Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Einstein is Dead: And so is Linus Pauling

“There is good scientific evidence that eating a diet with lots of vegetables and fruits is healthful and lowers risks of certain diseases,” said lead author Annlia Paganini-Hill of the Clinic for Aging Research and Education at the University of California, Irvine.

“However, it is unclear whether this is because of the antioxidants, something else in these foods, other foods in people's diet, or other lifestyle choices,” Paganini-Hill told Reuters Health by email.

Most double-blind randomized clinical trials - the gold standard of medical evidence - have found that antioxidant supplements do not prevent disease, she said.

Go to any drug store, or any health food store, and you'll find great quantities of supplemental antioxidents for sale.

Linus Pauling is the father of "nutritional" supplements and antioxidants ... more specifically vitamin C.

The cautionary tale here is that statistical linkage between phenomenon, be it vitamin C intake and cancer frequency, or earthquakes and fracking, is only that; statistical linkage.  Well practiced science goes far beyond, delving into possible other or related factors, and especially into the exact mechanisms that may bring about linkage.  In this day and age however, it seems that if someone can find a statistical link between two things, it makes the news, and occasionally permeates into healthcare and other practices as well.  Essentially, it's garbage scientific reporting in the least, and when scientists or practisioners make sweeping claims based on statistical linkage, garbage science.

But, it sells.

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