How many? On what basis is the computation made?

    I’m not a big fan of Paleo Diet but studies such as the above may be more a means of adding to the author’s cv than a serious addition to the body of knowledge.

    In any case the best advice for anyone is try out diets and then stick with one that suits you ie one that gives you good BGs etc.

    I also totally agree with Lee’s comments made here. I’m self teaching myself statistics and it’s a real eye opener.

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