Dr. Lynda Frassetto is a Professor of Medicine and Nephrology at the University of California San Francisco. She and her colleagues have completed a study of the Paleolithic diet as a treatment for diabetes (type 2, I think). As far as I know, details have not yet been published in the medical literature.
Dr. Frassetto spoke at the Ancestral Health Symposium-2012 earlier this year. You can view the 35-minute video here.
She is convinced that a paleo diet, compared to a Mediterranean-style diet, is better at controlling blood sugars and “reducing insulin” in diabetics (presumably type 2s). Insulin sensitivity is improved, particularly in those with insulin resistance to start with. The paleo diet group saw an average drop of fasting glucose by 23 mg/dl (1.3 mmol/l). One slide you’ll see in the video indicates the paleo diet reduced absolute hemoglobin A1c by 0.3%, compared to 0.2% with the “Mediterranean” diet. (Let me know if I got the numbers wrong.)
Color me underwhelmed so far.
Questions raised by the video include:
- what is the UCSF version of the paleo diet?
- how many participants were in her study?
- how long did her study last?
- did she study only type 2 diabetics?
- what exactly was the control diet?
- how severe were the cases of diabetes studied?
For answers, we await publication of the formal report.
PS: I’m quite interested in the paleo diet as a treatment for diabetes. I explore the concept at the Paleo Diabetic blog.