As of 2016 there are limited data on the metabolic effects on humans eating a paleo diet, but the data are based on clinical trials that have been too small to have a statistical significance sufficient to allow the drawing of generalizations.[3][6][20][not in citation given] These preliminary trials have found that participants eating a paleo nutrition pattern had better measures of cardiovascular and metabolic health than people eating a standard diet,[3][9] though the evidence is not strong enough to recommend the paleo diet for treatment of metabolic syndrome.[9] As of 2014 there was no evidence the paleo diet is effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease.[21]
The WHO trial (so named because the international team of principal investigators contained World Health Organization members) tested the potential of clofibrate, a “pre-statin” cholesterol-lowering agent, to reduce heart attack morbidity and mortality. The investigators ultimately concluded that clofibrate "cannot be recommended as a lipid-lowering drug for community-wide primary prevention of ischaemic heart disease.” Nevertheless, clofibrate remained in use until 2002, when it was pulled for increasing cancer rates. In their review of studies such as the WHO trial, Uffe Ravnskov and David Diamond observe, “Despite the largely disappointing findings from 50 years of cholesterol lower[ing] trials, the indictment and conviction of cholesterol as the causal agent in CVD [cardiovascular disease] has stood the test of time. … [Yet] the grand effort to reduce cholesterol as a strategy to improve health has failed.”