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Medicine Science

Does 'Supersizing' Supershrink Your Brain? 283

Rambo Tribble writes "As reported by the BBC, the journal Neurology is set to release the findings of a study in Oregon on diet and brain shrinkage in Alzheimer's victims. The upshot is: a diet rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial; trans fat and fast food are detrimental."
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Does 'Supersizing' Supershrink Your Brain?

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday December 30, 2011 @11:15AM (#38538346)

    Sometimes I think the western medical profession never really lost that Augustinian "If it's pleasurable, it's sinful" mentality it seemed to pick up in late Roman era. If I drink, smoke, watch TV, or eat anything other than cardboard and distilled water--every organ in my body will implode and I'll be lucky to live to the age of 4. The last time I went to a doctor, she flew into a mad rage after I told her I had been to a Cinnabon in the mall. I left about the time she started turning over furniture, informing her nurse on the way out that I would henceforth be seeking all my medical care from the local faith healer. Anyway, I had no desire to take any more shit from her for not eating the ORGANIC cardboard.

    As for the statistics, well, I have it on good authority that 99% of all studies find exactly what the author(s) wanted them to find all along.

  • by what2123 ( 1116571 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @11:18AM (#38538396)
    In short, there is nothing that is not damaging in an excessive amount. A lot of anything will bring bad consequences. This includes anything we consider "good" such as vitamins and minerals and HDL.
  • by Chemisor ( 97276 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @11:24AM (#38538464)

    The study found that high vitamin levels in the blood correlated with higher mental abilities, while higher levels of trans fats correlated with lower. The study says nothing about fruits, vegetables, or fast foods. There was also no evidence to conclude that this correlation is causative. They did not take people with high levels of trans fats and put them on a fruit-and-vegetable diet. If that were done, and their scores improved, they yes, they would have been justified in making such a recommendation. As things are, they made no effort to even determine where those vitamins and trans fats came from. If you ate hamburgers and too vitamin pills, you'd have high vitamin levels in your blood too. Another possibility is that people with lower mental abilities tend to eat more junk food with trans fats. That would create the same results in the study.

    So, repeat after me: correlation does not imply causation. If you don't know this, you have no business being a scientist.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @11:25AM (#38538484)

    From TFA:

    US experts analysed blood samples from 104 healthy people with an average age of 87 who had few known risk factors for Alzheimer's.

    They found those who had more vitamin B, C, D and E in their blood performed better in tests of memory and thinking skills. People with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids - found mainly in fish - also had high scores. The poorest scores were found in people who had more trans fats in their blood.

    So they found that certain vitamins are beneficial to memory, but as none of their test subjects had Alzheimers there is no basis for any claim regarding the disease. Although I am curious what's in the actual paper (seriously, couldn't we wait a few days posting this until the actual paper is out?).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30, 2011 @11:34AM (#38538596)

    N, the medical profession doesn't think that way. This is just a study.

    What we don't see is people talking about moderation and limits. This society is all about extremes: binge or deprive oneself. Nothing about moderation. Nobody says, "Sure, it's alright to have a cheeseburger, fries and that orange cream shake (McD's are AWESOME) every once in a while; just not everyday.

    It's the same with drinking alcohol. The only exception would be smoking (anything). Smoking is something that one should never do.

  • by JazzHarper ( 745403 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @11:44AM (#38538680) Journal

    So, repeat after me: correlation does not imply causation. If you don't know this, you have no business being a scientist.

    ...but are still well-qualified to be a journalist.

  • by zrakoplovom ( 1938894 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @12:04PM (#38538908)

    Except democracy. You can't have too much democracy.

    Except maybe the case of two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner...

  • FALSE:

    As it turns out, fast food is loaded with nutrients. That's not the problem... hell for the vast majority of Americans they get more then enough 'micro nutrients'. IT's the fat and sugars that are the problem.

    But go ahead and believe what the unregulated, low quality controlled, vitamin industry tells you.

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