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. 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!

      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.

        1. Tom Naughton

          No, I wasn’t familiar with the term. And yes, a typo while typing the term could be disastrous.

  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!

    1. Tom Naughton

      More calories per gram by weight because of the high-fat content. The mice ate ad libitum.

      1. S

        Ad libitim might explain why they upped the sugar from 2% to 6%… To make it more palatable, perhaps?

          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

  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.

      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!

  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.

    1. Tom Naughton

      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.

      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.

        1. Tom Naughton

          Yup, I suspect a lot of food-intolerance cases are the result of guts damaged by modern wheat.

  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

  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.

      1. JillOz

        Oh, I don’t know. They could roll on their enemies and squish them to death. 😉

  7. 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!

      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.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          No, I wasn’t familiar with the term. And yes, a typo while typing the term could be disastrous.

  8. 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!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      More calories per gram by weight because of the high-fat content. The mice ate ad libitum.

          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

  9. 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.

      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!

  10. 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.

    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.

      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.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Yup, I suspect a lot of food-intolerance cases are the result of guts damaged by modern wheat.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

    1. Tom Naughton

      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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    1. Tom Naughton

      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.

      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.

    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/

  15. 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.

    1. Tom Naughton

      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.

  16. 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……?

  17. 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…

    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.

  18. 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.

    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.

      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.

    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/

  19. 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?

    1. Tom Naughton

      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.

  20. 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.

    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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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……?

  23. 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.

    1. Tom Naughton

      Obviously you didn’t eat enough isolated casein and forgot to triple your sugar intake.

    2. 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.

  24. 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!

      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.

  25. 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?

    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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Obviously you didn’t eat enough isolated casein and forgot to triple your sugar intake.

    2. 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.

  28. 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.

    1. Tom Naughton

      That would be more scientific, which is why scientists with an agenda won’t do it.

      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.

  29. 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?

    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.

  30. 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!

      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.

  31. 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)

    1. Tom Naughton

      No, no, no! You don’t want to look at human studies when deciding if a paleo diet is good for humans.

  32. 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.

    1. Firebird

      “Don’t believe everything you see and read on the internet.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

        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.

  33. 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.

      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.

  34. 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?

    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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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)

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      No, no, no! You don’t want to look at human studies when deciding if a paleo diet is good for humans.

  37. 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.

        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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

    1. Tom Naughton

      I think it’s partly bad science reporting, partly because dramatic headlines draw more eyeballs.

  41. 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.

  42. 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????

  43. 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.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I think it’s partly bad science reporting, partly because dramatic headlines draw more eyeballs.

  44. 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????

  45. 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)

  46. 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)

  47. 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!

  48. 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!

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