Concentrations of lipophilic contaminants in biota are frequently corrected for variation in tissue lipid content. Usually, this correction is accomplished by dividing tissue contaminant concentration by lipid concentration to form lipid‐normalized data. This ratio‐based approach is satisfactory when contaminant concentration varies in direct proportion to lipid content. However, when such a relationship does not exist, erroneous conclusions may be reached. Recent research has emphasized the potential shortcomings of the use of ratio variables. We demonstrate the importance of considering these shortcomings when lipid‐normalizing data. Three examples are presented, and an alternative approach based upon the use of analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) is suggested. Copyright

ANCOVA, Contaminants, Lipid normalization, Organochlorines
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Department of Biology

Hebert, C.E, & Keenleyside, K.A. (Karen A.). (1995). To normalize or not to normalize? Fat is the question. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 14(5), 801–807. doi:10.1002/etc.5620140509