A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims/hypothesis Most studies of diet in glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes have focused on intakes of fat, carbohydrate, fibre, fruits and vegetables. Instead, we aimed to compare diets that were available during human evolution with more recently introduced ones. Methods Twenty-nine patients with ischaemic heart disease plus either glucose intolerance or type 2 diabetes were randomised to receive (1) a Palaeolithic ('CyOld Stone Age') diet (n=14), based on lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, eggs and nuts; or (2) a Consensus (Mediterranean-like) diet (n=15), based on whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, fruits, fish, oils and margarines. Primary outcome variables were changes in weight, waist circumference and plasma glucose AUC (AUC Glucose(0-120)) and plasma insulin AUC (AUC Insulin(0-120)) in OGTTs. Results Over 12 weeks, there was a 26% decrease of AUC Glucose(0-120) (p=0.0001) in the Palaeolithic group and a 7% decrease (p=0.08) in the Consensus group. The larger (p=0.001) improvement in the Palaeolithic group was independent (p=0.0008) of change in waist circumference (-5.6 cm in the Palaeolithic group, -2.9 cm in the Consensus group; p=0.03). In the study population as a whole, there was no relationship between change in AUC Glucose(0-120) and changes in weight (r=-0.06, p=0.9) or waist circumference (r=0.01, p=1.0). There was a tendency for a larger decrease of AUC Insulin(0-120) in the Palaeolithic group, but because of the strong association between change in AUC Insulin(0-120) and change in waist circumference (r=0.64, p=0.0003), this did not remain after multivariate analysis. Conclusions/interpretationA Palaeolithic diet may improve glucose tolerance independently of decreased waist circumference.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • type 2 diabetes, evolution, diet, palaeolithic diet, glucose intolerance, ischaemic heart disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1795-1807
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

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Tommy Jönsson, 2007, Division of Family Medicine Department of Clinical Sciences Lund University Sweden. 122 p.

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