Of Mice And Men — Again

      86 Comments on Of Mice And Men — Again

I saw the scary headlines a couple of days ago. You probably did too. The one that caught my attention was this:

Diabetes expert warns paleo diet is dangerous and increases weight gain

That headline was over an article on the EurekaAlert! website. Here are the opening paragraphs:

A new study has revealed following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for just eight weeks can lead to rapid weight gain and health complications.

The surprise finding, detailed in a paper in Nature journal Nutrition and Diabetes, has prompted University of Melbourne researchers to issue a warning about putting faith in so-called fad diets with little or no scientific evidence.

Goodness, no, we wouldn’t want to make our dietary decisions based on little or no scientific evidence. Luckily for us, someone conducted a rigorous and relevant scientific study before declaring the paleo diet dangerous for humans.  That’s why it made such a splash in the news.

Here are some paragraphs from another article that appeared in Medical News Today online:

Scientists have warned against following celebrities into “fad” diets that are not supported by scientific evidence, as findings published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes reveal that just 8 weeks on the “Paleo” diet can pile on the pounds and raise the risk of health problems.

Adherents of the LCHF diet consume more protein, fiber and fat than the average Western diet and less sugar and starchy carbohydrates.

Suggested “dos” include grass-produced meats, fish or seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils such as olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut.

Foods to avoid include cereal grains, legumes – including peanuts – dairy products, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, salt and refined vegetable oils.

So apparently, those rigorous and concerned scientists fed people more protein, more fat, and less sugar than a standard diet and were surprised when the paleo dieters experienced rapid weight gain and health complications in just eight weeks.

Damn, that is worrisome. To think I’ve been operating under the assumption that a diet of grass-produced meats, fish or seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils such as olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut would be good for me. I was so very, very disappointed to learn than people who spent eight weeks living on grass-produced meats, fish or seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils such as olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut got fat and sick.

But since I’m not an idiot, I kept reading. Here are more quotes from the Medical News Today article:

Researchers at the University of Melbourne were concerned about the hazards of a paleo diet, especially for those who are already overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle and for individuals with pre-diabetes or diabetes.

To investigate, they took two groups of overweight mice with symptoms of pre-diabetes.

The mice in one group consumed an LCHF diet for 8 weeks, 60% of which was fat, compared with their usual 3% fat intake. Carbohydrates made up 20%. The mice in the control group ate their usual food.

After 8 weeks, the Paleo diet group had increased in weight, glucose intolerance and insulin. The mice had gained 15% of their body weight, and their fat mass had doubled from 2% to almost 4%.

This “extreme weight gain” is equivalent to a person who weighs 200 pounds gaining 30 pounds in 2 months.

Wowzers. So if you switch to a diet of grass-produced meats, fish or seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils such as olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut, you could gain 30 pounds in just two months – if you’re a mouse.

Then again, I’ve seen headlines before about mouse studies that supposedly demonstrated the hazards of a paleo or LCHF diet. The scientists never seem to feed those mice grass-produced meats, fish or seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils such as olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut.

So I took a peek at the full study. Let’s see what the researchers themselves have to say:

NZO mice were maintained on either standard rodent chow or an LCHFD from 6 to 15 weeks of age.

What the heck is an NZO mouse? Yeah, I wondered that myself. So I looked it up on the website for a company that supplies them:

NZO mice of both sexes exhibit high birth weights and are significantly heavier at weaning age. Severe obesity (including both visceral and subcuatneous fat depots) develops even when mice are maintained on a standard diet containing 4.5% fat.

I see. So we’re talking about mice bred to become obese, even on a low-fat diet.

Both males and females of the NZO/Hl substrain exhibit impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), but subsequent type 2 maturity onset (NIDDM) diabetes development is limited to males, with a phenotype penetrance of 50% or less. NZO/Hl mice also show anti-insulin receptor antibodies, a defect in leptin transport, and hypertension.

Wow, sounds just like me. In fact – amusing story here – I used to wonder why my parents, who were struggling financially when The Older Brother was born, decided to add the expense of a second child a mere 18 months later. I always assumed it was because they were Catholic and that’s what the rhythm method accomplishes: it makes more Catholics.

Eventually, I dared to asked my mom why they had me so soon after my brother. Her reply was something like, “We were very interested in biology and wanted to produce a son who would become severely obese on a standard diet and show impaired glucose tolerance, anti-insulin receptor antibodies, a defect in leptin transport, and hypertension. That was you.”

So I’m totally on board with the idea of applying the results of an NZO mouse study to me. Still, I can’t help but wonder about that diet. Let’s go back to the study:

Prior to the study, all mice were fed a standard rodent maintenance diet. At 6 weeks of age, mice were either transferred to an LCHFD or maintained on the standard diet (chow) for a further 9 weeks. The LCHFD contained 24 MJ kg−1 digestible energy (3.1 MJ or 13% coming from protein, 1.5 MJ or 6% from carbohydrate and 19.5 MJ or 81% from fat. The chow diet contained 13.5 MJ kg−1 digestible energy, with 2.7 MJ or 20% coming from protein, 9.5 MJ or 70% from carbohydrate and 1.4 MJ or 10% from fat.

I see. The standard-chow mice got a diet of 20% protein, while the “paleo” mice got a diet of 13% protein. Wait a minute … how did the Medical News Today article describe a paleo diet again? Let me go find that quote again … okay, here it is:

Adherents of the LCHF diet consume more protein, fiber and fat than the average Western diet and less sugar and starchy carbohydrates.

So the “paleo” mice consumed 35% less protein than the control group. And according to the study documents, the protein the “paleo” mice consumed consisted entirely of casein. Let’s look up the definition of that word.

A protein precipitated from milk, as by rennet, and forming the basis of cheese and certain plastics.

Yup, this is sounding more and more like a true representation of the paleo diet. That’s what most paleo dieters I know do: they precipitate milk as by rennet to isolate the casein and then eat it.

Well, at least the mouse “paleo” diet was high in fat – perhaps ridiculously high in fat, but high in fat. And I’m sure they were paleo fats. After all, as the Medical News Today article clearly stated, paleo dieters avoid cereal grains, legumes, dairy products, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, salt and refined vegetable oils.

So I looked up the contents of the “paleo” diet. As a percent of the total, the “paleo” mice got 54% of calories from cocoa butter, 14% from clarified butter, and 14% from canola oil.

Dangit! That is EXACTLY LIKE MY PALEO DIET! I get up every morning and swallow big globs of cocoa butter, then wash it down with clarified butter and canola oil … because it’s not as if butter (or casein) is a dairy product and canola oil is a refined vegetable oil or anything. I take my paleo seriously.

I kept reading to make sure the relative increase in fat intake for the mice was similar to the relative increase in fat for humans who switch to a LCHF diet. Here’s what the study had to say:

Rodent chow is normally low in fat (3% of energy) and high in carbohydrates (approximately 50% starch). In contrast, the LCHFD used here had a very low carbohydrate (only 6% of energy, 100% sucrose) and high fat content (81% of energy).

Just as I feared: the change is totally relevant to humans going LCHF. Compared to their normal diet, the “paleo” mice increased their fat intake by 2567%. Same here. When I switched from low-fat to paleo, the percent of fat in my diet went from 20% to 513% of total calories. I had no idea that would be bad for me — especially the canola oil.

The carb content of the “paleo” diet was low, of course. And since paleo is what it is, those carbs probably came from vegetables, maybe some tubers …

The carbohydrate content of the LCHFD was exclusively derived from simple sugar.

Wait a minute … the paleo mice got 6% of their calories (100% of the carb calories) from simple sugar? Well, I’m sure that was at least a reduction compared to the standard chow.

Typically, rodent chow carbohydrate is contributed to by 50% starch and approximately 2% simple sugars.

I see. So the non-paleo mice got 2% of their calories from simple sugars, and the “paleo” mice got 6% of their calories from simple sugars. Well, once again, that’s exactly what happens when people go on a paleo diet: they triple their intake of simple sugars. That’s why the Medical News Today article mentioned this:

Foods to avoid include cereal grains, legumes – including peanuts – dairy products, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, salt and refined vegetable oils.

So there you have it. Mice and men. People who try paleo diets are almost exactly like NZO mice, and the paleo diets they try are almost exactly like the “paleo” diet in this study. So if you go paleo, you’re probably going to get fat and sick. I know it’s true, because the lead researcher said so:

Lead author, Associate Prof Sof Andrikopoulos says this type of diet, exemplified in many forms of the popular Paleo diet, is not recommended – particularly for people who are already overweight and lead sedentary lifestyles.

“Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets are becoming more popular, but there is no scientific evidence that these diets work. In fact, if you put an inactive individual on this type of diet, the chances are that person will gain weight,” Andrikopoulos, President of the Australian Diabetes Society, said.

Yup, the lead researcher is President of the Australian Diabetes Society, which (like our own Diabetes Society) has been pushing low-fat diets for years. But I’m sure that didn’t affect how he designed or interpreted the study.

And neither did the fact that (according to his bio) he’s received a lot of research money from drug companies. I mean, It’s not as if the paleo diet would reduce the need for drugs or anything.

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86 thoughts on “Of Mice And Men — Again

  1. Sandy

    And the design and interpretation of the study was very unlikely to have been influenced by the fact that he published a ‘World-leading breakthrough in diabetes research’ in October 2015…and a highlighted quote from the article stated “The Abcc8 gene that we have identified will result in more targeted durable pharmaceuticals”.

    We can’t have people controlling their diabetes with diet when there are targeted and durable pharmaceuticals to be developed, for heaven’s sake!

    Reply
      1. JillOz

        Tom, a really splendid fisking!!

        If you’re not familiar with the term, “fisking” – careful how you write that – refers to a line-by-line takedown/analysis of any piece ever written by notoriously inaccurate, prevaricating and frankly partisan journalist Robert Fisk, especially in relation to matters Israeli and also Middle Eastern.

        Reply
  2. SnowDog

    Did you see this:

    “The LCHFD contained 24 MJ kg−1 digestible energy…”

    “he chow diet contained 13.5 MJ kg−1 digestible energy…”

    They’re feeding the LCHFD mice almost TWICE as many calories; so those percentages on the chow diet are even misleading. Double them!

    Reply
          1. Walter Bushell

            More palatable — Sure works for humans. And the low carb diet was nutrient poor, because based on edible (mostly not even food like) substances.

            I suspect the mice ate more to try to get essential nutrients, as well as the palatability provided by the sugar.

            O today’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic has correct arrow of causation.
            Autism casuses vaccines.

            http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=4033

            Reply
  3. Bob Niland

    Sisson was even harder on it than you were.

    One of the authors on the paper is also on a grant review board. One consequence of this (pick one) [bungled|sabotaged|sham|totally-competent] trial is that future grant money may not be available to conduct a properly designed study, because it’s now considered a settled matter.

    Reply
      1. gollum

        MSM are already pestering one downunda LC chef about how he’s at odds with SCIENCE!. Said the study author, I has no conflict of interest cause I don’t sell cookbooks. I thought that was a remarkable statement indeed.

        The poor LC chef got exposure through his antisocial media postings. I guess that’s all what counts. They want to poison the morons, they don’t care about researchers and bloggers?

        At Hyperlipid they don’t even discuss it, they just roll their eyes and wonder how the hospital personnel selection process in NZ works.

        So far not much impact in lugenpresse (there was literally nothing in the MSM until 1-2 days ago – perhaps they test in the anglosphere first how much people will eat up), but the nonsense is starting to trickle down. Being clueless about NZO mice and Supplement 1 they can only wriggle and cringe. One amusing copypasta from Anglosphere was the “gluten intolerance” those poor mice supposedly got. Cruelty to animals, I call!

        Reply
  4. Michael Niedermayer

    The study was clearly rigged from the start. I do have one question though.
    How come the Paleo diet is so adamant about avoiding legumes? It doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that even Paleolithic man may have picked some peas or string beans to nibble on.. whatever varieties may have been available then. I’m not sure which beans mice prefer either.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The theory is that legumes contains lectins that are harmful. Several people have pointed out that many lectins are neutralized by soaking and/or heating. Native Americans in the east planted the “three sisters”: maize, beans and squash. They apparently didn’t suffer from consuming the beans.

      Reply
      1. Angel

        Some people will obviously have more ability to tolerate legumes than others. I do think, however, that time may eventually show that disrupted gut biomes, especially along the lines of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) to be a significant factor in many people’s intolerance of legumes. if it is possible to restore a robust gut biome (I’ll admit I’m not currently hopeful regarding this) then maybe it will be possible for more people to eat properly raised and prepared grains, dairy and legumes.

        Reply
  5. Matt M

    I knew I was doing something wrong when I lost 60 pounds on lchf. Acording to ‘experts’ I should be overweight and unhealthy instead

    Reply
  6. js290

    Strictly “paleo” speaking, what would the selection pressure be for NZO out in the wild?

    When so called “scientists” stop understanding Nature, they quickly become what Taleb refers to as charlatans.

    Reply
  7. Bob

    “Dangit! That is EXACTLY LIKE MY PALEO DIET! I get up every morning and swallow big globs of cocoa butter, then wash it down with clarified butter and canola oil …”

    Jimmy Moore didn’t have much luck with that type of diet either…

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Jimmy has stayed here for a week at time. He ate butter, but I never saw him swallow globs of cocoa butter or drink canola oil.

      Reply
  8. Tom Welsh

    And, of course, as we all know, mice have exactly the same dietary requirements and preferences as human beings. After all, they are much the same size and shape, and occupy almost exactly the same ecological niches.

    Didn’t the “China Study” people commit a similar batch of fallacious inferences after feeding mice or rats on casein and other yummy goodies?

    No wonder the lives of palaeolithic hunter-gatherers were so hard. Imagine not being able to eat until they tracked down a mother lode of casein.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s exactly what he did. Plus he fed the rats huge amounts of aflatoxins, something like the equivalent of what you’d get in a thousand pounds of peanuts.

      Reply
      1. Justin

        and, if I recall, most of the rats in the “healthy diet” group that didn’t get cancer, couldn’t… because they died.

        Reply
    2. gallier2

      No he did even worse than that. He had 2 group of mice, one with starvation ration of protein (5% afair) , another with more a bit more (15%). The one with more protein didn’t die outright from the start and were alive long enough to develop cancer from the aflatoxin. The 5% mice didn’t develop cancer simply because they were dead.
      Chris Masterjohn revealed that Campbell trick in an article
      http://www.westonaprice.org/our-blogs/cmasterjohn/the-curious-case-of-campbells-rats-does-protein-deficiency-prevent-cancer/

      Reply
  9. fredt

    The leading cause of obesity in mice is science.

    But we humans can overeat on Paleo, if we have other factors driving overeating. It is these other factors that we also need to address. Oh well.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      We can overeat on any diet. Thing is, when I stuff myself on meats, I don’t get the bloat like when I used to stuff myself with pasta.

      Reply
  10. tw

    One question the study did not address: if a person ate NZO mice would they be satiated, have normal blood sugar, and over a period of weeks of eating these mice, lose weight……?

    Reply
  11. Joshua

    This quote struck me… “After 8 weeks, the Paleo diet group had increased in weight, glucose intolerance and insulin. The mice had gained 15% of their body weight, and their fat mass had doubled from 2% to almost 4%”

    Where did the rest of the weight go? If the mice went from 100 weight units to 115 weight units, fat went from 2 weight units to 4.6 weight units. That leaves 12.4 weight units unaccounted for. Muscle? Bone? Other? Or am I missing something from the original study?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I didn’t add up the changes in lean mass and fat mass, but I did notice they said the “paleo” mice got heavier and fatter despite not eating more. So much for calories.

      Reply
  12. Mike

    Just the other day our dogs cornered a mouse in the back yard, but the mouse fought them to a standstill with stone hunting spears and the use of fire. They are herding dogs though, and I fear they may build a guided missile to get in the last word.

    Reply
  13. Steve

    ___In fact, if you put an inactive individual on this type of diet, the chances are that person will gain weight,”___

    Oh really? I lost 50 lbs in 7 months with literally no exercise on a LC diet. Damn facts again.

    Reply
    1. gollum

      Well unfortunately, I can report that you can gain significant weight with LC. Back to 300 pounds from 2009 (from 120 kg then 103 kg).

      I hope some of this is muscle, but pants don’t agree.

      Didn’t change much in composition, maybe a bit too relaxed on the rice and protein, maybe too liberal with the O3 bottle. Could put it down to sloth maybe, but the funny thing is when I commuted a lot the weight stayed stubbornly at 120. There is hormonal stuff at work here we just don’t understand yet. Recently heard you can’t exclude thyroid problem EVEN WITH TSH=normal (whatever they call normal now, norm value “adapted” 4 to 2.5, some researchers say anything over 2 is not healthy) and normal values for fT3 fT4, isn’t this medicine thing great? Well but I still don’t freeze easily which is textbook underthyroid, still prefer 10K colder than most people, short shirt in winter etc.

      And before you start the testo doping I may remind you that your fat pads contain aromatase, which makes estrogen out of it. You don’t want that.

      Reply
  14. Clint

    “A new study has revealed following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for just eight weeks can lead to rapid weight gain and health complications.”

    I must be doing it wrong, I lost weight and my health improved!

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        There is that important question:”Are you a man[1] or are you a mouse?!”

        [1] Man here includes women, girls, boys etcetera.

        Reply
  15. Armando

    This sounds dumb, but why don’t they use wild caught mice? Wouldn’t that be more scientific? It is not like people are predisposed to become obese and diabetic. Also we have a different microbiome from them as well.

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Wild caught mice vary so it’s harder to get reproducible results. They would have to run much bigger studies.

        Humans are also a wild species genetically so one diet for everyone is a non starter. I am open to an investigation as to wether some people need a vegan diet for optimal health or not. It’s possible, from what I know. Butt AFAIK, there have been no studies done under clinical conditions of vegan diets, as Vilhjalmur Stefansson did. We cannot rule out the possibility that some or all of the most vocal vegans are not reporting their diet honestly. “I didn’t mean to eat that bagel with cream cheese; it was cheating and doesn’t count.

        Reply
  16. Michael Steadman

    So according to these researchers the Paleo way of eating is a fad and not based in science (never mind humans have been nurtured on this diet for thousands of years), yet the much beloved low-fat, near vegetarian Mediterranean diet is rooted in tried and true “science” and has produced stellar results?

    Reply
    1. Firebird

      I don’t consider the Mediterranean Diet to be near vegetarian. They eat meats within their region. It closely resembles the Zone Diet.

      Reply
  17. Stipetic

    It seems studies in wild-type humans aren’t relevant (see below). Must undertake study in NZO humans next with processed pseudo-(not)paleolithic diet. Canola-soaked casein cubes for dessert.

    Paleolithic diet studies in type 2 diabetes in humans (versus either Diabetes recommended diet or Mediterranean diet):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17583796 (Ahren 2007)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17522610 (Wandell 2008)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19209185 (Sebastian 2009)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19604407 (Lindeberg 2009)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21118562 (Lindeberg 2010)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25304296 (Jong 2014)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25661189 (Berry 2015)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25828624 (Frassetto 2015)

    Meta-analysis of paleolithic diet in metabolic syndrome:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26269362 (Pijl 2015)

    Reply
  18. Stephen Richardson

    What has the world come to? This new study is starting to make me think I can’t believe everything I read online.

    Reply
        1. A.Gore

          Ha, no. It was I who discovered the internet while on an archaeological excursion deep in the Amazon jungle to find relics of global warming.

          Reply
  19. Vicente

    Hi Tom,

    If you are a mouse, you shouldn’t count calories: those mice eating fewer calories got fatter than those eating more calories. CICO doesn’t apply to mice.

    If you are a human, calories still count because Thermodynamics say so. You can’t violate universal laws of physics! (Only mice can)

    By the way, congratulations Tom. Your analysis is superb.

    Reply
  20. Stephen

    When I see a headline like this, I can tell the media is, as usual, misinterpreting the results and arriving at unwarranted conclusions. It’s a click-bait headline, and is completely ignorable, unless you like water-cooler (i.e., blogs) conversation. Hopefully, no one takes this seriously, on either side of the HCLF vs. HFLC debate. (I eat high-carb, but I know this study is garbage.)

    I wonder what types of people believe these stories. I wonder what kind of damage this misinformation generates in the health of the nation.

    Reply
  21. S

    So my question is: Why does the media lap this s**t up and report it in such a dishonest way? Is it just bad science reporting? Or intentional? If intentional, why? Because such stories are popular, or something more sinister?

    In any case it’s truly disturbing how easy it is to cast doubt and confusion onto those that haven’t researched things for themselves.

    Reply
  22. George Henderson (@puddleg)

    The exciting part is, mice that got obese and insulin resistant on the LCHF diet had ZERO beta cell damage as a result.
    So, we don’t have to worry about this happening in humans who get leaner (or stay the same) and have lower insulin on LCHF.
    We only have to worry about all the people with T2DM still being told to eat high-carb diets, most of whom do suffer beta-cell damage eventually.

    Because, according to these Three Mouseketeers, “there is mounting evidence that initial hypersecretion of insulin in prediabetes contributes to β-cell stress and failure.”

    Now, what diet would be likely to cause this IN HUMANS????

    Reply
  23. Devin

    I did a study of my own.

    For 8 weeks I fed my dog nothing but fish food. He got sick! Why does no one talk about the dangers of fish food‽

    I now feed my fish nothing but Kibbles ‘n Bits. Because science.

    (disclaimer: no dogs or fish were harmed in the writing of this completely sarcastic comment)

    Reply
  24. Elenor

    Yeah, right up until you read “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet” by Nina Teicholz and discover JUST how completely bogus the Mediterranean Diet actually is!! (Based on Lenten meat-restricted diets, and nearly ALL the folks thrown out of the study, if I recall…). Brilliant book — worth the read, no matter how much previous education on LCHF you have had! Charlatans, fer SHURE!

    Reply
  25. Karen

    I love it when someone brilliant like you investigates and breaks down stupid studies like this! Thanks for all you do. Also love your sense of humor!

    Reply
  26. JillOz

    Hi Tom,

    I was just on the Wheat Belly blog and two erudite commenters have some things to say about this study:

    from http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2016/02/crohns-disease-cured-by-a-chance-encounter-at-the-airport/

    Uncle Roscoe

    February 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I found this study writeup on the UK Telegraph:

    New study says Paleo diet ‘unhealthy and fattening’ angering ardent devotees

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/12164394/New-study-says-Paleo-diet-unhealthy-and-fattening-angering-ardent-devotees.html

    The Telegraph offered no means to rebut this stupid study, so I’m answering it here.

    The study fed two groups of mice, one with, I guess, mouse chow, and one with paleo diet ingredients …..fat, meat, no grains, and virtually no carbs. The study found 15% weight gain in the paleo group.

    What could be the study’s achilles heel?

    HELLO?!!!! THEY WERE MICE.

    Duh.

    Do humans resemble mice in physique or belly proportion? …..in attributes of digestion?

    Not in the slightest.

    The human digestive system is short. The mouse digestive system is massive compared to humans. Like other creatures mice use bacteria along a long digestive tract to digest carbohydrates. Humans are *unique* in that they emit a chemical called DPPIV into the digestive tract in order to break down carbohydrate associated proteins. The human system represents a bandaid approach, useable only for stretches when no meat or fat is available.

    This is not the case with mice. Mice are capable of surviving on a near constant supply of plant-derived foods.

    The biggest flaw in the human system is another unique human trait. With prolonged carbohydrate exposure the human digestive system starts releasing zonulin. Zonulin makes the intestinal walls porous. The porosity releases undigested intestinal lumen into the bloodstream. The lumen includes opioids, undigested sugars, and pathogens.

    Humans have massive nervous systems, made primarily with omega 3 fats, obtained from animals. Plant-based diets are only capable of providing enough brain tissue for a mouse.

    Reply

    Bob Niland

    February 19, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Uncle Roscoe wrote: «New study says Paleo diet ‘unhealthy and fattening’ angering ardent devotees»

    Yep. It’s being chewed on all over the blogosphere.

    Without having done a deep dive on it, I’m less concerned that it was a rodent trial than curious about what the HF chow was. As far as I know, only Dominic D’Agostino is using sane (custom-formulated) HF rodent diets. His formula in 2013 was shown here:
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0075713

    In the present study, the supplementary materials include chow details in a .doc that you can look for. It was high in Omega 6 and 9, and essentially deficient in Omega 3 (all of which was ALA). Whether this was conscious or clueless, it probably sabotaged any real learning from the results. It was surely not ketogenic (not intended to be), due to the added sucrose.

    I can guarantee that no paleo mice ever ate canola. It’s a modern mutant rapeseed, and contains quite a bit of Omega 6 LA (Linoleic Acid), a known obesogen. I wonder if mice will even eat actual rapeseed if they have any other choices.
    ________
    Blog Reply Associate (click my user name for details)

    Reply

    Bob Niland

    February 20, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I wrote: «It was high in Omega 6 and 9, and essentially deficient in Omega 3…»

    Just to clarify, that was the “Low-carbohydrate high-fat diet” diet. It was also 10% simple sugar.

    I needed to keep reading in that .doc, too…

    The supposed control “Standard chow diet” has no added sugar, apart from a tiny amount of molasses. It did have lots of wheat. It also had fish meal, “tallow” (source unspecified) and skim milk, as well as unidentified vegetable oil, and some soybean oil (which is high in Omega 6 LA). The fat profile could easily entirely different from the alleged LCHF diet, and might contain significantly more Omega 3, easily some DHA & EPA.

    No detail is provide on fat breakdown. Whoever chose these chows is either clueless about the role of different fat types in metabolism, or deliberately selected them. This “supplementary” information, not even part of the main paper, utterly confounds that trial, and renders any headlines meaningless.

    As a commenter put it on another blog:
    “This is a long way from science.”
    _______

    Uncle Roscoe

    February 20, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Bob Niland wrote: «It was high in Omega 6 and 9, and essentially deficient in Omega 3…»
    “Just to clarify, that was the “Low-carbohydrate high-fat diet” diet. It was also 10% simple sugar.”

    The fact that this study used a “paleo” diet which was 10% sucrose and no omega 3 fat, but used a comparison diet which contained omega 3, but no sucrose is scathing. I don’t see any way how a legitimate “scientist” could accidentally design the experiment with this blatant built-in bias.

    Reply

    Bob Niland

    February 20, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Uncle Roscoe wrote: «I don’t see any way how a legitimate “scientist” could accidentally design the experiment with this blatant built-in bias.»

    I haven’t done a deep ad hominem dive on the paper, but commenters on other blogs have identified one of the authors as not just professionally invested in consensus dogma, but also an advisor to the national grant review panel. He is part of what appears to be a counter-attack by the consensus diet dogmatics to stem the tide of profound personal results following LCHF diets.

    The trial and paper may have had two real objectives:
    1. Get dogma-compliant headlines unsupported by the actual data (check).

    2. Prevent future grant money from being used for a properly designed unconfounded trial (check, because we already tested that, don’tcha know).

    By the way, for those wondering what this is all about, here’s the paper:
    http://www.nature.com/nutd/journal/v6/n2/full/nutd20162a.html

    And yes, it’s very reminiscent of the metabolic ward trial last year that purported to prove that low fat was better for weight loss than low carb, but restricted calories in both arms, and only ran for 6 days each (and had a CICO zealot as a PI, no surprise). NuSI is having to rely on private funding to run some real trials on diet, and one of the four currently in work may be at serious risk of sabotage, as it includes that same met ward menace PI).

    These “scientists” have no credible explanations or solutions for the disastrous trends in metsyn, obesity, T2D and chronic non-infectious ailments generally over the last 40 years, but they clearly intend to defend their baseless dogma as long as possible, and they don’t care how many people they maim and kill in the meantime. Defend yourselves, everyone.
    ________

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    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Getting chewed on all over the blogosphere … yup, and that’s why these blatant attempts by the old guard to control the conversation about diet don’t work anymore. The information gatekeepers have lost control of the gates — which are pretty much gone.

      Reply
      1. Bob Niland

        re: The information gatekeepers have lost control of the gates — which are pretty much gone.

        There’s still one gate left: publish in a pay-walled journal.

        In that case, the eyewitless press and general non-paying public would only get to see the Abstract and any off-paper press releases, which are often propaganda unsupported by, if not flatly contradicted by the details within the paper.

        This may only delay debunking, of course, because there are a few critics with access, plus those willing to pay the ransom when the headlines are sufficiently silly.

        When a junk paper is published open-access, one has to wonder if the authors are either utterly blind to the possibility of their dogma being entirely mistaken, or simply have no grasp of the magnitude of their ineptitude. As the cliché goes, don’t presume malice where things are adequately explained by mere incompetence.

        The skillful corrupt agenda-mongers are apt be found hiding behind pay-walls (and this does not reflect favorably on honest researchers still using those PW journals, so they need to be thinking about open access as well – Elsevier seems to be nobody’s friend).

        Reply
      2. Nowhereman

        I don’t know if you recall my posting almost two years ago about a friend who was working for a researcher doing almost exactly this sort of clinical trial chicanery, only they were using rats instead of mice. In that case, the researcher was using a rat chow for the fats that was not only made of processed vegetable oils, but had also been inundated with a ton of sugar, and then was compared to a low fat chow that had little or no sugars. It was obvious that it was intentionally done to show that high fat diets cause obesity and low-fat ones don’t.

        Given that it was slipped by him during our conversation that his boss was desperately looking for more research grant money, it was no doubt the experiment was rigged in order to tell the establishment what they wanted to hear.

        Reply
  27. Bob Niland

    re: And I’d wager that’s more common than most people think.

    We have so far been able to debunk these nutty nutrition paper just based on what is found stated in their own pages and supplementary materials. Hiding behind paywalls isn’t slowing reaction down much. Sisson just took one of those to the mat today (rats on high protein), epub’d just last month.

    As consensus nutrition gets more and more desperate to keep their house of carbs from collapsing, we also need to be alert for frankly fraudulent data.

    Anyone who thinks this is overstating the mischief afoot needs to read http://retractionwatch.com/ on a regular basis. Somehow retractions rarely get headline articles in the NYT, even if the original breathless abstracts did.

    Although Sission didn’t dwell on it, the rat diet in the protein study also used canola for fat. This modern mutant rapeseed (probably GMO to boot, and subject to horrific processing that FHM has covered before) needs to be considered a major red flag in nut. papers. It’s a modern fake fat that forms no part of any natural, much less ancestral diet for any creature. What it says about the researchers who use it is not flattering.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m not sure could overstate the mischief. As someone put it, scientists are freakin’ liars.

      Reply

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