Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mice and Cancer

There has been a lot of buzz in the low carb/paleo community about a new mouse study. A pretty good write-up is here:

Essentially, these mice were genetically predisposed to cancer and were fed in two groups. A low carb-high protein group (55 % carb 23 % protein, 22 % fat) and a 'western' diet group (15% carbs, 25% fat, 60% protein). 

A couple interesting results:

1. By middle age half the mice eating the western diet had tumours, none of the low carb-high protein group did.

2. Only one mouse eating the western diet reached the normal life span. Half the other mice reached or exceeded their expected lifespan.

3. 70 % of the western diet mice developed cancer compared to 30% of those on the low carb diet.

4. And a little blow to calories in calories out, the researchers noticed that while the calories were kept the same, the mice on the western diet gained alot of weight.

Now this is a mouse study and has to be taken with a grain of salt but still interesting. 

Hyperlipid wrote a blog post that calls the researchers out on their flaws:

But regardless of the flaws, I think it does point to some interesting theories about diet consumption and cancer. Especially when you look at the extreme difference between the outcome in the groups. 

I would be interested in a followup that would use a diet that substituted fat for carb (as long as it wasn't trans-fat) and see if the results are similar.

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