Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;62(5):682-5. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602790. Epub 2007 May 16.


Objectives: Prevention of cardiovascular diseases by paleolithic or hunter-gatherer diets has been discussed during recent years.

Methods: Our aim was to assess the effect of a paleolithic diet in a pilot study on healthy volunteers during 3 weeks. The intention was to include 20 subjects, of whom 14 fulfilled the study. Complete dietary assessment was available for six subjects.

Results: Mean weight decreased by 2.3 kg (P<0.001), body mass index by 0.8 (P<0.001), waist circumference by 0.5 cm (P=0.001), systolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg (P=0.03) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 by 72% (P=0.020). Regarding nutrient intake, intake of energy decreased by 36%, and other effects were also observed, both favourable (fat composition, antioxidants, potassium-sodium rate) and unfavourable (calcium).

Conclusion: This short-term intervention showed some favourable effects by the diet, but further studies, including control group, are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Evolution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates