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Studies + Stats

"Oh what a tangled web we weave..."

- Walter Scott, Scottish Writer + Historian (died 1832)

During my eCornell certification course for plant-based nutrition, one assignment was called Critical Questions for Analyzing Supplements. We were tasked with using critical thinking tools to read between, under, and beyond the lines. I chose CoQ10 and discovered that the "no funding from outside sources" claim was not entirely true. Turns out, the study's raw materials were provided by an Italian supplement manufacturer, and it took me almost an hour to find that information. In the nutrition universe, trust can be another double-edged sword. If we don't do the deep-dive research necessary ourselves, then we need to trust some experts at some point, right? Please consider embracing the wonderful world of studies and stats!


Broken Trust: Social Media Bias / Feed the World, Change the Food / Everything you ever wanted to know about GMO's but were afraid to ask. / Health care isn't a statistic - it's deeply personal. / Other Conflicts of Interest / What is (Skeptical) Critical Thinking? / Both-Side-Ism - Journalism's False Balance / Where are the colorful women? / Accolades vs Evidence / AMA: Conflicts of Interest / Epidemiological Studies Made Easy / How Accurate are Measures of Nutrient Density? / Can Cheese Be Harmful or Healthy? Compared to What?! / Apple Peels Put to the Test - A Clear Example of Critical Thinking Skills


Broken Trust:

Social Media Bias

(beware of disbelieving everything)

Truth is: we're beyond saturated with data. The time it takes to read a nutrition study, then analyze the funding, the credibility of the researchers, the claims produced from the results, the publication's standing as a reputable source, and the peer reviewed assessments are why most people, who would like to learn more, don't educate themselves.


I'm a research enthusiast who enjoys deep-diving into the murky waters of studies, and I know that critical thinking is the most important stance we can take. And... beware of disbelieving everything.

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Feed the World,

Change the Food

(the history of food modification)

The link below is from the US FDA and is an educational overview of the history of food modification. At the end, it states: "Scientists can use newer genome editing tools to make crops more nutritious, drought tolerant, and resistant to insect pests and diseases." That's quite a noble claim, FDA. And there's another side to this debate... 


We're learning about negative aspects of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and synthetic pesticides in industrial farming, which are creating the prevalence of pesticide-resistant critters.

Health care isn't a statistic - it's deeply personal.

In the US, we continue to shake our heads in disbelief while healthcare costs spiral out of control. Some blame politicians, lobbyists, and doctors while others blame Big Pharma, Big Health Care, and Big Insurance. One thing is clear: as Americans get sick from preventable lifestyle diseases, we become revenue-creating statistics due to unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices. Cha-ching. As it turns out, health care is primarily in our own intelligent and capable hands.

Where are the colorful women?

The number of men and women in the world is almost equal, though men hold a slight lead with 102 men for 100 women (2022). That means out of 1,000 people, 504 are men (50.4%) and 496 are women (49.6%). So, why are research studies still overlooking women's unique health (and people of color)? Clearly, change is needed to include everyone. Check out two insightful articles about women in research studies from The Brain Docs and Boston University.


“Research is seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.”

- Albert Szent-Györgyi, Hungarian Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine (died 1986)

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Accolades vs Evidence*

(dangerous debunkers with degrees)

Beware of some people in white jackets with a long list of letters after their last name. Accolades lack credibility when presented without sound, non-biased, evidence-based research. Check out the science about egg yolks, cholesterol, and oats.

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AMA: Conflicts of Interest

(industry influence vs the truth)

Check out another critical thinking video on egregious conflicts of interest regarding the American Heart Association and their so-called "research" on the best and worst diets for heart health. Some facts are solid and some are lies. Oops.

* EXAMPLE: One of many examples is illustrated here. This doctor seems smart, authoritative, trustworthy, convincing, and is pleasant to watch. If I hadn't been wearing my critical-thinking hat, I would have thought that butter, eggs, and shrimp are not at all harmful to my health but are, in fact (according to this person's accolades), highly nutritious choices. Scientific words add to the façade, while actual evidence is ignored.

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