Single-Arm 8-Week Ad Libitum Self-Prepared Paleo Diet Reduces Cardiometabolic Disease Risk Factors in Overweight Adults

Melissa M. Markofski, Kristofer Jennings, Chad Dolan, Natalie A. Davies, Emily C. LaVoy, Edward J. Ryan, Andres E. Carrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The paleo diet is popular among the general population due to promoted weight loss and disease prevention benefits. We examined the effectiveness of a self-administered paleo diet in improving cardiometabolic disease risk factors. Overweight, physically inactive but otherwise healthy adults (males = 4, females = 3, age 32.7 ± 4.9 years, body mass index [BMI] 29.4 ± 2.4 kg/m2) habitually eating a traditional Western diet (1853.4 ± 441.2 kcal; 34.0% carbohydrate; 41.4% fat; 19.2% protein) completed an ad libitum self-administered paleo diet for 8 weeks. Height, weight, blood pressure, and a fasting blood sample were collected pre– and post–paleo dietary intervention. Blood samples were analyzed for fasting cardiometabolic disease biomarkers—including brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 21, and leptin. After 8 weeks, body mass (−5.3 kg, P =.008), BMI (−1.7 kg/m2, P =.002), serum leptin (−56.2%, P =.012), serum FGF21 (−26.7%, P =.002), and serum BDNF (−25.8%, P =.045) significantly decreased. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were unchanged following the paleo dietary intervention (P >.05). Average energy intake (−412.6 kcal, P =.016) significantly decreased with the paleo dietary intervention mostly due to a reduction in carbohydrate consumption (−69.2 g; P =.003). An 8-week self-administered paleo dietary intervention was effective in improving cardiometabolic disease risk factors in a healthy, physically inactive overweight adult population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-700
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • dietary intervention
  • inflammation
  • metabolic syndrome
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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