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Health Nerd Oct 29
HAHAHA I LOVE THIS STUDY: - n=45 - most of the comparisons were within-group - they ate A WHOLE AVOCADO A DAY - no improvement in most markers of heart disease - FUNDED BY BIG AVOCADO (seriously)
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
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Health Nerd
Basically, the scientists carefully designed three diets: - low-fat - medium-fat - AVOCADO
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
The diets were pretty much identical in many ways, except for the fat content and the inclusion of the smooshed avo
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
The results were hilariously unimpressive Avocados reduced LDL ('bad') cholesterol a tiny bit, and changed the levels of a couple of antioxidants a tiny bit as well
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
(For reference, the reduction in LDL here is <10% from baseline, while guidelines tend to argue for a 50% reduction if possible)
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
So, there was a minimally important reduction in 'bad' cholesterol But here's the funny part - it may not be important at all!
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
This is because, like many of these silly food studies, the researchers did a lot of what's known as "within-group" comparisons
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
Basically, this means that you compare the avocado diet at the end to the avocado diet at the beginning, rather than the control groups that they had This makes the result a bit meaningless because of regression to the mean (among other things)
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
If you ignore all the within-group comparisons, you're left with this. Avocados: - increase lutein concentrations a tiny bit - increase carotene concentrations (but less than another medium-fat diet) - decrease 'bad' cholesterol by ~4% more than another medium-fat diet
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
And remember, these weren't (as the headlines suggest) people just adding avocados to their diets! These were people eating care-fully controlled, formulated diets centered around avocados
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
It is ABSURD to suggest that you could take these complex, within-study diets and apply the results to people who are wondering what to eat to be a bit healthier
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
So why were the results blown so wildly out of proportion by the media (seriously, this was a pretty meaningless study)? Hard to say. But, could be to do with the funders of the trial...
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
Yes, this research was funded by the Hass Avocado Board, the organisation for the most commonly-grown avocado in the world (who the senior study author also works for) In other words, BIG AVOCADO
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
(As a side note, I'm confused how you can be employed by an organisation and then claim that they had no role in your study design - sure, not your primary role, but still...)
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
Another ~truly amazing~ thing about this study? The trial registration specifies 4 primary outcomes (total cholesterol, HDL, trigs, AND LDL) They only reported one I WONDER WHY THAT MIGHT BE????
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
There is some mention of HDL cholesterol, but only in reference to CETP (enzyme changes), nothing on differences between diets and nothing at all on triglycerides or total cholesterol!!!
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Health Nerd Oct 29
Replying to @GidMK
In summary: - industry-funded study - showed pretty much no benefit for avocados - didn't report 3 out of 4 primary outcomes (!) - probably doesn't apply to most people anyway
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