"How do I check this claim, please?"
A DM that regularly hits my inbox, from clients and followers alike.
Made me realise this is a huge issue in the field of health, nutrition and fitness.
We have doctors, dieticians and every Tom, Dick, Harry, Karen, Susan and Jill creating YouTube videos, podcasts, social media posts, blogs, tweets and more...
Which all say DIFFERENT things.
Hell, even our local library can't be trusted.
You read every book about diets on the shelf and you're left with a diet of water and ice, thinking everything you eat/drink will kill you.
So how do you challenge claims?
How do you know if someone is talking fact or fiction?
Here are my ways, broken down into several steps.
If you'd prefer to listen to this post, click here for today's podcast.
If ever you want to check the claims of certain foods, supplements or other hype.
Like if curcumin really does prevent cancer...
Then head over to Examine.
It's completely free (unless you wanna pay for it).
And it covers all the research that's relevant, broken down into easy to digest bites of info.
Slightly harder, but a growing resource is Red Pen Reviews by Stephan Guyunet.
Stephan is a world-leading nutritionist, doctor and researcher, author of the brilliant "Hungry Brain".
And this site is aimed at providing non-biased book reviews.
Other than that, you have to check research claims, which I'll go into now.
Any claim made on a blog, social media, YouTube and/or Netflix
Remember these forms of information are not policed, controlled or monitored.
It helps to have some brilliant people to follow on social media.
People like Spencer Nadolsky, Mike Israetel, Ben Carpenter, Layne Norton, etc. who regularly bust common myths.
But how to challenge these yourself?
Ask for references!
If someone can't give you a scientific reference or they're asking you to pay to play?
That's a big red flag.
If they provide you with a reference, or not, you can search the term on PubMed and or Google Scholar.
DO NOT USE SIMPLE GOOGLE, THAT WILL BRING YOU A HOST OF SHIT.
When you use the above search engines, make sure to use the words "review" or "meta-analysis".
Because then you'll be sent to the research papers which evaluate other research.
The kings and queens of research if you will.
This allows you to avoid the research which really doesn't matter, like animal studies, observational studies, in-vitro (petri dish) or small sample studies.
Usually, extravagant claims are made from singular studies that are small or one of the above.
Not that we instantly throw these out of course, but it's helpful to have them compared to bigger, more controlled studies that also take into account variables that matter.
Which is tough, don't get me wrong, but not impossible.
The key is combining the evidence we have with experience with real people, as long as it's genuine.
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who have skewed views because of what's worked for them and/or a small handful of people, who then get very dogmatic and biased about their method, not understanding the principle underneath the method.
Anyway, that's a bit of a rant of an email for a Thursday, if you've made it this far, congratulations and I hope this has helped.
If it has, drop a comment and let me know, happy to do more of this style of email.
Or share it using the links below, you know you want to.
How To Know If Someone Is Talking Shit