A pocketful of simple questions may be the best protection consumers can have to cope with the flood of health and medical news that makes headlines every day. Just how much is there? It’s hard to know, but at least one estimate says the presses are spewing out at least 1,000 studies each day. But whatever the number, it leaves a lot of consumers feeling like they are drowning in data.
It is simply impossible to keep up with it all. It’s not just the sheer number of studies and stories, which is overwhelming in and of itself, but it’s also the appearance of conflicting results among studies examining the same phenomena. Does fiber prevent colon cancer or not? Does a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables really affect a woman’s risk of breast cancer, or not? Trying to make sense of it all is sort of like mental whiplash.
So, what is a person to do?
For starters, ask a few questions. The answers will help you tell the good studies from the bad ones.
How big is the study? Size matters. Generally, the bigger, the better. A study examining the side effects of a treatment that has 1,000 people in it is going to be more meaningful than one evaluating the same thing in just 10 people.
Where was the study originally published? Good science is usually published in a journal, rather than publicized solely in a press release, presentation or self-published report. Journals have panels of scientists that review and criticize studies before they are published. If studies make it through the review process, publication in well-known journals like the New England Journal of Medicine, Science or Cancer give them even more credibility.
Who paid for the study? Generally, there is less chance that a study funded by the National Institutes of Health will be influenced by any conflict of interest than one funded by a private company. For example, a recent study showed that it is just as important to lower your C-reactive protein level as it is to lower your cholesterol level to reduce the chance of a heart attack. But this study was conducted by a scientist who developed a method to determine the level of C-reactive protein in blood. If it’s important to lower C-reactive protein, he could collect royalties on every sample tested.
This article sent by Aliza Tariq. She is a beautiful girl of Multan City. She belongs to rich family. Aliza is medical student. Aliza’s dream to become doctor and serve her nation.Related Posts