Could the Paleo Diet Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?

The so-called caveman diet has a lot of opponents and proponents. People call the Paleo diet the caveman diet because it constitutes those food items that cavemen habitually consumed; these include fish, nuts, seeds, lean meats and a variety of plant based oils.

Proponents of the Paleo diet have always argued that modern dieting schemes are responsible for the chronic illnesses plaguing the world. Long ago, people did not have access to processed foods. And they most certainly did not have access to coffee, alcohol, refined sugar and the myriad other food items and complements to food that have made the modern diet so unhealthy.Caveman Diet

It has become the goal of Paleo diet enthusiasts to convince their communities that reverting back to the dietary habits of their hunter-gatherer ancestors is the key to banishing many illnesses taking hold especially in the West.

Doctors have never truly adopted this perspective though, pointing out that the hunter-gatherer communities of centuries and millennia ago had an average lifespan of 35 years and that their diet was hardly conducive to a healthy mind and body.

While the Paleo community has largely failed in its efforts to convince the world at large of the benefits of the caveman diet, their movement might be on the cusp of resurgence especially after a medical study showed quantifiable proof that the Paleo diet could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease and the Paleo diet

Researchers from the Laboratory of Integrated Psychology (the University of Houston) believe that an eight week Paleo dietary scheme could improve your heart health. To prove this theory, the researchers sought out 8 relatively healthy adults with a history of regularly consuming a western diet rich in saturated fats and largely devoid of healthy food items like vegetables and fruit.

These subjects were educated on the basics of the Paleo diet before switching to the scheme and pursuing it for the next eight weeks. The subjects were permitted to eat as much as they wanted, so long as they adhered to a Paleo diet menu and recipe guide.

The subjects’ blood samples were tested before they changed diets, and once the eight-week period elapsed, blood samples were collected again. Upon analyzing those blood samples after the eight-week period, the researchers noted a notable increase (35 percent) in the levels of IL-10.

IL-10 is a molecule that is basically used to indicate an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease. The lower the levels of this molecule, the higher the chances of illnesses like heart attacks are.

The research team admitted that their work was still incomplete. However, the results of their study do paint the Paleo diet in a positive light, suggesting that it could improve the health of the heart in the long run.