Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims

It's not often I share journal articles without comment here anymore, but I just wanted to share this with my readers.

Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims  from Nature.


eulerandothers said…
This abstract recently came to my inbox. I'm wondering if there was a control group.
carbsane said…
Does not appear to be one.
ZM said…
eulerandothers, I'll summarize:

No control group. They simply measured changes from baseline after adopting a diet of "meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, cheese, oils, non-starchy vegetables, and small amounts of nuts, seeds, and berries."

Saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, protein and cholesterol intake increased. Carb, trans fat, fiber, energy intake and body weight decreased. Blood pressure dropped, forearm blood flow increased, FMD didn't change. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), LDL-C, or glucose did not significantly change over time. serum triglycerides were decreased by 36% at both 3 and 6 weeks. Both serum insulin and HOMA-IR decreased. No significant effect was determined for CRP, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, sVCAM-1, or MCP-1. However, both sESelectin and sICAM-1 decreased from baseline.
eulerandothers said…
I can't read the actual study, only the abstract.

From what you write, it looks as though you were able to read the actual study. I'm wondering what the value of such a study is.

But it sure does look like someone spent money on producing this conclusion: some people who take statins did not die within six weeks of reducing carbohydrate intake.

Which is worth something, BTW. That's something you can take to the bank!
carbsane said…
I haven't read yet past abstract, but your analysis seems spot on. Here ya go!
carbsane said…
BTW -- Participants (n = 21; 59.3 ± 9.3 y, 29.5 ± 3.0 kg/m2) decreased total caloric intake by approximately 415 kcal at 6 weeks (P < .001) Daily nutrient intakes at baseline (46/36/17% carb/fat/pro) and averaged across the intervention (11/58/28% carb/fat/pro) demonstrated dietary compliance, with carbohydrate intake at baseline nearly 5-fold greater than during the intervention (P < .001)

I think a 400+ cal/day deficit may be what they call a confounding variable here, and/or the increase in protein. Just sayin ;-)
eulerandothers said…
Thanks for providing access to the study.

I notice that the participants continued to take their regular dosage of medications for hypertension (9 participants), hypothyroidism (5 participants), and hyperglycemia (1 participant). They continued to take those medications without any changes during the study.
Milliondays said…
I'm sorry to say I don't understand most of your blog. But I'm enjoying it - got me off the coconut oil for breakfast and the bucket of butter for supper. Will keep reading.