Category Archives: Paleo Diet

Does Calcium Consumption Help Prevent Brittle Bones in Older Women?

Waste of money and effort?

Due to a lack of milk products, paleo diets may not meet the Recommended Daily Intake of calcium. Your blood must have a certain amount of calcium, and if that level is too low, your bones donate calcium to the bloodstream.

Many physicians worry that inadequate calcium consumption causes or contributes to thin, brittle, easily breakable bones in postmenopausal women. A recent study suggests that calcium intake doesn’t matter.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Calcium intakes are commonly lower than the recommended levels, and increasing calcium intake is often recommended for bone health.

OBJECTIVE:To determine the relationship between dietary calcium intake and rate of bone loss in older postmenopausal women.

PARTICIPANTS:

Analysis of observational data collected from a randomized controlled trial. Participants were osteopenic (hip T-scores between -1.0 and -2.5) women, aged >65 years, not receiving therapy for osteoporosis nor taking calcium supplements. Women from the total cohort (n = 1994) contributed data to the analysis of calcium intake and bone mineral density (BMD) at baseline, and women from the placebo group (n = 698) contributed data to the analysis of calcium intake and change in BMD. BMD and bone mineral content (BMC) of the spine, total hip, femoral neck, and total body were measured three times over 6 years.

RESULTS:

Mean calcium intake was 886 mg/day. Baseline BMDs were not related to quintile of calcium intake at any site, before or after adjustment for baseline age, height, weight, physical activity, alcohol intake, smoking status, and past hormone replacement use. There was no relationship between bone loss and quintile of calcium intake at any site, with or without adjustment for covariables. Total body bone balance (i.e., change in BMC) was unrelated to an individuals’ calcium intake (P = 0.99).

CONCLUSIONS:

Postmenopausal bone loss is unrelated to dietary calcium intake. This suggests that strategies to increase calcium intake are unlikely to impact the prevalence of and morbidity from postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Source: Dietary Calcium Intake and Bone Loss Over 6 Years in Osteopenic Postmenopausal Women. – PubMed – NCBI

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Elderly men get osteoporosis, too. But when the Emergency Department calls me to admit an older patient with a hip fracture, it’s a woman 9 out of 10 times.

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Were Early Homo Carnivorous?: The feeding behavior of early Homo at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

From the Journal of Human Evolution:

Abstract

The regular consumption of large mammal carcasses, as evidenced by butchery marks on fossils recovered from Early Stone Age archaeological sites, roughly coincides with the appearance of Homo habilis. However, the significance of this niche expansion cannot be appreciated without an understanding of hominin feeding behavior and their ecological interactions with mammalian carnivores. The Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) has recovered a large and well-preserved fossil assemblage from the HWK EE site, which was deposited just prior to the first appearance of Acheulean technology at Olduvai Gorge and likely represents one of the last H. habilis sites at Olduvai. This taphonomic analysis of the larger mammal fossil assemblage excavated from HWK EE shows evidence of multiple occupations over a long period of time, suggesting the site offered resources that were attractive to hominins. There was a water source indicated by the presence of fish, crocodiles, and hippos, and there was possible tree cover in an otherwise open habitat. The site preserves several stratigraphic intervals with large fossil and artifact assemblages within two of these intervals. Feeding traces on bone surfaces suggest hominins at the site obtained substantial amounts of flesh and marrow, particularly from smaller size group 1-2 carcasses, and exploited a wide range of taxa, including megafauna. A strong carnivore signal suggests hominins scavenged much of their animal foods during the two main stratigraphic intervals. In the later interval, lower carnivore tooth mark and hammerstone percussion mark frequencies, in addition to high epiphyseal to shaft fragment ratios, suggest hominins and carnivores did not fully exploit bone marrow and grease, which may have been acquired from nutritionally-stressed animals that died during a dry period at Olduvai. The diversity of fauna that preserve evidence of butchery suggests that the HWK EE hominins were opportunistic in their acquisition of carcass foods.

Source: The carnivorous feeding behavior of early Homo at HWK EE, Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. – PubMed – NCBI

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Gut microbiome response to a modern Paleolithic diet

From PloS One:

Abstract

The modern Paleolithic diet (MPD), featured by the consumption of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish and lean meat, while excluding grains, dairy products, salt and refined sugar, has gained substantial public attention in recent years because of its potential multiple health benefits. However, to date little is known about the actual impact of this dietary pattern on the gut microbiome (GM) and its implications for human health. In the current scenario where Western diets, low in fiber while rich in industrialized and processed foods, are considered one of the leading causes of maladaptive GM changes along human evolution, likely contributing to the increasing incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases, we hypothesize that the MPD could modulate the Western GM towards a more “ancestral” configuration. In an attempt to shed light on this, here we profiled the GM structure of urban Italian subjects adhering to the MPD, and compared data with other urban Italians following a Mediterranean Diet (MD), as well as worldwide traditional hunter-gatherer populations from previous publications. Notwithstanding a strong geography effect on the GM structure, our results show an unexpectedly high degree of biodiversity in MPD subjects, which well approximates that of traditional populations. The GM of MPD individuals also shows some peculiarities, including a high relative abundance of bile-tolerant and fat-loving microorganisms. The consumption of plant-based foods-albeit with the exclusion of grains and pulses-along with the minimization of the intake of processed foods, both hallmarks of the MPD, could therefore contribute to partially rewild the GM but caution should be taken in adhering to this dietary pattern in the long term.

Source: Gut microbiome response to a modern Paleolithic diet in a Western lifestyle context. – PubMed – NCBI

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Which Dietary Patterns Are Best for Type 1 Diabetes Control?

A mess of Bacon Bit Brussels Sprouts: 6 grams of fiber per serve

Dr. Muccioli over at Diabetes Daily posted a brief article on a recent research study. A snippet:

The authors found that a higher intake of fiber was associated with lower average blood glucose values. In contrast, a higher intake of carbohydrate, alcohol, and monounsaturated fat was negatively associated with glycemic control (these patients typically experienced more variability in their blood glucose levels). Finally, the analysis revealed that “substituting proteins for either carbohydrates, fats, or alcohol, or fats for carbohydrates, were all associated with lower variability in the measured blood glucose values.”

Source: Which Dietary Patterns Are Best for Type 1 Diabetes Control? – Diabetes Daily

Eaton and Konner figured the Paleolithic diet provided over 70 g/day of fiber. How much are we in the West eating now? Something like 15–20 grams.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Paleolithic Dieters: You May Have an Iodine Deficiency

A pinch of salt may cut the bitterness in a cup of coffee

An article in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that paleolithic-type diets may be deficient in iodine. See my comment after the link below.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

Different diets are used for weight loss. A Paleolithic-type diet (PD) has beneficial metabolic effects, but two of the largest iodine sources, table salt and dairy products, are excluded. The objectives of this study were to compare 24-h urinary iodine concentration (24-UIC) in subjects on PD with 24-UIC in subjects on a diet according to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) and to study if PD results in a higher risk of developing iodine deficiency (ID), than NNR diet.

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

A 2-year prospective randomized trial in a tertiary referral center where healthy postmenopausal overweight or obese women were randomized to either PD (n=35) or NNR diet (n=35). Dietary iodine intake, 24-UIC, 24-h urinary iodine excretion (24-UIE), free thyroxin (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3) and thyrotropin (TSH) were measured at baseline, 6 and 24 months. Completeness of urine sampling was monitored by para-aminobenzoic acid and salt intake by urinary sodium.

RESULTS:

At baseline, median 24-UIC (71.0 μg/l) and 24-UIE (134.0 μg/d) were similar in the PD and NNR groups. After 6 months, 24-UIC had decreased to 36.0 μg/l (P=0.001) and 24-UIE to 77.0 μg/d (P=0.001) in the PD group; in the NNR group, levels were unaltered. FT4, TSH and FT3 were similar in both groups, except for FT3 at 6 months being lower in PD than in NNR group.

CONCLUSIONS:

A PD results in a higher risk of developing ID, than a diet according to the NNR. Therefore, we suggest iodine supplementation should be considered when on a PD.

(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 13 September 2017; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2017.134.PMID: 28901333 DOI: 10.1038/ejcn.2017.134)

Source: A Paleolithic-type diet results in iodine deficiency: a 2-year randomized trial in postmenopausal obese women. – PubMed – NCBI

Parker here. I thought I knew a little about the Paleolithic diet, so was surprised to read above that table salt is excluded. It’s not excluded from the Paleobetic Diet. Most table salt purchased in the U.S. iodine-fortified. The introduction of iodized salt in the U.S. in 1924 raised IQ in iodine-deficient regions by 15 points!

Paleo Diet Reduced Low-Grade Inflammation In Obese Postmenopausal Women

I haven’t read the entire article, so probably can’t answer any of your questions. When you read “android fat” below, think “belly fat,” which is linked to poor health outcomes compared to non-belly fat.

OBJECTIVE: Abdominal fat accumulation after menopause is associated with low-grade inflammation and increased risk of metabolic disorders. Effective long-term lifestyle treatment is therefore needed.

METHODS: Seventy healthy postmenopausal women (age 60 ± 5.6 years) with BMI 32.5 ± 5.5 were randomized to a Paleolithic-type diet (PD) or a prudent control diet (CD) for 24 months. Blood samples and fat biopsies were collected at baseline, 6 months, and 24 months to analyze inflammation-related parameters.

RESULTS: Android fat decreased significantly more in the PD group (P = 0.009) during the first 6 months with weight maintenance at 24 months in both groups. Long-term significant effects (P < 0.001) on adipose gene expression were found for toll-like receptor 4 (decreased at 24 months) and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (increased at 24 months) in both groups. Serum interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α levels were decreased at 24 months in both groups (P < 0.001) with a significant diet-by-time interaction for serum IL-6 (P = 0.022). High-sensitivity C-reactive protein was decreased in the PD group at 24 months (P = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: A reduction of abdominal obesity in postmenopausal women is linked to specific changes in inflammation-related adipose gene expression.

Source: Attenuated Low-Grade Inflammation Following Long-Term Dietary Intervention in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity. – PubMed – NCBI

Do You Eat Food or Feed?

Future Feed

From Hawaiian Libertarian:

“Food is grown, raised, harvested and processed — and if not consumed while fresh — preserved in as natural and organic a state as possible to keep most of it’s nutritious and nourishing qualities intact.

Feed is mass produced by a few large multinational corporations line using bio-technological innovations to quickly and efficiently manufacture product units ready for global distribution and a near infinite shelf life. Its primary traits are using genetically modified grain products to create a marketable product that is usually adulterated with preservatives and flavor enhancements that give it a long shelf life in airtight packaging and designed in a laboratory to stimulate the taste buds to fool the human body into thinking it’s something good for you.

But above all, the primary difference between Food and Feed can be discerned by this: most real food requires little (if any) corporate mass media marketing campaigns to sell product and expand market shares and waistlines alike.”

Source: Hawaiian libertarian: FEED Inc. & The Corporate Campaign Dialectic

Dietitian Amy Kubal Answers, “Are Potatoes Paleo?”

Rosemary Chicken (garnished with pico de gallo) and Rosemary Potatoes

Rosemary Chicken (garnished with pico de gallo) and Rosemary Potatoes

“The whole “to spud or not to spud” issue is seriously ‘no small potatoes’ in the Paleosphere. It’s highly debated as to whether or not white potatoes are ‘safe’ or ‘allowed’, and if they are okay, the questions really start rolling in – Can I eat the skin? I should only eat the red ones, right? How should I prepare them? Do I need to only eat them cold? If I do eat them, does it mean I’m not ‘doing Paleo’? It’s exhausting and absolutely amazing how such an innocent looking food can create so much controversy. Seriously, people are VERY opinionated on the issue, and I’m sure my opinions will not go unopposed. Well, haters be damned, you’re going to get them anyway.”

RTWT.

Source: “Ask Amy The RD”: Are Those Spuds For You?? The “Paleoness” of Potatoes

paleo diet, Steve Parker MD

Sweet potatoes ready to pop in the oven

Grain-free paleolithic diet improves cholesterol levels better than traditional “heart healthy diet”

See modern man walking off that cliff?

See modern man walking off that cliff?

I haven’t read the full text of this new study, but here’s the abstract in case you’re interested:

“Recent research suggests that traditional grain-based heart-healthy diet recommendations, which replace dietary saturated fat with carbohydrate and reduce total fat intake, may result in unfavorable plasma lipid ratios, with reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and an elevation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triacylglycerols (TG). The current study tested the hypothesis that a grain-free Paleolithic diet would induce weight loss and improve plasma total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and TG concentrations in nondiabetic adults with hyperlipidemia to a greater extent than a grain-based heart-healthy diet, based on the recommendations of the American Heart Association.

Twenty volunteers (10 male and 10 female) aged 40 to 62 years were selected based on diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia. Volunteers were not taking any cholesterol-lowering medications and adhered to a traditional heart-healthy diet for 4 months, followed by a Paleolithic diet for 4 months. Regression analysis was used to determine whether change in body weight contributed to observed changes in plasma lipid concentrations. Differences in dietary intakes and plasma lipid measures were assessed using repeated-measures analysis of variance.

Four months of Paleolithic nutrition significantly lowered (P < .001) mean total cholesterol, LDL, and TG and increased (P < .001) HDL, independent of changes in body weight, relative to both baseline and the traditional heart-healthy diet. Paleolithic nutrition offers promising potential for nutritional management of hyperlipidemia in adults whose lipid profiles have not improved after following more traditional heart-healthy dietary recommendations.”

 

Source: Paleolithic nutrition improves plasma lipid concentrations of hypercholesterolemic adults to a greater extent than traditional heart-healthy dietar… – PubMed – NCBI

Paleolithic and Mediterranean Diet Patterns Reduce Markers of Inflammation

shutterstock_46067602

Many chronic medical conditions are though to be caused by chronic inflammation in our bodies. Sample conditions include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease (heart attacks), metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and perhaps some cancers.

Taking the association further: could we prevent or alleviate these conditions by reducing inflammation? If so, diet is one way to do it.

Here’s an abstract from a scientific article I found:

Background: Chronic inflammation and oxidative balance are associated with poor diet quality and risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. A diet–inflammation/oxidative balance association may relate to evolutionary discordance.

“Objective: We investigated associations between 2 diet pattern scores, the Paleolithic and the Mediterranean, and circulating concentrations of 2 related biomarkers, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), an acute inflammatory protein, and F2-isoprostane, a reliable marker of in vivo lipid peroxidation.

Methods: In a pooled cross-sectional study of 30- to 74-y-old men and women in an elective outpatient colonoscopy population (n = 646), we created diet scores from responses on Willett food-frequency questionnaires and measured plasma hsCRP and F2-isoprostane concentrations by ELISA and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, respectively. Both diet scores were calculated and categorized into quintiles, and their associations with biomarker concentrations were estimated with the use of general linear models to calculate and compare adjusted geometric means, and via unconditional ordinal logistic regression.

Results: There were statistically significant trends for decreasing geometric mean plasma hsCRP and F2-isoprostane concentrations with increasing quintiles of the Paleolithic and Mediterranean diet scores. The multivariable-adjusted ORs comparing those in the highest with those in the lowest quintiles of the Paleolithic and Mediterranean diet scores were 0.61 (95% CI: 0.36, 1.05; P-trend = 0.06) and 0.71 (95% CI: 0.42, 1.20; P-trend = 0.01), respectively, for a higher hsCRP concentration, and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.27, 0.95; P-trend 0.01) and 0.39 (95% CI: 0.21, 0.73; P-trend = 0.01), respectively, for a higher F2-isoprostane concentration.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that diets that are more Paleolithic- or Mediterranean-like may be associated with lower levels of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress in humans.”

Source: Paleolithic and Mediterranean Diet Pattern Scores Are Inversely Associated with Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Balance in Adults