Loren Cordain

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Loren Cordain (born 24 October 1950) is an American scientist who specializes in fields of nutrition and exercise physiology. He is notable as an advocate of the paleolithic diet[1] and a researcher into paleolithic nutrition; he wrote numerous peer-reviewed articles on the subject, as well as several popular books, most notably, The Paleo Diet.[2] He has written that diet is at the root of modern health problems such as cardiovascular disease,[3][4] autoimmune diseases,[5] acne,[6] and hyperinsulinemic diseases[7]

He argues that practitioners of the Paleolithic diet should derive about 56%–65% of their food energy from animal foods and 36%–45% from plant foods in a diet high in protein (19%–35% energy) and relatively low in carbohydrates (22%–40% energy), with a fat intake (28%–58% energy) similar to or higher than that found in Western diets.[8][9] [10]

In modern forager diets, dietary protein is characteristically elevated (19%–35% of energy) at the expense of carbohydrate (22%–40% of energy).[11]

He has also written on lifestyle in the evolutionary context, arguing that the optimal level of physical activity is on the order of 90 calories per kilogram per week (900 cal/day for a 70 kg human.)[12]

Loren Cordain obtained a B.S. in Health Sciences from Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon in 1972. In 1978 he got his M.Sc. in Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada-Reno. In 1981 he was awarded his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology by the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.[13]

He is currently a tenured professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University.[13]


The Paleo Diet Revised: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Revised edition December 7, 2010) ISBN 0470913029

The Paleo Diet for Athletes: The Ancient Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance (with Joe Friel) Rodale Books (Revised edition October 16, 2012) ISBN 160961917X

The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages (with Nell Stephenson) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (December 7, 2010) ISBN 0470913045

The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (October 16, 2012) ISBN 1118404157

Works – example journal papers[edit]

  • Cordain, L. (1999). "Cereal grains: humanity’s double-edged sword." World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics. 84:19-73.
  • O’Keefe J.H., Cordain L. (2004) "Cardiovascular disease as a result of a diet and lifestyle at odds with our Paleolithic genome: how to become a 21st century hunter-gatherer". Mayo Clinic Proceedings 79:101-108.
  • Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann, N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand Miller J. (2005) "Origins and Evolution of the Western Diet: Health Implications for the 21st Century". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 81:341-54.
  • Cordain L, Eaton SB, Brand Miller J, Lindeberg S, Jensen C, "An evolutionary analysis of the etiology and pathogenesis of juvenile-onset myopia". Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Vol. 80 No. 2:125–35.
  • Cordain L, Lindeberg S, Hurtado M, Hill K, Eaton SB, Brand-Miller J, "Acne vulgaris: a disease of Western civilization". Archives of Dermatology V138 No. 12:1584-90.
  • Cordain L, (2005) "Implications for the role of diet in acne". Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery Vol. 24 No 2:84-91.


  1. ^ Cordain, Loren (2006). "Implications of Plio-Pleistocene Hominin Diets for Modern Humans (PDF)". In Ungar, Peter S. Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable. Oxford, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 363–83. ISBN 0-19-518346-0. 
  2. ^ Loren Cordain. The Paleo Diet. ISBN 0-471-22567-3. 
  3. ^ O'Keefe JH Jr, Cordain L, Harris WH, Moe RM, Vogel R (June 2004). "Optimal low-density lipoprotein is 50 to 70 mg/dl: lower is better and physiologically normal". Journal of the American College of Cardiology (American College of Cardiology) 43 (11): 2142–46. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2004.03.046. PMID 15172426. 
  4. ^ O'Keefe JH Jr, Cordain L, Jones PG, Abuissa H. (July 2006). "Coronary artery disease prognosis and C-reactive protein levels improve in proportion to percent lowering of low-density lipoprotein". The American Journal of Cardiology 98 (1): 135–39. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2006.01.062. PMID 16784936. 
  5. ^ Cordain, Loren (1999). "Cereal grains: humanity's double-edged sword" (PDF). World review of nutrition and dietetics. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 84: 19–73. doi:10.1159/000059677. ISBN 3-8055-6827-4. PMID 10489816. 
  6. ^ Cordain, Loren (2006). "Dietary implications for the development of acne: a shifting paradigm (PDF)". In Bedlow, J. US Dermatology Review 2006—Issue II. London: Touch Briefings Publications. 
  7. ^ | author = Cordain L, Eades MR, Eades MD | title = Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X | journal = Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology | volume = 136 | issue = 1 | pages = 95–112 | year = 2003 | pmid = 14527633 | doi = 10.1016/S1095-6433(03)00011-4 | url = http://thepaleodiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Hyperinsulinemic-diseases-of-civilization-more-than-just-Syndrome-Xabstract.pdf | format = PDF
  8. ^ Cordain L, Miller JB, Eaton SB, Mann N, Holt SH, Speth JD (1 March 2000). "Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71 (3): 682–92. PMID 10702160. 
  9. ^ Cordain L, Eaton SB, Miller JB, Mann N, Hill K (March 2002). "The paradoxical nature of hunter-gatherer diets: meat based, yet non-atherogenic" (PDF). European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 56 (Suppl 1): S42–52. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601353. PMID 11965522. 
  10. ^ Cordain, Loren (2006). "Saturated fat consumption in ancestral human diets: implications for contemporary intakes". In Meskin, Mark S.; Bidlack, Wayne R.; & Randolph, R. Keith. Phytochemicals: Nutrient-Gene Interactions. CRC Press. pp. 115–26. ISBN 0-8493-4180-9. 
  11. ^ Cordain L, Miller JB, Eaton SB, Mann N (1 December 2000). "Macronutrient estimations in hunter-gatherer diets". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (6): 1589–92. PMID 11101497. 
  12. ^ Cordain L et al. (1998). "Physical activity, energy expenditure and fitness: an evolutionary perspective". International Journal of Sports Medicine. 
  13. ^ a b "Loren Cordain, Ph.D.".