Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Dipu Patel



Purpose: This clinical review article aims to assess the effects of the Paleolithic diet on the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors.

Method: A literature search of PubMed and Google Scholar was performed using "Cardiovascular disease AND Paleo' diet in the search bar. Publications with the following criteria were included: 1) published in the last five years; 2) a clinical trial, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trial, review, or systematic review; 3) evaluated Paleolithic diet; 4) assessed cardiovascular risk factors. Studies were excluded if they 1) were conducted on pediatric patient populations, 2) did not specifically evaluate the Paleolithic diet, or 3) did not report target outcomes of reduction of cardiovascular risk factors. Six articles met the inclusion criteria and are the basis of the clinical review.

Results: Several studies and meta-analyses show the Paleolithic diet has measurable and significant decreases in many cardiovascular risk factors: weight, waist circumference, BMI, body fat, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.7 The Paleo diet improves insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in patients with Type II diabetes. There is also a significant decrease in leptin.8 The Paleo diet also has powerful beneficial metabolic effects on obesity, with significant weight loss often achieved in 8 weeks.7 Identifying a diet that will decrease cardiovascular risk factors is a priority for public health.

Conclusion: Cardiovascular disease is a global epidemic that is the leading cause of death worldwide. Nearly half of all cardiovascular deaths in the United States are attributed to poor diet.3 Additional research on the Paleolithic diet is urgently needed to provide dietary recommendations that significantly reduce cardiovascular risk factors.


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