One of the tenants of the noted Paleolithic diet concentrates its aims on avoiding refined sugars and processed food, but scientific evidence from research about any beneficial effect for people living with type 2 diabetes is unresolved at this point, according to a Perspective published online by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Associate Professor Sofianos Andrikopoulos from the University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Sofianos Andrikopoulos from the University of Melbourne noted that in its most basic form, the Paleo diet’s concentration on fresh foods seems compatible with dietary guidelines worldwide.

“However, what constitutes a Paleolithic diet is often skewed by individual interpretation or bias. This lack of a standard definition further complicates research evidence for or against this dietary approach and is often supported by individual self-reported benefits on health and wellbeing in popular social media channels.” Notwithstanding the enthusiasm shown for the Paleo diet, there is the dearth of adequate scientific trials investigating the effect of the diet on people with diabetes.

However, a Swedish study discovered that the Paleo diet achieved a lower value of body mass index and glycated hemoglobin levels (The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, LEM1103abnormal286over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test.) The comparison was made against a diabetes diet for obese patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. Associate Professor Andrikopoulos concluded that the study was not of enough breath to determine any long-term benefit.

“These small and short-term studies tend to indicate some benefit but do not convincingly show that a Paleolithic diet is effective for weight loss and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes,” he wrote.

Study on a healthy, research group of average weight put on a Paleo diet for 10 days showed a static response to fasting plasma glucose (insulin) levels. It did find reduced plasma lipid levels and blood pressure compared with the usual baseline diet.

MetaSynd_flatAnother 2-week study on obese patients with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of biochemical and physiological abnormalities associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes) found no effect on glucose tolerance (how well your body’s cells are able to absorb glucose or sugar). The study did reveal that the group had reduced blood pressure and plasma lipid levels, which was associated with a small decrease in weight.

In summation, Associate Professor Andrikopoulos stated; “given that even very short deficits in energy balance can improve metabolic parameters, it is difficult to make strong conclusions about the long-term benefits of the Paleolithic diet in type 2 diabetes (or any other condition), because of the short duration of the interventions (less than 12 weeks), the lack of a proper control group in some instances, and the small sample size (less than 20 individuals) of the above studies”.

Article: The Paleo diet and diabetes, Sofianos Andrikopoulos, Medical Journal of Australia, doi: 10.5694/mja16.00347, published 8 August 2016.

Source: Australian Medical Association (AMA)



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