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Eur Endocrinol. 2019 Aug;15(2):77-82. doi: 10.17925/EE.2019.15.2.77. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Palaeolithic Diet in Diabesity and Endocrinopathies - A Vegan's Perspective.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.
Department of Endocrinology, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Department of Endocrinology, Bharti Hospital and Bharti Research Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Karnal, Haryana, India.
Department of Endocrinology, CEDAR Super-specialty Clinics New Delhi, India.



The Palaeolithic diet is designed to resemble that of human hunter-gatherer ancestors thousands to millions of years ago. This review summarises the evidence and clinical application of this diet in various disorders. An empiric vegan variant of it has been provided, keeping in mind vegan food habits.


different types of Palaeolithic diets in vogue include the 80/20, the autoimmune, the lacto, the Palaeolithic vegan and the Palaeolithic ketogenic. We have developed an Indian variant of the Palaeolithic vegan diet, which excludes all animal-based foods. The Palaeolithic diet typically has low carbohydrate and lean protein of 30-35% daily caloric intake in addition to a fibre diet from non-cereal, plant-based sources, up to 45-100 g daily. In different observational studies, beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome, blood pressure, glucose tolerance, insulin secretion, lipid profiles and cardiovascular risk factors have been documented with the Palaeolithic diet. Short-term randomised controlled trials have documented weight loss, and improved glycaemia and adipo-cytokine profiles. Few concerns of micronutrient deficiency (e.g. calcium) have been raised.


Initial data are encouraging with regard to the use of the Palaeolithic diet in managing diabesity. There is an urgent need for large randomised controlled trials to evaluate the role of the Palaeolithic diet with different anti-diabetes medications for glycaemic control and the reversal of type 2 diabetes.


Palaeolithic diet; diabesity; low carbohydrate diet; metabolic syndrome; obesity; weight loss

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure: Lovely Gupta, Deepak Khandelwal, Priti Rishi Lal and Sanjay Kalra and Deep Dutta have no conflicts of interest to declare in relation to this article.

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