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Wheat shows up as deadly in China Study data

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I'm pointing out that the inflammatory THIS WILL KILL YOU/sports team support style of posting tends to have a negative effect on the board.


Adding to that, the China Study, flawed as it is, doesn't do low-carbing any favours.


Nor is it really that productive to share information from someone who doesn't seem to think writing WHEAT IS MURDER in large letters across their blog is antagonistic. I'd also be highly suspicious about what a freelance web designer could possibly offer in the way of conclusive scientific interpretation. And even then,.at least she's been astute enough to recognise she doesn't have enough data to actually draw a conclusion (although she does so anyway) and there's at least two major logical fallacies in her reasoning.

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I think it's important to read this BLOG.


Correlation between wheat flour and coronary heart disease: 0.67


That’s a value straight from the original China Study data. Could the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” have accidentally uncovered a link between the Western world’s leading cause of death and its favorite glutenous grain? Is the “staff of life” really the staff of death? Bwah ha ha.



****ing as it seems, a single unadjusted correlation isn’t enough to make that leap. Actually, nothing in this post will be enough to make that leap, because A) it’s epidemiological data and not a controlled study, and B) correlation isn’t causation anyhow. You know the drill.


So my goal here isn’t to prove anything about wheat. Mostly, I want to see if I can find a confounder that’s creating a false association between wheat and heart disease in the China Study data. Something wheat-eating regions have in common that makes them more susceptible to ticker troubles. Because really, folks, this is serious business:


A) it’s epidemiological data and not a controlled study, and


So much of what we put down are invalid assumptions based on invalid data. It is invalid because it's not controlled. The original study and subsequent rebuttals have all focussed on trying to figure out this data. At best this set of data points to areas needing study. Just as Deus rightly implies that this blogger's conclusions are likely invalid and overblown, the opposite is true too. The ::: THE CHINA STUDY ::: intro says


The China Study gives critical, life-saving nutritional information for every health-seeker in America. But, it is much more; Dr. Campbell’s exposé of the research and medical establishment makes this book a fascinating read and one that could change the future for all of us. Every health care provider and researcher in the world must read it.


Dramatic yes but invalid.


B) correlation isn’t causation anyhow.


This can't be emphasized enough. Much of what our world -- scientists, health care providors, government policy boards, author, patients, and the average Joe -- considers as "proof" that whatever is being prescribed to us is best for us is based on this type of evidence. Yes it's evidence, but it needs more to become proof. Much more. Causality can be proven only by demonstrating a mechanism.


Here's some examples to drive home the concept.


Firemen are associated with fires, so if we get rid of all firemen we get rid of all fires. Goofy huh?

White men are associated with playing quarterback in American football; therefore white men must be better quaterbacks than other races.

The same can be said for caucasians and hockey. Non-whites must be lousy hockey players.

The whole tobacco industry was founded on false associations.


Idaho potatoes are the best

Florida orange juice

Washngton apples

Maine lobsters (the best actually come from New Brunswick :) )


Correlation does not imply causation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In a widely-studied example, numerous epidemiological studies showed that women who were taking combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) also had a lower-than-average incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD), leading doctors to propose that HRT was protective against CHD. But randomized controlled trials showed that HRT caused a small but statistically significant increase in risk of CHD. Re-analysis of the data from the epidemiological studies showed that women undertaking HRT were more likely to be from higher socio-economic groups (ABC1), with better than average diet and exercise regimes. The use of HRT and decreased incidence of coronary heart disease were coincident effects of a common cause (i.e., the benefits associated with a higher socioeconomic status), rather than cause and effect as had been supposed.[3]


True or False: Hair Dye Causes Cancer - HealthLibrary

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and which are ,,,


...that she's assuming that Chinese people have an identical genetic make-up to everyone else on the entire globe (we already know that different ethnicities have different reactions to different nutrients) and that the consumption of wheat is as non-denomination in China as it is in the West (whereas the carb intake in China has historically been from rice and and to a lesser extent, millet, rather than wheat. Wheat consumption in China is primarily down to the adoption among richer people of a more 'Western' diet, which actually means wheat consumption is a marker of affluence, while this graphic designer claims that it isn't).


This fits in perfectly with xMenace's point about correlation not equalling causation.


There's also again the point that the China Study is unreliable anyway. There also seems to be a school of thought that suggests wholegrain wheat actually plays a role in preventing heat disease, although this is largely pushed by the cereal industry so I would consider it a dubious claim.


Anyway that's enough from me on carbs. The point I was making is that the inflammatory 'LOOK AT THIS SURVEY I FOUND! FAT/PROTEIN/CARBS WILL KILL YOU!' style of posting has partly played a role in disrupting the board. So has the equally antagonistic response to those sorts of threads.

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Despite the "Wheat kills" T-shirt, she does poo-poo any thought that she can deduce definitive answers from this data. The China Study is controversial but, so far, no one has questioned the raw data only its interpretation. I've talked with Ned Kock over at Health Correlator, who is a statistician and he believes her handling of this data has been impeccable, no matter what her background is.


As to its inflammatory nature, I guess it must seem so to you, so I can't dispute that. Still my thought in posting this was more about the ideas contained. No, it doesn't do low carb any favors. I low-carb but I recognize there is a lot more going on than that and we need to keep our minds and options open when it comes to metabolism.

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I wouldn't have used such a dramatic headline either, but then I am not American ;). She seems to know what she is talking about, and the comments at the end are interesting. I was interested to see that William Davis, the heart scan guy, also gave his 2 cents worth.

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