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Really Stupid Science (I mean, really)

Today I read what must be the most mind-numbingly stupid “scientific study”. Some are bad; this was awful.

To test whether polyphenols in red wine really had any benefit (why?), a young doctor from the Netherlands decided on the bright idea of adding synthetic polyphenol “extracts” to dairy drinks and giving them to patients, to see what happened to their blood pressure.

There are TWO stupid problems with this:

  1. The polyphenols are stripped of all their accompanying substances, enzymes, etc, found in the grape
  2. Milk is probably the number #1 cause of blood pressure I have found over the years. Put anything in milk and it will not work in lowering blood pressure.

The first problem is typical of medical “thinking” (if I can use so bold a word for it): the belief there is one magic bullet in natural food or plant substances and that “one thing” must be the reason the food or plant works therapeutically. They call it the active ingredient but it’s a scientific nonsense. The obsession with isolating a single compound comes, of course, from the desire to then mutilate it beyond Nature’s best and so patent it.

But nothing works out of context. There may be a million other substances in grapes which make the polyphenols work properly (so-called adjuvants). 

But to me the dumbest blunder of all is using milk as a vehicle. Milk is one of the most toxic foods known to man. It’s a major cause of blood pressure (and death by heart disease).

Back in the 1970s- 80s I discovered for myself that blood pressure is mainly a food allergy. If you have hypertension, put yourself on a good exclusion diet and your blood pressure will come tumbling down. Then it’s easy: take your blood pressure every day, while you re-introduce the foods, one at a time, and see which ones push your blood pressure back up.

Avoid those. No drugs. No problem. Ends.

[All this is in my book “Diet Wise”. By the way]

Thing is: milk is very often the major culprit. Using milk as a vehicle for this silly experiment means it could never work.

So scientists have concluded that polyphenols don’t work by lowering blood pressure. It’s not a valid conclusion.

There is the same problem with T. Colin Campbell’s daft book  “The China Study”. He got his facts all wrong. He purports to have proved that protein is dangerous and animal proteins cause cancer.

But he used milk as “protein” in his study! Presumably he didn’t know, or chose to totally ignore the fact, that milk contains lots of bad fats and heaps of sickly sugar + hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, arsenic and heavy metals.

All Campbell proved was that milk is bad for us. I knew that, I’ve been writing it for over 3 decades. I could have told him his “study” would come up with no valid conclusion.

But now we are stuck with the crappy conclusion: I can’t get to everyone who buys his book and tell them the truth about it.

Well, back to the new study. The author Ilse Botden, a graduate student at University Medical Center in Rotterdam, said the new findings “do not support” a lowering of blood pressure by polyphenols as the source of red wine’s benefits to the cardiovascular system.

That’s not the same as saying red wine is no good for the heart, they admit that at least. But her findings are going to be presented this week at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research meeting in Orlando, Fla.

I find that curiously depressing.

Her “research” involved 61 people averaging about 61 years of age, all of whom had borderline high blood pressure. Participants were given dairy beverages that contained either the red wine polyphenols or a harmless placebo.

That’s two groups then:

  • Poison plus polyphenols
  • Poison without polyphenols

Not surprisingly, Botden’s team found no difference in blood pressure levels between the two groups after four weeks on the regimen. So they have concluded, perhaps wrongly, that lowering blood pressure isn’t the main heart-healthy mechanism of wine.

Well, it lowers mine—every time! Trouble is, you can’t present the findings of one person. It’s not science.

The post Really Stupid Science (I mean, really) appeared first on Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby.

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