Friday, 30 January 2015

The cure for heart disease

I know, right? Hard to believe we didn't see it before now, but before I get to it, here’s a recent paper out of China that I would like to make fun of.

There are so many things wrong with this paper, it is hard to know where to start. I s'pose the introduction is as good a place as any, and it certainly contains plenty of gems:

“dyslipidemia”…”is the major cause of atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic cardiovacular diseases”

“Increased PUFA consumption”…”retards the progress of atherosclerosis”

And this beauty:

“since nearly almost every patient with dyslipidemia is treated with statin currently, therefore whether the benefit of PUFA render to lipid-modification is independent of or is overlapped with stain therapy is deserved to be further investigated”

I’m not one to judge their grammar because I can’t speak or write Mandarin/Cantonese, but it is clear they live in a world where statins are unquestionably brilliant and rabbits are excellent human substitutes. Just what the cholesterol-rich diet they used is comprised of is not easily obtainable - but it's sort of irrelevant if you're not working in their lab or tripping on acid. 
Which leads us closer to the CVD cure.

The aspect of this paper that surprised me most was the use of rabbits for testing. I admit that my knowledge of biology and the suitability of certain species for studies on human health is abysmal, but I’m reasonably sure I’m on solid ground when I suggest that using a drugged-up herbivore to predict changes in a human body is ludicrous.  
The whole ‘cholesterol-fed rabbit’ thing started over a century ago and I had no idea it was still going on. There’s a good reason we laugh at the lab geeks who did it 100 years ago - rabbits eat grass. Most humans don’t. Feeding a rabbit anything but grass and then suggesting the result has any relevance to human physiology says more about you than it does the rabbit.

At least I thought so, until reading this paper resulted in me having an epiphany.

Rabbits don’t have heart attacks.

Rabbits eat grass and not much else.

Stay with me now…

What if…are you sitting down?

What if…humans just ate grass and not much else?

Not only would we not have heart attacks but fertility problems would be a thing of the past.

Such a pity I'm too lazy to write an e-book or start a grass supplement business.

This thing where you look at one species and apply it to another and then say that you've actually discovered something intelligent is fun.
help is at hand for your bacon-addicted rabbit