When it comes to diet(and maybe also vitamins), sometimes you have to be your own study. For example, we could determine if a diet high in carbs, low in fat and especially saturated fat, and with a nice helping of trans-fat(the margarine they pushed on us for so many years, and cooking with vegetable oils) actually helped our waist line, HDL, triglycerides, blood sugar etc, and if we actually got healthier. Or if, horrors, we actually got worse. And then if we go against most advice, supposedly backed up by the science, and do the opposite of what our doctors and dieticians told us to do. Did we get worse or better?
If we actually got better, then that means there are a bunch of so called studies out there that are pure crap.
The point of the NYT article is exactly that many of these studies are products of p-hacking: "the process of running exhaustive analyses on data sets to tease out subtle signals that might otherwise be unremarkable. Critics say it is tantamount to casting a wide net and then creating a hypothesis to support whatever cherry-picked findings seem interesting"
However this doesn't mean that any study that conflicts with your or my personal anecdotal experience is pure crap. It only means that studies that cherry pick data to support a desired conclusion are crap. Sad to say, but your or my personal experience is no more than a one-off conclusion drawn upon whatever aspects of our personal lives we choose to cherry pick - what we eat, where we live, what chemicals we may or may not have inhaled or ingested, our genetic heritage, how much or what kind of exercise we have, how much or little stress we have or think we have, etc. The potential variables and combinations of variables are virtually endless for any one individual. And one individual's experience can't isolate or control for enough variables to support any kind of reasonable conclusion.
JimI agree. Just some of the studies are crap. That is why, as the article says, one study tells us one thing, the next week another study tells us the opposite. But probably, one of those studies is right. Which one?
And I totally agree with " your or my personal experience is no more than a one-off conclusion drawn upon whatever aspects of our personal lives we choose to cherry pick - what we eat, where we live, what chemicals we may or may not have inhaled or ingested, our genetic heritage, how much or what kind of exercise we have, how much or little stress we have or think we have, etc. The potential variables and combinations of variables are virtually endless for any one individual.". Certainly. As well as only being a study of N=1. And in my case, that probably means more than 1 variable in play at any given time, and another variable is the way those variables interact with each other.
But none of that is going to keep me from going with the result of my personal little study. For example, if I follow my doctors orders for a year and eat low fat, lower calorie, exercise more, etc, and at the end of 1 year I have lost no weight and maybe gained a little, some of my lab #s(like maybe LDL/TCL) have improved a tad but others are definitely worse (HDL/TGL/blood sugar), OK, there is clinical trial 1, as far as I am concerned. If then I start low carb eating and/or intermittent fasting, and in a few months I have lost weight, my gut has shrunk, my LDL/TCL is just a little worse or the same but my HDL is much improved and my TGLs have been cut in half and my blood sugar and BP have gone down, and I have not really been hungry(minimal suffeng), which one do you think I am going with? If you had the same experience, which one would you go with? I am definitely going with the latter, and I don't really care if my docs have a study telling me I should do the opposite. I will more likely become very suspicious of their study.
All though, for the most part, they don't really have any studies when it comes to diet. At least not controlled trials showing big benefits for low fat vs low carb. They mostly are just going on popular opinion and conventional wisdom. But when they do have a study supporting the opposite of what has been working for me - as well as quite a few friends who have tried it - I am not going to pay much attention to it. And if I look at it I will often find a problem with it, like not truly low carb, they are just comparing not low carb to somewhat lessor carb, or something else not right. Then they will declare no difference between low carb vs whatever. IOW, I am probably going to figure out there is something wrong with their study, where I am asking "why the heck did they do that?". Maybe a bias? But if it has been working for me, I am unlikely to accept a study saying it does not work or is bad for me. Would you? Would you discount your personal experience in a study of N=1?
Of course, we are mainly talking diet here. But with drugs, it is going to be harder to go against your docs recs based on their studies. But it does happen, like the time they put my wife on one of those anti bone loss drugs, and she felt like heck from the 1st pill. And rightfully reasoning that anything that made you feel that bad just could not be good for you overall said "forget that". So they did, and she went at it from a vitamin approach, and has not worsened any in the following years. But generally, it is probably going to be harder to tell if vitamins are helping or harming, compared to the dramatic results that can be seen from dietary changes. But there was that one time for me with my shoulder and liposomal B12. As well as one member here who tried it with at least initial success. (I don't know if it lasted a long time or not, like it did me) Those results were fairly dramatic and obvious. In my case, no more talk of shoulder surgery for well over 10 years now. But I doubt there are any modern studies on that one.
Post Edited (BillyBob@388) : 9/30/2018 3:39:42 PM (GMT-6)