blueberry icecream

Not All Medical Studies Are Fact

Hey there Guys,

Every day we are bombarded with “health factoids” that report various changes in diet, activity or a variety of variables can help offer some sort of miracle cure.

Today I wanted to highlight an interesting study done by the Nurses Health Study (NHS) in the USA. This study helps highlight that not all medical findings are based on black and white facts…

So as reported in the online medical journal TheHeart.org:

A diet rich in anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids with recognized heart-friendly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, was associated with a 32% drop in the risk of incident MI in a cohort of >93 000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study 2

Translating this out of medical jargon… Nurses who ate berries, in this case blueberries and strawberries, more then three times a week of berries had a 1/3 drop in heart attacks.

This is the sort of data that the newspapers love to report: “New Miracle Diet Helps Prevent Heart Attack, see page 5 for details…”

Sadly while the facts are indeed true, eating these berries does help reduce heart attack, what isn’t reported is that women whe eat berries are different to those who don’t. Women to eat berries on a regular basis also tend to exercise more, not smoke and have better diets on a whole.

While the study zero’s in on the berries they are missing the whole picture.

Unfortunately this style of reporting is frequent with readers fed partial truths, then an inevitable disappointment when they don’t get the same result.

So what is the key finding from this study?

People with healthy diets and regular exercise are less likely to have a heart attack.

Sadly adding blueberries to your hot fudge sundae is very unlikely to help prevent a heart attack, no matter how sexy the magazine article reports.

So guys, not all medical reporting is based on all the evidence. If you are keen to embark on a change you discovered in your “weekend shopper magazine”, it never hurts to run it by a doctor first.

Yours “with blueberries on top”

Dr George

 

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