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Darryl Shaw
01-23-2009, 05:35 AM
ABSTRACT:

Background
A Paleolithic diet has been suggested to be more in concordance with human evolutionary legacy than a cereal based diet. This might explain the lower incidence among hunter-gatherers of diseases of affluence such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to experimentally study the long-term effect of a Paleolithic diet on risk factors for these diseases in domestic pigs. We examined glucose tolerance, post-challenge insulin response, plasma C-reactive protein and blood pressure after 15 months on Paleolithic diet in comparison with a cereal based swine feed.


Methods
Upon weaning twenty-four piglets were randomly allocated either to cereal based swine feed (Cereal group) or cereal free Paleolithic diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, meat and a small amount of tubers (Paleolithic group). At 17 months of age an intravenous glucose tolerance test was performed and pancreas specimens were collected for immunohistochemistry. Group comparisons of continuous variables were made by use of the t-test. P < 0.05 was chosen for statistical significance. Simple and multivariate correlations were evaluated by use of linear regression analysis.


Results
At the end of the study the Paleolithic group weighed 22% less and had 43% lower subcutaneous fat thickness at mid sternum. No significant difference was seen in fasting glucose between groups. Dynamic insulin sensitivity was significantly higher (p = 0.004) and the insulin response was significantly lower in the Paleolithic group (p = 0.001). The geometric mean of C-reactive protein was 82% lower (p = 0.0007) and intra-arterial diastolic blood pressure was 13% lower in the Paleolithic group (p = 0.007). In evaluations of multivariate correlations, diet emerged as the strongest explanatory variable for the variations in dynamic insulin sensitivity, insulin response, C-reactive protein and diastolic blood pressure when compared to other relevant variables such as weight and subcutaneous fat thickness at mid sternum. There was no obvious immunohistochemical difference in pancreatic islets between the groups, but leukocytes were clearly more frequent in sampled pancreas from the Cereal group.


Conclusion
This study in domestic pigs suggests that a Paleolithic diet conferred higher insulin sensitivity, lower C-reactive protein and lower blood pressure when compared to a cereal based diet.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1635051

Garrett Smith
01-23-2009, 08:22 AM
Wow. That's great.

Funny stuff related to the diet/diabetes connection (or non-connection, depending on who's speaking) from last night's "30 Rock" (http://blog.zap2it.com/ithappenedlastnight/2009/01/30-rock-beats-a-retreat.html):
Tracy and Kenneth: Dr. Spaceman has some bad news for Tracy. "I don't know how to say this: Dee-AY-buh-tees?" He also notes that Tracy needs to make some serious lifestyle changes, or he could lose a foot to the disease. "Could I replace it with a wheel, like Rosie from The Jetsons?" a hopeful Tracy asks. Sure, Dr. Spaceman says, "but then you'll have to register yourself as a motor vehicle."

Kenneth, for one, is very concerned about Tracy's medical news and launches a campaign to get him to eat healthy. Tracy, however, dismisses the link between diet and diabetes as "a white myth -- like Larry Bird, or Colorado." Twofer chimes in with a conspiracy theory about how the government promulgated false information about diabetes after the Civil War to keep newly freed slaves sluggish, which is why so few people know that it's really caused by sleeping on your back. (I can see the show getting some heat from diabetes groups about this, but I rather doubt that anyone would turn to 30 Rock for sound medical advice.)

Kenneth, then, is forced to pull out his big weapon: the Hill Witch, his meemaw's scare tactic to get the kids to eat their veggies. It's such a weak gambit that even Tracy isn't biting -- until a freaked-out Jenna, her hair ravaged by a jealous Katie, shows up with a broom, screaming "I'm a monster!" Cut to Tracy shoveling broccoli and carrots in his face, and scene.

Arien Malec
01-23-2009, 11:14 AM
82% lower CRP is vs. a 57% reduction in the JUPITER Crestor study after 48 months. Hmm. Drugs or food?

Mike ODonnell
01-23-2009, 02:39 PM
82% lower CRP is vs. a 57% reduction in the JUPITER Crestor study after 48 months. Hmm. Drugs or food?

Maybe we will all be saved and they can just add drugs directly to our food.....something scary tells me that this may not be far off.

Scott Hanson
01-23-2009, 04:26 PM
Interesting study. I noted that the paleo-pigs were shorter than the grain-fed pigs at the end of study, and pig-length is a correlate of human height. The paper also states that modern hunter-gatherer's are typically shorter than people from more modern cultures. How does this reconcile with the argument that human stature declined with the advent of a grain-based diet?

Darryl Shaw
01-24-2009, 04:40 AM
Scott,

The average height of a population is largely determined by the balance between population size and the quality and availability of food so whenever the population increases faster than food production stature decreases. The reason modern hunterers are much shorter than their paleolithic forebears is because of the massive increase in population resulting in there being less food to go round plus they're often pushed into less than ideal habitats further reducing the availability of food.

As for the pigs it's not so much that the paleo-pigs were small in the sense that they were underdeveloped or unhealthy it's that they were small compared with the obese grain fed pigs. This mirrors the differences between the average short but healthy hunter-gatherer and the much taller fatter westerner.

Scott Hanson
01-24-2009, 06:03 AM
Darryl,

The authors hypothesize a different cause for the length differential:

[QUOTE][The shorter length in the Paleolithic group is not unexpected if we consider length in pigs as a correlate of height in humans. Available evidence suggests that hunter-gatherers and similar ethnic groups are shorter than Western populations, and a positive relationship between height and cardiovascular disease has been noted in international comparisons [26]. Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia can hypothetically promote growth by way of insulin-like growth factors [27]./QUOTE]

I didn't mean to imply that a paleolithic diet might be less healthy because is could result in shorter stature. I'd never read that IR and hyperinsulinemia could promote taller/longer stature.

Scott Clark
01-24-2009, 10:09 AM
Damn interesting study. I never would have imagined the results would be as monstrous as they were. I expected a pretty significant difference, but those numbers blew me away.

Craig Loizides
01-25-2009, 08:30 PM
Here's an article by Cordain and Eades linking hyperinsulinemia with increased stature:
http://www.thepaleodiet.com/articles/Hyperinsulinemic%20Diseases%20Final.pdf

A lack of nutrients probably played a role in the decreased stature of early grain-based diets, but that isn't much of a problem today.

Robert Johnson
01-26-2009, 04:11 AM
The cereal group were fed just cereal (maybe some plastic bags!) and rapeseed oil?

Darryl Shaw
01-26-2009, 05:04 AM
The cereal group were fed just cereal (maybe some plastic bags!) and rapeseed oil?

Correct.

Robert Johnson
01-26-2009, 01:20 PM
It would be interesting to see comparisons between cereal, paleo, and Paleo + oats, paleo + brown rice, + rice, and things like that.