Saturday, November 26, 2011

If You Give a Lab Mouse a Cookie

Here's my grown up geeky version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. I have bookmarked a few pieces of interesting research that involve mice. Some of these articles involve inducing a condition to test new drugs. For example, say you need to test a drug for epilepsy or colitis, instead of trying to locate thirty mice with the condition, you induce it. As someone who never paid attention in biology class, this was news to me...and what was used to induce was sometimes more interesting than what they induced for. Please note I'm not trying to make fun of the poor plight of lab mice, who give their lives for our benefit.

If You Give a Lab Mouse a Cookie

If you give a lab mouse a cookie and them give him a glass of water with chlorinated by-products to wash it down with, he develops autistic symptoms: Chlorination byproducts induce gender specific autistic-like behaviors in CD-1 mice, post on Questioning Answers,
And cancer: Assessment of the carcinogenic potential of chlorinated water: experimental studies of chlorine, chloramine, and trihalomethanes

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with MSG and partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening he develops fatty liver disease: Effect of dietary monosodium glutamate on trans fat-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and becomes forgetful: Dietary trans-fat combined with monosodium glutamate induces dyslipidemia and impairs spatial memory

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with MSG he develops a smorgasbord of creepy health issues: Atorvastatin improves insulin sensitivity in mice with obesity induced by monosodium glutamate,
Long term effect of monosodium glutamate in liver of albino mice after neo-natal exposure,
Effects of bezafibrate in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis model mice with monosodium glutamate-induced metabolic syndrome, Chronic Administration of Monosodium Glutamate under Chronic Variable Stress Impaired Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Rats,

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with MSG or Aspartame he becomes forgetful again: Glutamate and aspartate impair memory retention and damage hypothalamic neurons in adult mice

If you give a lab mouse a low-protein cookie and candida yeast, he develops colon permeability and evasive candida: Preventive strategy for Candida gut translocation during ischemia-reperfusion injury supervening on protein-calorie malnutrition.

If you give a Syrian hamster (not a mouse, but everyone is welcome here) a cookie with antibiotics and candida yeast, his protective gut flora is wiped out and candida is found in his organs: Ecology of Candida albicans gut colonization: inhibition of Candida adhesion, colonization, and dissemination from the gastrointestinal tract by bacterial antagonism.

If you give a pregnant lab mouse a cookie with antibiotics her offspring have affected immune systems: See post at Gutness Gracious Me

If you give a lab rabbit a cookie with LPS he develops colitis. (actually he's injected with it, not eating it)  Lipopolysaccharide-induced colitis in rabbits. What is LPS? It is short for lipopolysaccharide, which is a toxin put off by gram-negative bacteria in your gut. Too much is a bad thing, which can also give the rabbit, an yourself, a host of bad issues: depression, anti-social behavior, liver problems, kidney problems, gi problems, etc. There is a wonderful website covering this called Microbial Influence.

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with high fructose corn syrup and trans-fat, the same amount to correlate with an American fast food diet, he develops metabolic syndrome: Severe NAFLD with hepatic necroinflammatory changes in mice fed trans fats and a high-fructose corn syrup equivalent

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with azo dyes (such as red 40), he develops DNA damage in his colon: DNA Damage Induced by Red Food Dyes Orally Administered to Pregnant and Male Mice

What's in your cookie?

This post is linked to Sunday School, Monday Mania, Fightback Friday, and Real Food 101.


  1. Excellent post (I love these kind of 'knowledge-synthesis' articles). Pity the poor lab mouse though.

  2. Thanks Paul. I do pity the poor mouse. Then I also think that much of this stuff people are exposed to everyday. Lump us in with the lab mouse.

  3. Your caustic rendition of this children's classic is much appreciated. I often read this book to my children as "If you give a mouse a gluten-casein-soy-sugar-and grain free cookie..."

    Now following you as we are transitioning to SCD/GAPS over the next few weeks.

    Any tips on getting the wee ones to drink broth? Mine hate warm beverages.

  4. Thank you Nicolette. My child, now six and on the SCD over three years, will still not drink broth. He will take fermented codliver oil and think nothing of it, eat liver pate by itself, go through the spice cupboard and eat them off his hand, but no go on the broth. He prefers everything room temp, except for ice. I tried to get him to drink broth room temp but he still will not. If you get a good tip let me know too.

  5. Very interesting...and sad since most Americans eat those types of cookies often. I've just started looking into the GAPS diet for our family and appreciate the info you've included here.

  6. Thanks Heather, GAPS, "Breaking the Viscious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall, and "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston Price were the most valuable books I think I've read for eating better. Best of luck on your dietary changes.

  7. Mmm! Nerdy! Great post - wish I had time to check out all the refs, but I'll bookmark it for later x x x

  8. Just read the comments - getting children to drink broth: If they don't like warm drinks they will often still eat soup - use the broth for soup. If they won't eat soup, use the broth to cook with - deglaze a pan with it, make it into jelly and suspend little vegetable shapes in it (japanese sushi cutters are fab for this), use it anywhere you would ordinarily use water and you'll get those minerals and gelatine into them somehow.

    x x x