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



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


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.


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).


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

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plasminogen activator inhibitor-1


Homeostatic model assessment


C-reactive protein


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This study was supported by grants from Stockholm County Council. We thank dietitian Viveca Annell who prepared the diet compendium on paleolithic diet, and participated in the seminars. We also thank research nurse Kirsti Westerlund, who planned and performed the medical testing.

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Correspondence to P E Wändell.

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Österdahl, M., Kocturk, T., Koochek, A. et al. Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr 62, 682–685 (2008).

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  • diet therapy
  • risk factors
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • evolution

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