Response to Media on Recent Mouse Study | The Paleo Diet®
noun_Search_345985 Created with Sketch.
noun_Search_345985 Created with Sketch.

The latest from The Paleo Diet®, just for you.

Hot topics, new recipes, and science

Response to Media on Recent Mouse Study

By The Paleo Diet Team
March 12, 2016
Response to Media on Recent Mouse Study image

Two 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. 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.

Even More Articles For You

Get Grains Off the Brain
Gluten, and gluten-like compounds, have been seen as less-than-desirable for almost 20 years2,3,4 and for numerous reasons including GI issues, neurological dysfunction and even autoimmune disease.
By Casey Thaler
Getting Your Teen to Purge Junk Food
When it comes to teenagers many health conscious parents are dismayed with the choices their children make when it comes to snacks, eating out and junk food
By Lorrie Cordain
All Packed Up Salmon
Pack salmon, dill and orange slices into tin foil packages. Throw them on the grill, and dinner's ready in a snap!
By The Paleo Diet® Team
Paleo Leadership
 
Trevor Connor
Trevor Connor

Dr. Loren Cordain’s final graduate student, Trevor Connor, M.S., brings more than a decade of nutrition and physiology expertise to spearhead the new Paleo Diet team.

Mark J Smith
Dr. Mark Smith

One of the original members of the Paleo movement, Mark J. Smith, Ph.D., has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the benefits of Paleo nutrition.

Nell Stephenson
Nell Stephenson

Ironman athlete, mom, author, and nutrition blogger Nell Stephenson has been an influential member of the Paleo movement for over a decade.

Loren Cordain
Dr. Loren Cordain

As a professor at Colorado State University, Dr. Loren Cordain developed The Paleo Diet® through decades of research and collaboration with fellow scientists around the world.