Loren Cordain, Ph.D. Response to Mouse Study

Loren Cordain | Response to Mouse Study | The Paleo DietI have previously commented upon this single short term mouse study. You are correct in stating the obvious, nowhere in the original article did the authors indicate they were testing a “The Paleo Diet” but rather a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet in an unusual animal model (prediabetic New Zealand Obese (NZO) mice, rather than in humans.  

This single study apparently, seems to be one that the Australian popular press has focused upon and distorted the more far ranging implications of this study.  Yet the study totally lacks the criteria and objectivity by which most of the scientific, nutritional community uses to establish cause and effect between diet and disease. 

This popular press write-up ignores the most recent human meta analyses (combined studies of all studies) showing the health and weight loss efficacy of randomized controlled trials evaluating contemporary Paleo diets(1).  And completely ignores other human studies demonstrating the superiority of Paleo diets to Mediterranean and other diets (2-8).

To establish causality between diet and disease, nutritional scientists employ four basic procedures:

1) human randomized controlled trials

2) four types of human epidemiological studies

3) animal studies and

4) tissue studies. 

No single study by itself can establish causality.  Rather scientists must present plausible, biological mechanisms and then test these hypotheses using all four procedures with multiple studies (meta analyses) from various laboratories worldwide.  

To even suggest, that a single mouse study can be extrapolated to show causality in humans is just bad science.  The Australian press should be ashamed of itself for misleading the public.

  

References:  

[1] Manheimer EW, van Zuuren EJ, Fedorowicz Z, Pijl H. Paleolithic nutrition for metabolic syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct;102(4):922-32

[2] Lindeberg S, Jonsson T, Granfeldt Y, Borgstrand E, Soffman J, Sjostrom K, Ahren B: A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia 2007, 50(9):1795-1807.[3] Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahrén B, Branell UC, Pålsson G, Hansson A, Söderström M, Lindeberg S. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2009;8:35

[4] Jonsson T, Granfeldt Y, Erlanson-Albertsson C, Ahren B, Lindeberg S. A Paleolithic diet is more satiating per calorie than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Nov 30;7(1):85

[5] Mellberg C, Sandberg S, Ryberg M, Eriksson M, Brage S, Larsson C, Olsson T, Lindahl B. Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;68(3):350-7.

[6] Boers I, Muskiet FA, Berkelaar E, Schur E, Penders R, Hoenderdos K, Wichers HJ, Jong MC.  Favourable effects of consuming a Palaeolithic-type diet on characteristics of the metabolic syndrome. A randomized controlled pilot-study. Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Oct 11;13:160. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-13-160.

[7] Masharani U, Sherchan P, Schloetter M, Stratford S, Xiao A, Sebastian A, Nolte Kennedy M, Frassetto L. Metabolic and physiologic effects from consuming a hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic)-type diet in type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Apr 1. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.39. [Epub ahead of print]

[8] Pastore RL, Brooks JT, Carbone JW.  Paleolithic nutrition improves plasma lipid concentrations of hypercholesterolemic adults to a greater extent than traditional heart-healthy dietary recommendations. Nutr Res. 2015; 35:474-479.

 

You can reach me via email if you have any further questions.

Best wishes,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Department of Health and Exercise Science

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523

mailto:Loren.Cordain@ColoState.EDU

http://thepaleodiet.com

 


 

Dear Dr. Cordain,

How are you? I’m working on a story for Health magazine online (Health.com; the national women’s magazine) regarding this study: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/uom-dew021816.php

Text here: http://www.nature.com/nutd/journal/v6/n2/full/nutd20162a.html 

We are obviously taking into account that this is a mouse study and the fact that this text doesn’t specifically call out paleo. Since that’s what the release touts, we want to address it and get your perspective on the research. (If there is any issue with the research, what people should know, etc). 

Would you be available for a short 10-minute interview tomorrow (Tuesday)? Or if email is better, I can send a few questions that way. 

Let me know what you think and many thanks for any help you can offer.


Best,

[Name Removed] 

 

Trevor Connor, M.S. Response
Mark J. Smith, Ph.D. Response


 

About Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor Emeritus

Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor EmeritusDr. Loren Cordain is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 20 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans. Dr. Cordain’s scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter-gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans. He is the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and has lectured extensively on the Paleolithic nutrition worldwide. Dr. Cordain is the author of six popular bestselling books including The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook, The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Answer, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, summarizing his research findings.

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