Confounding And Contradictory Studies Rant

fixerforhirefixerforhire Mr. Not Sure.
edited April 2015 in Biohacker Banter

I guess this is a good section of the forum for this...

there's so much information that these thoughts are at the edge of my mind. i'm never able to make a connection or come to a conclusion when I read about all of these biological processes.


i'm sure everyone has googled a topic and found that for every study that asserts one thing, there is another that contradicts the results or is inconclusive.

all these studies, and it occurred to me ask a question: 


what is the diet like of the people they are running these studies on?

how are their vitamin, mineral levels? what are there carbohydrate fat and protein intakes like.

then factor in genetic disposition and epigenentics. environmental factors, all the crap that could possibly be in food or surroundings,

level of physical activity etc.

just diet alone seems to be enough of a factor to invalidate methodology.


was just reading an article and started googling.


I have an interest because my mom has 1 kidney and stage 3 CKD

and a whole host of ailments that doctors cannot come to any conclusion on after running every test known.

despite my strong recommendations, she will not supplement or change diet.


speaking of the possible damage of extremely reduced sodium intake and the renin agiontensin system.


then the possibility of damage from high sodium intake.





it seems to be a serious flaw(idiotic) in methodology to not consider proper levels of all vitamins and minerals and diet when performing a study to conclude whether one thing is good or bad, or determining cause and effect.

I see the same problem with something as simple as a doctor ordering a test and trying to draw a conclusion from it.


I don't envy the job and maybe i'm talking from the cheap seats. it does almost seem to be too much information for any one human to posses and draw correct conclusions from. 


I think it's hubris and folly.

medicine is an industry of low hanging fruit.

akin to the: is it plugged in, are there loose cables or obvious signs of damage and reboot protocols for troubleshooting electronics.

we are great at trauma medicine, absolutely inept at preventative medicine.


maybe I haven't a clue saying that?


  • Good point. Lots of research lacks quality, but still makes it to the databases. Then again, it is probably impossible to control for all possible confounders. Even so, you can have two well designed studies with comparable methods arriving at opposed results. Medical 'proof' demands more than a handfull of well designed studies. 1) there has to be a consistent correlation between alleged cause and effect (implies 30-50 studies, convincing meta-analysis), 2) there has to be a consistent dose-response relation, 3) there has to be a plausible biological mechanism, 4) as demonstrated by repeated experimental research.

    Translating research results into treatments or prevention strategies demands equal caution and scrutinous procedures.

    Unfortunately, despite these guidelines for good practices, they are often enough not applied. Not by the pharmaceutic industry, not by doctors and not by laypersons. Real life is about politics, compromised interests and wishful thinking. And not all health problems can be solved.

    So if you want to self-experiment, be aware of the very real possibility that you can be wrong. And that you take a risk. And doing your own research: never go by abstracts only. Always read the source, as well as the sources cited. And break your mind about possible alternative explanations of outcomes.
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