Discuss how there seems to a trend of so many in the info space using the word “science” quite inappropriately — Reveal how you can spot the one’s who manipulate the term science — Teach you how to challenge claims so you can always get the balanced understanding — Show the silliness that sucks so many people into confusion — How to sort through the good vs bad science by giving you a protocol of 10 methods to determine if something quoted as science is valid.
Hello everyone and welcome to the Balance Protocol Podcast,
I’m Dr. Anthony G. Beck and in today’s show I’m going to go over what I call
Good Science vs Bad Science
I’m going to:
- Discuss how there seems to a trend of so many in the info space using the word “science” quite inappropriately.
- Reveal how you can spot the one’s who manipulate the term science.
- Teach you how to challenge claims so you can always get the balanced understanding.
- Show the silliness that sucks so many people into confusion.
- How to sort through the good vs bad science by giving you a protocol of 10 methods to determine if something quoted as science is valid.
Science has long been the hub for intellectual thinking.
When ever someone wants to leverage credibility for what their agenda is, they will often turn to and pull out the good ol’
….Well according to science or
…Science has proven or
….Science has shown or
…Science links this to that
We have all heard this right? Well, ask yourself….how many times did you actually go and look up the science that was quoted to you? Or do you do like the vast majority of us and just let that proclaimed mantle of science be the convincing factor for us in that discussion?
Just because what we heard or read was waving the banner of what they call science. I want to really encourage you to learn how to sort through these all too common supposed quotes from science.
Its super important because many of the reasons why our current state of health today is because people just go with whatever they are told by those who they think are the authorities and who they think have their best interest are heart.
Guess what, that just is not the case. Let me give you a couple examples….
Government entities are the ones who put out messages and programs that match the agreed upon agenda when it comes to policy. And we all know that politicians form their agendas and policies based on lobbyist and organization who have skin in the game. Its a crazy model of doing things but no one seems to know or even care because we just keep this type of system in place.
Think about it….if you are a major corporation and want to get your product to as many people as you can and in return make as much profit as you can. You need to expand your efforts to the market by whatever means will achieve this mission.What better way than to access the the largest corporation board of executives that can adopt your product? Well, thats the US federal government.
So this plan starts by sending your sales reps to the offices of those executives who can pull the strings and makes decisions. This example is the lobbyist of say major food manufactures or commodities brokers (like corn and soy, wheat) heading up to capital hill.
You then have your sales team provide these executives with all kinds of numbers that if bought into will convert to dollars. Those numbers are usually doing the very thing Im talking about right now….claiming science. That message then turns those dollars into benefits for the executive and the area of the country they represent.
So the point is policy and how we are effected in the realms of health is NOT determined by science. Its determined by lobby, by popularity and by what would be profitable. Politicians surly don’t read or go research what these lobbyist give them as science. They just go on assumption of it being true because these guys gave it to them and told them it would be the best thing for the nation.
As physicians we see this same exact mechanism but with slightly different players in our medical practices. This is the same cycle of drug reps and medical equipment sale reps. The trouble comes when individuals relinquish their lives to this mechanism. Then we sit back and wonder why we have the state of affairs in our world of health care.
Another example that is epically a pandemic in the info space is what I call the parroted misinformation reflex. Some writer for some online venue needs to come up with an article topic for content. So they turn to headlines in the news. These headlines are usually based off some press release by some company who did some study that worked with their agenda.
This company claimed that science showed that their such an such did such and such. So to get the word out as part of their marketing and advertising campaign they do a press release. This press release gets picked up and reported by the blog writer I just mentioned.
This blogger then proceeds to write about it and claim the backing of science. There the cycle goes.
Cause if some trusted news site and then some blogger is writing about someone claiming science then it must be true. Right? Nope. Its just marketing content. Says nothing of validity. NOR does it speak of any application of YOU and your individual genetics, lifestyle or environment.
Now don’t get me wrong. Im not saying that every and all things we read and see reported or blogged about are false and nefarious manipulations of the concept of science. Im saying that half of it is. The trick to determine what half is the B.S.
In todays show I’m going to teach you how to determine what that half is. Let me give you an funny example I use in my keynote presentations to medical professionals I use when asked to speak on topics of nutrition and health. I ask the crowd if they think science has proven unequivocally that saturated fat clogs the arteries. It’s hilarious the amount of hands I see go up affirming that supposed and commonly accepted fact. I put this slide up that shows pictures of a study I did.
I say, fats that are solid at room temperature clog arteries right? Because after all its the fact that its solid like butter at room temperature, right? But then I say, what we truly know is that there is no living human being who’s internal temperature is 70 some degrees. And in facts its close to 100.
I then say…show me any fat that humans eat is solid at 100 degrees. I then put up a slide of some butter, and lard out on my porch in Florida beside a banana and a carrot. Low and behold….the fats turn to liquid but the veggies stay solid. Poof…there you have it. Veggies clog arteries not fat. LOL
We all shouldn’t eat those anymore. I’ll be damn if I’m gonna be done in by a banana.
All joking aside…People are intimidated by science and scientists.
I believe this is because if you read a study and you see a formula like gluconeogenesis from proteins or the citric acid cycle or you see all the fancy scientific jargon you kinda check out.
You don’t have to be capable of that type of math to understand how science works and how to separate the good and the bad. Its so vital to learn how to do this so we can be self protectors of our health. Remember, the world was kept in the dark by the powers that be for a thousand years before the printing press.
All the time we see articles on the internet come out that say things like…”eggs linked to diabetes”
Then you will see one that says “eggs improve glucose control”. Then “processed meats linked to cancer”…..then….”Hot dogs may prevent cancer”. All of those were real and did appear in the media btw.
This is why is to important for you to know how these studies are conducted and what the data that comes from them means. We need to start by something that is hard wired into being human, that is “pattern recognition”
Seeing that when A is done that B happens. We have all had to learn to do this to survive. When you are hungry, you eat, you feel better. We know if you drink pure water you will be fine, if you drink from stagnant pond you get sick.
Here is my fun example:
People are like those teenagers in slasher movies. They are out in the woods and someone hears a noise…..someone has to go check it out and…Squish…disappears. Second one wonders what happens to first one and goes to check it out….Squish…disappears. Third one wonders what happened to those two and goes to check it out…Squish…disappears.
By the time the fourth one starts heading to the wood shed, we are all thinking…what the hell is wrong with you people?
Making the connection between A and B is so hard wired into the brain it can fool us. So much so that every time we “perceive” A is connected to B, that A must be causing B.
Psychologist’s named this the “belief engine”. Our brains are constantly looking for connections of A to B. So much so that, if we spot connections, we begin to generate new beliefs on how the world works. But here is the fun part….
When we are looking for these we tend to latch onto the ones consistent with those we already have or at least ones that do not contradict our previous beliefs. This is called confirmation bias.
Think American Indians. They believe that the sky god’s give them rain, SO one day when they are in desperate need for rain. They put on their best festive clothes and invent the rain dance. Sure enough, a few days later it rains. The connection is made, if A – Dance in festive clothes then B- the sky god is happy makes it rain. This is an example of the Belief Engine. Im going to come back to that term in just a little bit.
But you see this is where science comes in! Science is defined by “ the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”. So, What is Science? knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study. Science is the mechanism to let us objectively answer questions.
1. Is there a connection between A and B? If so…
2. Does A cause B to happen? If so…
3. How does A cause B to happen?
Even if #3 is not known, we do know things can clearly happen even though we don’t know why.
And that is actually, OK.Here is the deal….The way scientists are supposed to answer these questions is by applying what is called the “Scientific Method”. Im sure you will remember this in middle school or H.S. But lets have a quick review…
1. Make observations – may gather data first
2. Form a hypothesis – based on our observations, must be testable
3. Conduct experiments
4. Collect data from experiments
5. Reach a conclusion based on data – based on thorough, careful, objective analysis
Here is when it becomes Science. When the hypothesis is validated by results that are consistent and repeatable. Let me say that again….you have to be able to observe it, and the results are consistent and repeatable. This is of the utmost importance because, it is accurate to say that Experiments are studies, but not all studies are experiments, in fact most are not.
In health, medicine and nutrition there are two types of studies, Observational studies and Clinical studies. Here is the difference:
Observational studies do #1 and #2 of Scientific Method
For reminder those are:
1. Make observations – may gather data first
2. Form a hypothesis
Clinical Studies do #3 #4 #5
For reminder those are:
3. Conduct experiments
4. Collect data from experiments
5. Reach a conclusion based on data – based on thorough, careful, objective analysis
Observational studies are just that. We are watching something. In most cases its people.There is no intervention, no treatment. We watch them and gather data. Observational Studies are incapable of proof. It will always be conjecture.
When we gather the data we look for traits, behaviors, results that are: Associated, aka correlated, aka linked. But see the problem is when an article or a blog says “studies show or association or correlation or links”.
It translates to most that this is “Science”. BUT….Its not. Remember, science is knowledge. Its all a matter of terms and how they translate meaning over to those who hear or read it. Again, if they do relate then we can say….now pay attention to this phrase, “statistically associated”.
So wow, if something is “statistically associated”, now that is math and science right? How can we argue with that? Let me clear that one up too. It simply means ee can plot the associated data on a plot chart. Anyone who has taken statistics knows what I am talking about.
There are HUGE problems associated with Observational Studies and subsequent plotting of the data into statistics. I’ll give some examples:
There are Observational studies that show that A: the kids of parents who read to their kids and keep a lot of books in the house B: tend to do better in school. Well there you have it. A causes B, Right? Reading to your kids causes them to get better grades. Right?
Wrong. Because when other researchers really looked into the data within the groups, good, bad, and mediocre students.They found that the amount of time parents read to them and number of books in the house made almost no difference at all. So why would we see this strong correlation?
Well intelligent people are more likely to enjoy books, buy books and read them to their kids. Intelligent people are more likely to raise intelligent offspring who go on to school because they are intelligent.
Good science knows that just because A correlates to B that one does not CAUSE the other. They can both be related to different things that the investigators where not looking for.That something else actually has a name. Its called a confounding variable.
Observational studies are FULL of confounding variables. If the researchers are not looking for them they may not spot them. Remember, that Belief Engine I spoke about earlier?
The one where I said that when we are looking for connections between A and B we tend to latch onto those things that do not contradict our previous belief? Lets do our own Observational Study and show how this might work.
Here is our study population:
10 people who are going to make up 4 groups
High Fat – High Sugar 40% 4 people
High Fat – Low Sugar 20% 2 people
Low Fat – High Sugar 20% 2 people
Low Fat – Low Sugar 20% 2 people
Here is what happens:
3 People in the HF-HS develop heart disease
1 person in the LF-HS develops heart disease
Now what correlations am I going to pull out of this data? If you said depends on your belief engine then you are a genius. But if you are still thinking….let me help you.
The fact is that by the looks of this 2/3 in High Sugar groups developed heart disease in this population. Now if through my whole career I have been conditioned to believe that high fat caused heart disease I am more apt to notice this correlation. In high fat groups 1/2 developed heart disease and in low fat groups 1/4 got heart disease.Well, I have spotted the connection…A equals B…High Fat causes heart disease.
Here is where it gets felonious. I could send out a press release about the study that says “High Fat diet doubles heart disease risk”. In Observational studies you will see that term so much of the time “Doubles your risk”. “Raises your risk”, “lowers your risk”.
Article say things such as “Egg consumption may raise risk of type 2 diabetes”. Here is what happens to millions of people when they read this, including journalist and bloggers. Let,s suppose I watch the movie “LA Confidential” or “Deer Hunter” staring Robert De Niro one night. Afterward, I think it is really cool to play Russian roulette. So I get out a six shooter and put one bullet in it. What are the odds I am going to end up with a deadly migraine? Its not a trick questions…what are the odds? 1 out of 6 right?
What if that didn’t supply quite the adrenaline rush I was hopping for, So next time I play I put 2 bullets in the 6 shooter. Now what are the odds? 2 in 6.
Now I did literally doubled my chances and it is a matter of cause and effect. Because my behavior has made it twice as likely I am going to shoot myself. So that silly headline, egg consumption raises diabetes risk comes along and the dumb dumbs are not carful with their language and say, “The studies showed” ….”A significant increase of new onset diabetes with regular egg consumption”.
They didn’t even say “associated with”, they made is sound like cause and effect.
So what people come away with is that, every time you eat eggs that its like putting more bullets in your gun. In an observational study that is not what raising your risk means. It just means that statistically you would be put into one group instead of another group. And your group on average had a more negative outcome. But what group you belong to depends on how the investigators wanted to slice and dice the data.
Lets go back to you. In the HF – LS group. If the puppet masters decide to slice and dice according to Fat intake, You belong to a high fat group and according to the data that means you are at higher risk CVD. But if they decide to analyze based upon the Sugar grouping; the low sugar groups have a lower risk and now you have a lower risk of CVD.
Now enter the Law of non contradiction. Your diet can not be causing AND preventing CVD at the same time. And quite frankly, since this is an observational study, We don’t know. These are simply statistical categories. They do not tell us anything about cause and effect.
Lets have one more example for fun and a lot less thinking. Studies have shown that Girls who quit high school are much more likely to end up as pregnant teenagers than girls who do not. So statistically quitting school raises your risk of becoming pregnant. Does anyone think that quitting school makes you pregnant? Anyone ever have a pregnant teen come home and say….omg….she must have quite school! NO.
If that is the case then all of us need to go back to school and re take biology. Oh, and stay away from those girls who are potential drop outs while you are there. So if any of you are looking to get pregnant but can’t…just go back to school and drop out…boom! Funny stuff right?
Well seriously this is one of the reasons why so many people are confused about what is correct and what is BS. This is why good science knows that correlation does not prove causation. This is because observational study only brings us to step 1 and 2 of the Scientific Method. It can only provide data to inquire more about contributing to certain things, it is NOT proof.
This is why when good scientists are looking for proof they conduct a Clinical Study. They are the kind that really matter, because you can control your variables. However, before we go giving them the keys to the kingdom, they have problems inherent to them as well. Im going to show you that, but first, in a typical clinical study we put together 2 or more groups that are “statistically the same”, Thats in quotes so remember that.
Now this makes sense because if we are going to try to do a study and one group was full of smokers and the other was not we know that the smokers are going to skew the data.
So in clinical studies we try to balance the groups based on things like Gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, predisposing factors, previous health history, etc…Then with those variables in control, we change 1 variable only.
Ex. One group goes on a diet, the other doesn’t. One group takes a drug, the other takes a placebo. Neither group knows what they are getting. Then since we controlled our variable, if one group has a statistically differently outcome we can be pretty sure changing the variable made the difference.
Let me give you a real life example.
For YEARS researchers have been pulling data out of a huge Observational Study called the “Harvard Nurses Health Study” . The study followed 121,700 female registered nurses since 1976 and 116,000 female nurses since 1989 to assess risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
One of the things they found was that middle aged nurses who took estrogen had a 40% less risk of heart disease. Oh my heavens!..what a fabulous finding. So now you had bad scientists and bad doctors wanting to go prescribe Estrogen to all middle aged women on the planet.
The good scientists said hold on a minute correlation does not prove causation. We need to do a clinical study. And guess what? They did. It was a huge clinical study (HERS) that included 16,000 women and lasted 5.5 yrs. Guess what the Clinical study showed?
The Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) found that the use of estrogen plus progestin in postmenopausal women with heart disease did not prevent further heart attacks or death from coronary heart disease (CHD).
Women had a 30% more CVD and more strokes. There was another clinical study later that pretty much proved the same results. So how could there be such different results? How could this be?
If estrogen does NOT protect against CVD why would an Observational study show us that taking estrogen lowered risk by 40%?? Simple! Its the confounding Variable: Health Conscious people are different from the population as a whole.
Compared to the whole of the population, they are less likely to:
Smoke, Drink too much, Consume sodas, candy, etc.
More likely to:
Exercise, Get enough sleep, Take supplements, See a doctor if ill etc.
The answer was that estrogen was not giving them healthier hearts but health conscious women
were more likely to take estrogen and lower CVD because they were health conscience and their health habits were more likely to offset the estrogen which was not good for their hearts.
So there we have it. Observational vs Clinical studies. Most of what you read in the media are observational studies. This is generally because they are usually short and don’t have a long format. So when you see a tv news show or read a blogger on the internet tell some tale that gets your attention. GO find the study. Imagine that! You actually going to question and investigate for yourself. Wow. Want to know why people are confused? Because they allow themselves to.
Want to know why those powers that be, keep doing this bad science? Because we let them. We Keep falling for it. The bad science folks know that this works beautifully. If there is no link in the write up or the show, then what you do is this. Google scholar the investigator or research group name as well as the journal where the study was published along with a couple key words. Bam …its should most often come up. Most likely you will find what is called the abstract.
Sometimes in the Abstract you will see a link to the full text of the study. Now here is what most reporters and notice I don’t call them journalists. Glance through the study and scroll trough to the end and find what is called the “conclusion”. They then go write their story based on that. They use phases like “study showed”, “studies prove”.
You see, one of the problems is that these are non scientists and non clinicians who are writing this crap. There are endless blogs filled with nothing but headline after headline that is tittalating and provocative. The dirty secret is that people have been conditioned to want this type of what is called content.
There is seldom any application in for most people in their lives. It’s simply like junk publications we see at the grocery store check outs. People give attention to this junk and that means outlets can sell advertising. There you have it. I just spilled the beans.
I want you to learn to combat this with some critical thinking. This is because I uphold and respect one of the oldest traditions in science. And whats that?…..Scientists are freakin’ liars. Latin diagnosis term is Pinocchiotus freakinitus.
There was an article titled …..Lies, Damn Lies, and Medical Science back in Nov 2010 of the Atlantic. You can Google that btw. Written by a Dr. who spent decades of his career challenging his peers by exposing their bad science. He was a Harvard MD, and mathematical genius Dr. John Ioannidis. He spent lots and lots of time studying studies.
Here is a great quote from the article:
“He and his team have shown, again and again and in many different ways, that much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies – conclusions that doctors keep in mind when they prescribe blood pressure medication, or when they advise us to consume more fiber or less meat is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat out wrong. He charges that as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed.”
And another very interesting quote from the article is:
“When it came to cancer, CVD, and other common ailments, there was plenty of published research but much of it was remarkably unscientific based largely on observations. 80% of the conclusions drawn from non-randomized (observational) studies turn out to be wrong.”
He even goes on to say that 20-25% of conclusions from clinical trials are wrong. How can this be?
He says “researchers were frequently manipulating data analyses, chasing career-advancing rather than good science and even using the peer-review process to suppress opposing views.”
Ok so here is the balanced understanding. I told you that I was going to teach you how to investigate investigations. Here is your Balance Protocol.
Its 10 critical thinking methods.
1. Is it an observational study or clinical study?
Now if its an observational study this does not mean its worthless. It just tells us that they are at steps 1 and 2 of scientific method and that a connection is spotted.
Think of it as a way to refine a hypothesis that moves fully through Scientific method.
2. If A is linked to B, could it be because of C?
Recall the kids and books in home as well as the nurses.
3. Could B cause A?
So If we look at runners in marathons and they are all thin and none are obese
Then running must cause a lean body. But does having a lean body make you run?
Well, I guess then since basketball players are all tall then playing basket ball will make you taller.
What kind of people are on a fat loss diet? Fat people right? So tell me, fat people go on diets , so do diets make you fat? Ok, that is a trick question because most diets do contribute to making you fat in the long run. Sorry.
For fun, Google
“Floor caves under weight watchers weigh-in”. Here is the spoiler. Its entirely a true headline story. So does weight watchers damage floors?
4. Is A linked to B CONSISTENTLY
Or do we see these glaring exceptions across populations.
Ex. We are told that Saturated fat is linked to CVD. Yup. OK. Unless you are:
Or other “paradox” populations.
We have been told that red meat is linked to colon cancer. And it is except in several studies where it wasn’t. Like the study from Oxford University which showed “Within the study, the incidence of all cancers combined was lower among vegetarians than among meat eaters, but the incidence of colorectal cancer was higher in vegetarians than in meat eaters”.
Ever heard of the good ol’ A: power lines …B: cause cancer? So why don’t we see huge populations of electrical line men who spend hours of everyday around these big power lines getting all this cancer? So sure, do I believe the high voltage EM array can “contribute”? Sure. However, its not an A causes B. Its a only part of the puzzle. Just like the C: of those who were reported to have this cancer increase around power lines were in poverty. So was it the lines or the poverty spectrum?
5. In this study, Who were the subjects?
Ask yourself, Are those included in the study equal to me?
Ex. Here is one that I saw in the news and it most likely will sound familiar to you
“How Fatty foods lead to diabetes”. Junk food inflammation may trigger diabetes.
The study is quoted as saying “these results support the idea that inflammation plays a role in chronic disease”. They extrapolate to say “the simple message is to avoid fatty foods as much as possible.” So I checked out the study and it turns out…a diet high in saturated fat does seem to produce inflammation in this segment of the population.
But wait for it……what segment of the population? Mice.
Now you know why the mice who kill and eat so many cows and pigs have so many health problems. I am not saying that animal studies are worthless, But the thing is, when investigators feed a diet that is not like ours or when they feed a diet to an animal that is completely unnatural to them I don’t care what the results are.
I don’t care if they can cause cancer in rats by feeding them an isolated cow protein because….I don’t believe we have ever seen vast populations of mice sucking on cow utters in the barn. Besides if they could milk those cows, they certainly don’t have the technology to separate the proteins.
6. What was the difference?
In math, Difference means subtraction.
103-102 = 1
Now….here is what the disease of Pinocchiotus freakinitus will cause you to do. Instead of Absolute change determined by Subtraction.They switch to Relative change by Division.Which tends to be an impressive number. Here is a famous example of how this works. Lipitor.
Lipitor studies were conducted on men who were ALREADY at high risk of heart disease. Did you catch that? Already at high risk of heart disease. After 10 yrs here were the results:
Lipitor group: 2 out of 100 men suffered heart attack
Placebo group: 3.05 out of 100 men suffered heart attack
The difference : 3.05 – 2.0 = 1.05 heart attacks for every 100 men
In other words if you took 100 men with multiple risk factors for heart disease and you gave them this drug for 10 yrs you would in theory be preventing 1 heart attack out of that group of 100. This of course is not an impressive number.
Now lets apply the magic of Division and apply the relative change. Take the smaller number DIVIDE by the bigger then subtract that result from 1 and that will give you the relative change as a decimal.
Lipitor 2 / 3.05 = .65
1 – .65 = .35
They could now plaster the media universe with “Lipitor reduces risk of heart disease by 35%”. This translates into you thinking…wow…over a third of the men on this drug are saving themselves from heart attacks. NO ! Its 1 in 100! That’s 1….maybe.
If you are a male, under 65 who already has high risk for heart disease. But here is the other thing no one EVER seems to hear. One those cleverly marketing commercials on TV where they tell you that “if you think Lipitor is right for you, ask your doctor”. Well, yea…I think Lipitor is right for me because I want to keep riding my bike on the beach with my honey and feeding the seagulls.
But at the end the commercial says “When diet and exercise have failed, choose Lipitor”. Of course they say that with a hugely proportionately low volume and high speed talk.
How ironic…if you eat healthy and keep riding your bike on the beach with your honey you won’t need that poison Lipitor.
You see. It’s all on how things translate to the You the consumer. In studies you will often see the word “significant”. Significant results, significant risk, significant increase or decrease. Thats an impressive sounding word isn’t it? Significant.
Here is an example:
You see so many so called health advisors, coaches, councilors and what not….ask people
“How much is your salt intake?”
Let me tell you something, for the vast majority of the population, salt intake has a tiny effect on blood pressure so I tell people not to worry about it. Why? Because the body has a powerful central governor system that excretes excess sodium. The problem from sodium excess is that I accompanies foods that are crappy foods. So it goes back to correlation NOT causation.
This often draws an angry response from detractors. Its ok. I’m totally used to it after 20 years in clinical practice. You see, when you have first hand personal experience and invest countless hours into research you get this personal fortitude. Its the purpose of this show and my website to help you get to that self empowered place too. This is why I try to Inspire my patients to use this protocol of how to look at claims of Science.
Now when this goes down on Facebook, I get the proverbial scholar that drops in a link and says obviously you haven’t done your research and go to this study which shows “significant” reducing on blood pressure by restricting salt. Little do they know that how I test there post is to go to Pubmed and search the term I know they just searched. 99% of the time it just so happens to be the first hit that comes up. So I know they simply did not like my clinical opinion and they thought they would attempt to fight it by a quick pull of the Pubmed search trigger and post up a study they didn’t even research or evaluate.
So what does that word mean? “Significant”. Ok. So what if I told you to go do exercise by jumping up and down in place 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for a year and at the end of that year you loose a whopping 4 pounds of weight.
Would go celebrate and call your friends and say hey…this year I lost 4 pounds and all I had to do was jump up and down for 30 minutes a day for 260 days out of 365 and man did I experience some
“Significant weight loss”. What if I told you I was 95% sure that it was this exercise that caused this and nothing else? Of course not because for most of us “significant” means impressive, meaningful , or boldly important.
That is not what it means to a scientist. To a scientist “significant” means >95% certain results not due to chance, wait for it…statistically.
So lets go back to salt consumption. Investigators put a group of people on a Mediterranean type diet but with a very high intake of salt and then they measured their blood pressure a few weeks later. Then they switched them to a very very low salt intake on that same diet and measured their blood pressure. Here were the results:
On the salt the BP avg. Was 126/81
Off the salt the BP avg. Was 123/79
Now remember, these researchers where convinced and >95% certain that these results were caused by salt reduction. So they thought this was “significant”. But for proving that lowering salt intake lowers BP, this study is meaningless.
So when you meet a scientist who does these studies and they introduce you to their significant other, you can be sure that he is 95% sure they are not dating them by accident.
7. Did the researchers control the variables
Ex. Suppose I told you that according to my data, people who consume high levels of clear liquids such as water, gin, and vodka are more likely to have liver damage. Would you have a problem with that? Yes. Of course you would. Remember sesame street? One of these things is not like the other?
Obviously, water does not belong in that group. Just like the study that claimed red meat causes colon cancer. Well, to make that happen they had to include red meat in with processed meat like deli cuts, hotdogs, and beef by-product. In other words, red meat that people typically consume with big blankets of white processed dough. When other researchers separated the red meat from the proceed meat there was no correlation found.
8. Compared to what?
Ex. Whole grains prevent heart disease, diabetes, excess weight gain.
Ever see those headlines? Yea, and so many of these studies are comparing whole grains to white flour products. Why is this important to understand? Suppose I compare people who smoke unfiltered cigarettes who have higher risk for cancer to people who smoke filtered cigarettes which have lower risk of cancer? Could I then make the statement…filtered cigarettes prevent cancer? NO. Because filter cigarettes are not preventing cancer. They are just less likely.
9. Do the results of the study support the conclusions? You would be shocked at how often they don’t match. Remember my example, 30 minutes a day for five days for a full year…loose 4 lbs?
That was from an actually clinical study. Here is what the investigators wrote….
“Provides direct empirical evidence that previously sedentary, mostly overweight, postmenopausal women can achieve and sustain high levels of aerobic exercise that result in statistically significant reductions in all measures of adiposity.”
There you have it folks, We have identified yet another case of Pinocchiotus freakinitus.
So back to the salt study, recall that drastic restriction in salt yielded a tiny drop in blood pressure. But the study is quoted in their conclusion as saying “Our results provide support for a more aggressive target reduced sodium intake”. What in the does that mean?
Ok…here is one last study.
Three groups, #1 on Low carb/high fat , #2 on low fat/moderate carb and #3 was the control group. The low carb/high fat AND the low fat/mod carb both lost weight. But, the low carb/high fat group lost more body fat and showed the greatest improvements in all cardiovascular markers, including total cholesterol, TG, HDL and LDL. Yet!…what did the investigator write?
“Moderate approaches to weight loss such as a moderate-carbohydrate low-fat diet may be prudent”
Now in case you don’t know what “prudent” means….well it means they want to continue to get research dollar funding from Kellogg who funded this study.
10. Who funded the study.
There are infinite variables that come into play to get things to apply to you. You see, science that is not the study of literally you….will not and can not definitively tell you for you.
Look we ALL have to call them on it!!! I love it when other doctors come at me for being so forthright in sharing the dirty secrets. Especially those who attack me with the Ad Hominem logical fallacy that I’m not a research PhD or medical doctor like them. You know how you can always spot the real producers of the problem? If they attack you and not the content of the argument.
So not only am I going to question them, I’m going to poke fun of them. We have to see the silliness in these things and laugh at ourselves for having fell for it.
I have found that once people are brought to the knowledge of how the information is manipulated within the banner of science and then leveraged out there in info space, they can start to see and hear with a renewed zeal.
Its this mechanism that usually serves as the catalyst to a whole new world of understand, way of thinking and realizing why so many were trying all this stuff they heard and it never worked for them.
Its my passion and promise to bring you solid protocols like the 10 things we just covered. I will be ever vigilant to the reminder that you are truly a category of one and you have to be your own clinical study. And if you find that what you find in you does not fit what the so called science says, well to hell with it. You know you better than any scientist or doctor.
By doing so, I will be able to achieve my life’s passion and focus which is to,
Educate You on the true root causes of disease,
Motivate You to take solid corrective actions in your life
Inspire You to reach the highest levels of wellbeing
And now….guess what? All this I shared with you today. Question it! Go research it! Prove yourself right! Become a scientist and make yourself the focus of your clinical study.
After all, at the end of the day….its YOU who is in charge of attaining your highest levels of wellbeing.
For more information on the Balance Protocol and to join the Balance Nation…please head over to my website Dranthonygbeck.com
You can also find me on FaceBook.com/dranthonygbeck
Lastly… if you would be so kind as to take a few seconds and leave me a review on iTunes I’d sure love you for it.
So until next time…
Remember, LETS LIVE LIFE IN BALANCE!