|Image 1: Cobalt - certainly not what you would expect to see at a health food store or pharmacy; with Kawakami et al.'s study this may change in the future (img Alchemist-hp)|
This is certainly the 1001st time I am writing this, but I cannot emphasize often enough that the "high fat diet" researchers use in their studies has (in most cases) nothing to do with the Atkins or even a low-carb diet. Its main characteristic is that it is hypercaloric and high in fat and carbs. Please keep that in mind whenever you read about another study on the detrimental health effects of "high fat diets".For 24days Kawakami et al. fed a group of seven-weeks-old male mice either a standard diet with 357.6kcal/100g or a hypercaloric (cf. red box above) high fat diet (HFD), where the latter induced obesity and dislepidemia within 2 weeks. After this initial phase, i.e. when the HFD mice were already obese and metabolically deranged, the scientists injected the animals with Sodium Arsenite (NaAsO2: 1.0 mg/kg bw), Mercuric Chloride (HgCl2: 1.0 mg/kg bw), Manganese Chloride (MnCl2: 5.0 mg/kg bw), Cobalt Chloride (CoCl2: 0, 1.3, 5.0, 7.5 mg/kg bw) or saline (control).
|Figure 1: Modulatory effects of 10 days of heavy metal injection in mice on a high fat diet; values expressed as changes relative to animals on a normal diet (data calculated based on Kawakami. 2011)|
|Figure 2: Adiponectin and leptin serum levels and mRNA expression in mice after 10 days on a high fat diet with simulatenous injection of mercury or cobalt; data expressed relative to normal fed control (calculated based on Kawakami. 2011)|
|Figure 3: pAMPK/AMPK ratio after injection of different dosages of Cobalt chloride (calculated based on Kawakami. 2011)|
|Figure 4: Glucose tolerance test in mice on high fat diet with or without cobalt injections compared to mice on standard diet (control); values in mg/dl (data adapted from Kawakami. 2011)|
|Figure 5: Relative (to normal fed control) changes in blood lipid in mice on a high fat diet with or without heavy metal injections (calculated based on Kawakami. 2011)|
From the lab to the bedside?
Last but not least, and I hardly dare showing you this graph, because I would expect that some of you will already be googling a source of injectable cobalt (which would be plain out stupid, before any reliable safety data and confirmation of these results in controlled human trials are available), cobalt had almost identical effects when it was injected to the mice on the normal diet.
|Figure 6: Relative changes in body composition and liver and kidney parameters due to heavy metal injection in non-obese mice on a standard diet (calculated based on Kawakami. 2011)|