The Paleo Diet Response to Media on Misleading Mice Study Claims

The Paleo Diet | Response to Media | Misleading Mice Study

March 16th, 2016

Dear Ms. Ellis,

Thank you for responding to our letter. An open dialogue and discussion is always appreciated.

While we respect that the author may have been expressing the opinions of the study’s author we do not feel that was made at all clear in the article. The article starts with a discussion of the Paleo diet without any attribution to the authors. More egregiously, the caption below the picture at the top of the article reads “Mice on a Paleo diet gained 15% of their body weight in less than 2 months”. Nowhere does it state that was the opinions of the authors of the study and as we pointed out in our original email to you, the mice were not on anything resembling a Paleo Diet. Ms Brazier states in the first paragraph of the article that the Paleo Diet “recommend(s) consuming only foods that were available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors.” The mice consumed cocoa butter, ghea butter, and casein – none of which were available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Yet your author contradicts herself and provides that caption stating that mice on the Paleo diet gained 15% of their body weight. That is a statement by your author and it can only be described as misleading. 

While we are very open to discussion about the particulars of the diet and its potential benefits or consequences, we hope that you make the necessary corrections and either attribute those statements to the opinions of the study authors (a much larger story unto itself – i.e., researchers conduct a study that doesn’t test a Paleo diet, but claim it does to the media) or fix what are clearly incorrect facts and contradictions written by your author.  At the very least, since you claim “to accurately report on the findings of the latest studies in peer-reviewed medical journals”, we ask, now that you are aware the mice were not on a Paleo diet, you should clarify this glaring error for your readers.



Dr. Loren Cordain
Dr. Mark J Smith
Trevor Connor editorial board.


March 14th, 2016

Dear editorial board,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the following article: //

Our aim at Medical News Today is to accurately report on the the findings of the latest studies in peer-reviewed medical journals, such as this one in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes.  

We report on what the researchers of the peer-reviewed studies have concluded, which is what Yvette Brazier has done in this case. Though I understand there is controversy surrounding the study itself, she has not inaccurately reported on the researchers’ conclusions, so no edits are needed at this time.

You may have noticed in the opinions section at the bottom of the article, we have published the comments from Richard Feinman so that all viewpoints can be considered.  

To be clear, our author has not “used the study to make claims about the Paleo Diet” – she has reported on the claims that the researchers have made, based on their study. If you feel that she has inaccurately reported on what the researchers have concluded, please do let me know.

We take accuracy in reporting very seriously at MNT, so I appreciate your comments.

Kind Regards,


Marie Ellis

Senior Editor

Medical News Today

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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“1” Comments

  1. Why don’t we propose to change the name of the study and actually use it as another proof of the validity of the paleo diet? Indeed it is exactly what it suggests…most of the “foods” used in the study are indeed those ones that we advise to avoid…and here’s another piece of the puzzle…

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