This is particularly important when we are dealing with rodent studies. While every SuppVersity reader knows that you must not translate the amount of supplements used in rodent studies 1:1 to humans (learn how it works), I must confess that I rarely highlight that the dosages that are used in rodent studies are not the only thing that must not be translated 1:1. The same goes for the time-scale, as well.
Let's take the latest study from the AgroParisTech as an example. In said study, Hadri et al. investigated the effects of fermentable dietary fiber such as fructo-oligosaccharide and viscous dietary fibers such as guar gum and alginate affect energy homeostasis in - you guessed it - rodents.
The subjects of the study, male C57BL/6J mice have a lifespan of roughly 750-820 days (max). So, if we assume an average lifespan of 111 weeks for rodents, the 3 week study would be 2.4 years long . in human terms that is (this is a hilariously inaccurate estimate, but I guess it'll serve its purpose).
|Figure 1: Changes in adiposity and cumulative food intake over the whole study and during week 1 (Hadri. 2015).|
What appears to be independent of the time-span, though, is the fact that the same amount of fiber in form of alginate would not have any beneficial effects on your body fat levels - just as it didn't do anything for the adipose tissue of the "rodent subjects".
- Hadri, Zouheyr, et al. "Long term ingestion of a preload containing fructo-oligosaccharide or guar gum decreases fat mass but not food intake in mice." Physiology & behavior (2015).
- Parnell, Jill A., and Raylene A. Reimer. "Weight loss during oligofructose supplementation is associated with decreased ghrelin and increased peptide YY in overweight and obese adults." The American journal of clinical nutrition 89.6 (2009): 1751-1759.