Of Mice And Men — Again

      169 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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169 thoughts on “Of Mice And Men — Again

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
    ________

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      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
  4. 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.
    ________

    Reply
    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
  5. 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

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

      Reply
  6. 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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