On Wednesday, February 16, 2000 12:25 PM Hal email@example.com wrote:
> Normally in these studies they do attempt to control for other variables.
> It's true, most people who take megadoses of C also take other vitamins,
> and may have a healthier diet and lifestyle.
Depends on the study, especially on the methodology of the experiment.
> But these factors are not perfectly correlated. Some people rely on
> swallowing pills and eat like pigs. Others follow an ascetic diet
> and exercise regimen but refuse to take "unnatural" vitamins. As a
> result when you do your statistical analysis you do have some basis
> for disentangling the various factors (at least, the ones you know to
> check for).
Sadly, I've noted such behavior among pill poppers. I've seen people eat
basically McDonald's style food and pop some niacin and a multi, etc. While
I don't know if anyone has studied this intensively, the behavior is
prevalent. A lot of people tend to see supplements as a means to escape
from other diet and lifestyle changes. Why not, e.g., eat junk food, sit on
the couch, and just swallow some extra esther C? It's certainly much
easier, if you like that life style, than eating healthy, living actively,
and taking supplements.
> With a large enough population that it should be possible to draw
> conclusions about the various factors and their effects. The statistical
> tests used by the researchers should show how successful they have been
> in isolating the various factors affecting health and longevity.
You still can't say until you examine the way the experimental and control
groups were chosen and monitored. After all, one could, if one doesn't get
a random sample, have one biased toward healthier or unhealthier people.
(This seems to be the case with some of the EMF studies. The people living
next to strong EMF sites -- power plants, high tension wires, etc. -- tended
to be poorer than average and less likely to have regular medical exams,
Daniel "qualifying everything" Ust
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