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Loren Cordain, Ph.D. Response to Mouse Study

By Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Founder of The Paleo Diet
February 23, 2016
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I 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.

Read our Further Responses to this Study:

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

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.

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