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Is the Paleo Diet good for the heart?


The Paleo diet which was founded by Loren cordain, has become the new hollywood trend in

recent years, with some celebrities swearing by it. When Jack Osbourne was diagnosed with

Multiple Sclerosis he decided to eliminate grains, gluten and dairy, because these food cause

inflammation in the body. Actress Megan Fox attributes shedding her post­pregnancy weight to the

diet, and Uma Thurman says it helps to keep her slim and healthy. The Paleo diet is what our

Stone Age ancestors survived on. It contains meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, olive oil and seeds.

Processed foods, dairy products, potatoes, salt, refined sugar, grains, legumes coffee,and alcohol

are avoided. There has been controversy about how beneficial it is to our health, with some

researchers claiming that our predescors only lived to be 35 years old, and if the diet was really

healthy then they should have lived longer than this. However, new research by Chad Dolan, of

the Laboratory of Integrative Psychology at the University of Houston, TX, and colleagues found

that healthy adults who switched their conventional diet to a Paleo diet experienced an increase in

interleukin­10 (IL­10) levels, indicating a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The findings were

reported at the American Physiological Society’s Inflammation, Immunity and Cardiovascular

Disease Conference in Wesminter, CO.

The researchers asked eight adults who usually eat the standard Western diet, which is rich in

saturated fats, grains and processed foods, and low in meat, vegetables and fruit to swap to the

Paleo diet for 8 weeks. They were given recipes and told that this wasn’t a calorie­counting diet,

and that they could eat as many of these foods as they wanted throughout the 8 week period. The

participants were given blood tests before and after the diet and after 8 weeks of following the diet,

they had a 35 percent increase in levels of the molecule IL – 10. The researchers explained that

low levels of IL­10 can cause heart attacks among people who have high inflammation levels. The

individuals inflammation levels were not checked, but the researchers speculate that because their

IL – 10 levels were higher after consuming the Paleo diet, that this could reduce inflammation,

thus decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Chad Dolan says “This study’s findings add to the possibility that short­term dietary changes

from a traditional Western pattern of eating to foods promoted in the Paleo diet may improve

health ­ or, at the very least, the diet does not have negative health implications in terms of

the parameters we studied. If our research continues to show that the Paleo diet produces

detectable changes in healthy individuals, it will substantiate claims made by those

supporting this diet for the past few decades and provide preliminary evidence for another

therapeutic strategy for cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease prevention.”

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