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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Science as an Adjunct of Big Pharma

Mice are used for many studies because they have many, many similarities to humans.   In fact, wild mice are omnivores, they eat a variety of foods including meat--insects or in hard times, each other.  If you have been reading with me for very long, you know I think carbohydrates are far too prevalent in modern human diets.  In research mice, the normal mouse chow is 13% fat, 62% carbohydrate and 25% protein.   Why they decided this is "normal" for mice is anyone's guess.  Here is the headline for a recent mouse study and one line from the study. 

Age-related cognitive decline tied to immune-system molecule "Since B2M goes up with age in blood, Cerebral Spinal Fluid, and also in the brain itself, this allows us multiple avenues in which to target this protein therapeutically."

This protein with a negative effect on brain function goes up with age.  I want to know why.  Is it correlated with other markers of chronic inflammation like CRP?  I suspect the answer is yes.  And if that's the case,  the therapeutic intervention I'd be most interested in is one that reduces chronic inflammation (including B2M protein) without drugs, by changing the diet. 

So back to the mouse diet.  If chronic inflammation is going up with age, the first place to look would be the diet.  Yikes--62% carbohydrate and low fat of only 13% would sure be inflammatory in a human.  Little mouse subject might just need a better diet that promotes a healthier--lower--level of chronic inflammation. 

My point is that there is a bias in much of the science (follow the money) to make money for big pharma.  I think this is a good example of that.  They're simply not asking the right question in the first place. They're asking what drug can ameliorate the effects of this immune protein that goes up with age?  I would ask what's making this protein go up with age and I'd bet on a diet that's totally out of whack for an omnivore.

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