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Open Access Publications from the University of California

To Restore Health, “Do we Have to Go Back to the Future?” The Impact of a 4-Day Paleolithic Lifestyle Change on Human Metabolism – a Pilot Study.


On their way from the Stone Age via the Agricultural Revolution to current high-tech conditions, humans lost their primal foraging behavior. Today, energy expenditure is not necessary anymore for gathering nor hunting, and metabolic diseases are epidemically arising wherever our original Paleolithic lifestyle is turning into a modern sedentary lifestyle. In this pilot study, we followed through the concept that a radical change towards a Paleolithic hunter-gatherer lifestyle could serve as therapy against any metaflammatory disease, even in the short term. Thirteen healthy adult volunteers were transferred to the DELUX National Park (Germany and Luxembourg) for four days and three nights, where Stone Age conditions where mimicked. Thirty-eight biochemical and bioelectrical parameters were measured from participants before and after this relocation. Body weight (-3,9%), body fat (-7,5%), body mass index (-3,8%), visceral fat area (-14,4%) and metaflammation-related parameters (fasting glucose = -18,2%; fasting insulin = -50,1%; HOMA = -57,8%) decreased significantly. C-reactive protein, as the main indicator for low-grade inflammation, increased up to an average of 169,6 %. Our data show that returning to our Paleolithic roots may have positive effects on risk factors commonly associated with metabolic disorders, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. These findings may lead the way to further research to answer the question whether the already existing metabolic conditions and/or autoimmune and neuroinflammatory diseases could be influenced by a Paleolithic lifestyle.

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