Researchers who set out to prove the benefits of the Paleo diet have instead discovered it could cause significant and rapid weight gain.
The study by Melbourne University researchers, took two groups of overweight mice with pre-diabetes symptoms. One group was put on the low-carb, high-fat Paleo diet, and the other on their normal diet
The scientists found that mice on the Paleo diet gained 15 per cent of their body weight, in only eight weeks.
The findings, published in Nature’s Nutrition and Diabetes journal have reignited the debate between scientists and celebrity chefs over the controversial diet.
The increasingly popular Paleo (or “caveman”) diet has been touted as a way to lose weight and even reverse or better manage conditions like diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
But University of Melbourne diabetes researcher Associate Professor Sof Andrikopoulos said the results of his study were a cautionary tale about fad diets.
Professor Andrikopoulos began research to find out whether the Paleo diet could benefit patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Mice were used for the study due to their genetic, biological, and behavioural characteristics which closely resemble that of humans.