Junk science: the badly flawed research with lab rats that seems to support eating low fat.

Do you think it basically makes more sense to keep your carbohydrates pretty low, rather than going the familiar low fat route, to lose weight and stay healthy? If so you are in good company and the evidence is building up that it’s a better way to go.

 But there is one source of supposedly scientific information that keeps pointing in opposite direction. What happens to rats and mice in the laboratory, where results are supposedly more precise and controlled, is quite different. Feeding them on a high fat diet makes them put on weight while their blood glucose soars.

So what, you might say. Rats and mice are very different to humans, which is a perfectly sensible point. However we “sacrifice” literally millions of these unfortunate animals every year in experiments designed to find out more about the likes of cancer, heart disease, wound healing, pain and genes.

That’s because the way their bones and muscles and proteins work are similar enough to what happens inside humans to provide useful clues about the mechanisms at work in us and whether possible new treatments will be effective and safe.

So I’ve been wondering why the lab research suggests one of two things:

**We are so unlike rats and mice that we handle fat in a totally different way – in which case why keep on doing the studies? Even more, why keep writing about them as if they told us something useful? A recent report about a study that involved feeding a high fat diet to pregnant mice was headed:
‘Mother’s high fat diet alters metabolism in offspring leading to higher obesity risk’. Nothing in the copy about: ‘it’s only mice so don’t worry’. In fact the authors specifically calculated that the danger zone for human mums-to-be was the third trimester.

 **We are quite similar to lab rats so the way rodents respond tells us something useful about how we should be eating. But if that is true, then why are there now dozens of studies showing that high fat isn’t a problem for humans and it is low fat with all the added sugar and carbohydrates that inevitably come with it that makes us fat and sick?

I’ve been finding out about what’s actually in a mouse high fat diet and investigating the breeding history of these rodents and I think I have found an answer. You can read about it at HealthInsightUK .

It probably won’t come as a great surprise to find that it involves hiding some key facts from the public that make the trials look relevant to humans when they really aren’t.


  1. mikecawdery says:

    Basically rats and mice feed mainly on grains and low fat foods where the fats would be of plant origin – mono- or poly0 unsaturated. To feed them on a high saturated fat represents the same standard of research as force-feeding rabbits with saturated fats. But then, scientific integrity has been replaced by money and status. Read Prof Peter Gotzsche’s book “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime”….. It is a demolition of commercial research for medical profit but the practices are common to all commercial research.

    • And human beings are neither rats or mice and the belief within science that they can be accurately comparative is delusional. It is also convenient. No rats, mice, rabbits, monkeys or helpless animals on which to test, quelle horreur!

      It is also an indication if one applies reason, that pharmaceuticals are just so dangerous they cannot be tested on humans until they are ‘tested on animals’ and then they can be tested on humans.

  2. elainelewis says:

    From the HealthInsightUK article mentioned above:

    “Not only are the so called ‘high fat diets’ they [the rats] are fed nothing like the low carbohydrate diets any informed human would follow, but the animals have been selectively bred to ensure they become fat and diabetic on a high fat diet. This is not research, it is a rigged game.”

    Oh My God!!!! Thank you for finding this out, Jerome! I am shocked! I mean, to go to such lengths to get a “favorable” outcome, what does it imply? That everyone in the study knew they were trying to create evidence for a lie? It’s unthinkable! I will now return to finish the article, there may be more bombshells.

  3. One can only be bemused by so-called ‘evidence-based medicine- where the ‘evidence’ comes from research on mice, rats, monkeys, rabbits and not on humans.

    The only medicine for humans which is only ever tested on humans is Homeopathic.

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