How to Interpret Research Designs

Laboratory Research

An issue that began in the early 1900’s and has continued to cause problems today, is that many scientists forget the hierarchy of research. The hierarchy begins with hypothesis generating methodologies such as epidemiology and cross-sectional research (epidemiology based on a specific population characteristic). These are the studies that almost exclusively use self-report to generate their findings.

The issue with self-report is that it is often inaccurate and unreliable. Participants will lie on survey questions that put them in a negative light and they will inaccurately remember events that happened previously, self-report on food scales are notorious for having these issues.

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Coconut Oil is Not Pure Poison

Saturated Fat

Dr. Karin Michaels recently made a big splash on Facebook with her dietary recommendations. More specifically she referred to coconut oil as pure poison, which prompted a flood of questions, concern and outrage. First, Dr. Karin Michaels is a Harvard professor that represents the Harvard School of Public Health from the department Epidemiology and Nutrition, so most of her studies use epidemiological research designs (AKA Self Report) and you click here to learn more about how we should interpret the findings of epidemiological research.

The video of her talk has amassed over 1 million views and I would love to have shared it with you, but it is no longer available. So below is a news report on her talk as evidence that it happened.

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How to Manage Histamine Intolerance

Histamine-Wine

Intolerance to histamine can develop through increased availability of histamine and impaired histamine degradation (1, 5). It is possible for the body to overproduce histamine in response to allergies, mast cell death, an overabundance of histamine producing bacteria, gastrointestinal bleeding or increased consumption of histidine and histamine through food or alcohol. Biogenic amines, such as putrescine and cadaverine, may also be involved in displacing histamine from the mucosal mucine of various cells throughout the body, which results in an increase of absorbable free histamine in circulation. Putrescine is a breakdown product of amino acids and proteins, it contributes to bad breath, the smell of urine and the smell of dead tissue, E. Coli also produces this compound. In high enough concentrations, putrescine can be toxic.

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The Ultimate Guide to Fats

Ultimate Guide to Fat

It’s time I shared the skinny on fats with everyone. Which fats contribute to improved health, which fats promote a decline in health and why. To this day we are still inundated with conflicting information from seemingly renowned sources.

All fats have a glycerol head and a fatty acid chain of varying length or carbon atoms, how fat is categorized depends on whether there are open bonds in the fatty acid chain.
Saturated Fat

Saturated fat has a carbon chain with no open molecular bonds. Saturated fats are stable because a hydrogen atom occupies each carbon molecule, meaning that all possible open bonds are closed or “saturated”.

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The Carbohydrate-Insulin Hypothesis is Wrong and Why it Doesn’t Matter

Lowfat-vs-lowcarb

To understand how this contentious debate started, let’s see where the Carbohydrate-Insulin Hypothesis (CIH) came from?

In the classic book “Good Calories, Bad Calories” Gary Taubes plunges centuries of research to make the case that carbohydrates instead of fat is driving our current epidemic of obesity. He also illustrates how we got caught in the current low-fat recommendations and how the calories in–calories out theory is complete nonsense. It is a dense read designed for doctors and research scientist.

The CIH was simple: carbohydrate -> insulin release -> increased storage of fat.

This hypothesis has the benefit of parsimony, but it‘s the over-simplification that makes the CIH easily disproved. It’s not that the hypothesis is wrong, it’s just that it needs to be expanded.

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How to Increase Self-Efficacy

super-hero-self-efficacy

One of the core components of my coaching strategy involves building self-efficacy, a term you might be more familiar with as “confidence”. Researchers also define self-Efficacy as your perceived ability to apply your energy to a situation and achieve a positive result (I feel confident I can overcome this!).

The opposite of self-efficacy is learned helplessness, which is a perception that no matter how much energy you put forward, a negative outcome will come about.

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How to Manage your Wellness Package

Wellness-Health-Scheduling

Getting the most out of a health coaching package can be confusing. Use this guide to navigate through the process of making the most out of your chosen wellness package to schedule the right service at the right time. I look forward to meeting with you and working toward helping you achieve your health and wellness goals!

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Hidden Stress and Allostasis

Life-Stress

“The term allostasis refers to the process whereby an organism maintains physiological stability by changing parameters of its internal milieu by matching them appropriately to environmental demands 2”. Think of allostasis as a rubber band that bends and flexes as you pull it and then returns to its original state at rest. It differs from the term homeostasis, which is your body’s preferred state of equilibrium or balance. Homeostasis is the rubber band and allostasis is the rubber band’s ability to adapt and return to normal.

Allostatic load is how much ‘wear and tear’ your body can handle through repeated adaptation responses activated during stressful situations.

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Phosphatidylserine – Brain Health and the Stress Response

Brain Health

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is part of every cell in the body and brain, supports the clearance of damaged cells and also supports the bi-lipid membrane of cells, supporting cell longevity. PS is most concentrated in the brain, followed by the liver, kidneys and testes/ovaries, all of which are where PS is internally produced (13).

PS is an important nutrient for managing every type of stress the body can experience. Researchers have found PS to blunt psychological stress and physiological stress in response to intense exercise and recovery from physical injury (2,3,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,17,18,19).

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The Difference between Weight Loss and Fat Loss

Crossfit Primal Movement

This is simply losing mass. People rarely care where the mass comes from, they only care that the number on the scale is going down. You can lose intracellular water, extracellular water, muscle, and fat. Each of these will result in lower numbers on the scale. The only thing that is desirable is fat loss, the problem is that this is not a speedy process and if it is, you are likely losing water and/or burning muscle.

When you initially eat healthy your body lets go of water and inflammation. This is the initial weight loss you hear about on commercials “I lost 50 lbs in 3 weeks!”. You have not yet truly lost weight, you are now down to your weight without retained water and inflammation. This is where real weight loss begins and where your perception of healthy weight loss comes into play.
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