Response to Media on Recent Mouse Study



Mice Study Response | Media Release | The Paleo DietTwo weeks ago, media outlets around the world published articles strongly questioning the Paleo Diet based on a single high-fat study on mice. We always enjoy seeing articles about the diet, whether it’s a testimonial, a new discovery, or even criticisms about the science because it’s only through scientific debate that we arrive at better answers. But we draw our line at unfounded claims and poor research. This week thepaleodiet.com contacted many of these media outlets asking for a correction to their unfounded claims. A sample of our letter (sent to Medical News Today) is published below:

I am writing to you about your article published two weeks ago titled “How safe is the Paleo Diet”. The article raises troubling concerns about the Paleo Diet based on a recent study on mice. Your publication maintains a reputation as a reliable source for scientific journalism and I am sure you would like that reputation to continue. So I bring to your attention serious concerns with Yvette Brazier’s article.

While the study identifies potential trends with an extremely high-fat diet, the diet consumed by the mice consisted of 400 g/kg cocoa butter, 200 g/kg casein, 106 g/kg sucrose, 100 g/kg canola oil, 100 g/kg clarified butter fat and 50 g/kg cellulose. The rest of the diet was primarily mineral supplements. Almost none of these foods are part of a Paleo Diet and most have been addressed specifically by Dr. Loren Cordain, Dr Boyd Eaton, and other founders of the diet, as foods that should not be consumed.

In other words, your author has used this study to make claims about the Paleo Diet when the mice did not in fact consume anything even closely resembling a Paleo Diet. The information about the breakdown of the diet fed to the mice was readily available on the Nutrition and Diabetes website as a free supplement (http://www.nature.com/nutd/journal/v6/n2/full/nutd20162a.html.) As a minimum standard for scientific journalistic integrity, your author should have looked over that supplement and confirmed that the study was in fact, not addressing a Paleo-style diet. 

Further, it’s important to point out that even the trends the study shows regarding a very high fat diet may have limited value. The study’s author used a breed of mice that has already been demonstrated to respond differently to a high-fat diet than humans. This has led some in the scientific community to call for a retraction of the study (https://www.facebook.com/richard.feinman.7/posts/959579280793676).

To maintain your reputation for scientific journalism, we ask that you publish a correction to your article, recognizing that the study, in no way, examined the effects of a Paleo diet.

Sincerely,

Dr. Loren Cordain

Dr. Mark Smith

Trevor Connor

ThePaleoDiet.com editorial board.

About The Paleo Diet Team

The Paleo Diet TeamThe Paleo Diet, the world’s healthiest diet, is based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted. The therapeutic effect of The Paleo Diet is supported by both randomized controlled human trials and real-life success stories.

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“7” Comments

  1. Alfie,

    Thank you for your kind comments. I have always said that the data should speak for itself. In this case, the data has spoken loudly for itself. Unfortunately the popular press interpretation of this study has absolutely nothing (zero) to do with what the data actually indicates. The media should be ashamed of what they have written.

    Cordially,

    Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
    Department of Health and Exercise Science
    Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, CO 80523

  2. May these men explain me why we should include in our diet food that are a nutritional cemetery in the face of the increasing (not decreasing) evidence that gluten triggers any kind of havoc in our body (please see the latest studies), and there’s no a definitive reliable test of tolerance, adding the fact that low level inflammation triggered by leaky gut seems to play a role in almost everyone (LeBron James, Djokovic etc.. and all the people that are “fine” with grains but better off without them..). In light of These apparent stuff with the fact that grains agriculture is destroying our planet, why should we eat them if not for a kind of “due” to the new funders of research (lobbies)?

  3. https://diabetessociety.com.au/ads-council.asp

    These are the people responsible for outlandish unfounded bias.
    Many here are on NHMRC grants review panel of which Diabetes Society gets funding. Associate professor sof also has received awards via NHMRC and I wonder who gave him that reward,mmm..
    Since 2000 it says NHMRC has given A/P Sof grants…again plain conflicts and bias amongst themselves.
    Basically …let’s review funding, those in favour of taking taxpayers money say I….
    Disgusting and irresponsible use of funds, no independence here.

  4. Boyd Eaton…I really wish to be wrong, but Eaton and Konner have lost their ways…it’s really hard to live in a biased world, and I’m really sad to hear that they falter in front of claims made by very poor evidence and not supported by actual reliable data. It seems that they included some quantity of whole grains in their “new” version of the Paleo diet probably under pressure of the mainstream claims. I shivered reading the interview to Konner where he says that Neanderthal ate barley broth together with their steak citing the famous grain starch found by Ms. Henry, when the striking evidence enlighted many times by dr.Cordain says that grains were far from being regularly consumed before the advent of agriculture, if not just as a starvation foothold.
    They seemed to embrace right away the touted evolutionary adaptations coming from the allele frequence that is just the foothold of the mainstream movement that have to desperately defend grains and dairy in the face of the data that speak for themselves.
    What’s going on? Is real unbiased science really doomed for the sake of business or politically correct? Are people like Dr. Cordain endangered species?
    I apologize for my rant but true “warriors” are really needed.
    I want to be unbiased as much as possible and when I will see reliable stuff to disprove the striking reality supported by ethnographic data, RCT, animal and in vitro studies, I will embrace the new idea right away. But as long as I see witch hunting, desperate attempts to depict Neanderthals and early Sapiens with their pizza and pasta, fake studies and advertising, I will be more and more convinced about the strenght of the Pure Paleo Diet without pollution.

  5. Hey team at thepaleodiet.com,

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    I saw this false claim last week and thought to myself, here’s another muppet trying so hard for publicity.

    This diet works! End of.

    Dr. Cordain. You are a legend! I am in the Paleo space myself and you are one of two people that are responsible for my “new life”

    Keep up the great work.

    I have shared this and asked my following to share as well.

    Alfie Mueeth.

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