In the interests of having all of the clinical trials studying the "paleo diet" on the record, I decided to exhume and publish this post up on a small 2008 study by Osterdahl et. al.
Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers
This study was small (14 subjects, 5 male, 9 female) and short (3 weeks). Full dietary records were available for 6 subjects (1 male, 5 female), here is the dietary intake.
There were some minor changes in weight (2.9 kg , 6.4 lbs) and lower BP of statistical significance. Lipids and all other parameters except PAI-1 were not statistically significant.
The average starting weight was about 65 kg (143 lbs) with a BMI of 22.2. In the latest round of Is This Your Paleo Diet?, here is the diet description:
Allowed food ad libitum: All fresh or frozen fruits, berries and vegetables except legumes, canned tomatoes without additives except for citric acid, fresh or frozen unsalted fish and seafood, fresh or frozen unsalted lean meats and minced meat, unsalted nuts (except peanuts), fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice (as dressing), flaxseed or rapeseed oil (as dressing), coffee and tea (without sugar, honey, milk or cream), all salt-free spices.
Allowed food in restricted quantity: Dried fruit (ad lib 2 days/week), salted seafood (one meal/week), fat meat (one meal/week), potatoes (two medium sized/day), honey (used in marinade once/week), cured meats (as entree once/week), mineral water (only when drinkable tap water was not available).
Prohibited food: All milk and dairy products, all grain products (including maize and rice), all legumes (including peanuts), charcuterie products (for example, sausages, paˆte´s and so on), canned food (except tomatoes, see above) and all forms of candy, ice cream, sorbet, soft drinks, juices, syrups, liquor, sugar and salt.
- Notable differences vs. other paleo clinical trials is the specific allowance of two medium-sized potatoes per day.
- Notable similarities would be not only the exclusion of grains, but also dairy (that includes butter!). Also salt (sodium) is highly restricted.
- Just notable: Whether warranted or not, Cordain and others made a fairly high profile switch on canola (rapeseed) oil, but that doesn't change the fact that dressings in this study were canola or flax oil and lemon/lime juice.
Notable differences vs. Paleo™: Do I even need to list? OK, just a few:
- Relatively low fat (36%), very low sat fat (5.5%)
- 40% Carb including "real" carbs (fruits & potatoes)
- Macro proportions at least in line with Eaton & Konner
- Fruit allowed ad libitum. All fruit.
- Organ meats? Nope.
- Rice? Nope.
- Lean Meat? Yep!
- Bacon? Once per week
- Eggs not mentioned
- A dangerously 4 grams of carbohydrate into the insidious weight gain range of Mark Sisson's idiotic carb curve.
Nothing smashingly ground breaking here. But I've updated my spreadsheet of paleo clinical trials for use in an upcoming post on Paleo 2014, coming soon!