November 10, 2006

A Perfect Example of a Completely Flawed Study

Soy Yogurt Could Help Control Diabetes

An alert reader sent me this saying that this study proved fruit yogurt may control Type 2 diabetes.

A more perfect example of flawed research would be tough to find.

1. The study concludes that blueberry soy yogurt "controls" diabetes because it has more of a phytochemical which inhibits the enzymes that break down sugars than the other fruit yogurts it was compared to.

In this study one fruit yogurt (full of sugar, of course!) is only compared to other fruit yogurts with even more sugar as far as how much phytochemical it contains.

Note also that a pharmacetuical drug that completely inhibits the same enzymes has at best a very weak affect on blood sugar and only in people with very mild blood sugar abnormalities--the drug Precose. This drug and its drawbacks is discussed at The Truth about Oral Diabetic Drugs The tiny amounts of phytochemicals found in this yogurt, of course, would have a far weaker effect.

2. The researchers drew all their conclusions about "controlling diabetes" from the presence of these phytochemicals in the food. They did not observe the effect of the sugary fruit-filled yogurts on blood sugar. Fruit yogurt is full of sugar--usually 23 grams per serving, often more. That is enough to propel most of us into dangerous blood sugar territory.

3. The researchers claimed that soy fruit yogurt lowered ACE, a hormone involved with the regulation blood pressure, more than other yogurts. I imagine it also lowered it more than Milky Ways and chocolate cake. This does NOT make it a drug in food form.
Furthermore, they extended this finding about the effect on ACE to make the claim that their sugary fruit yogurt lowers blood pressure. That was not actually examined in this study. Again, the powerful pharmaceutical drugs that suppress ACE only work for people with diabetes in relatively large doses, probably hundreds of times higher than the amount of the phytochemicals found in the sugary yogurt.

4.One major company that makes soy yogurt, LightLife, coincidentally happens to have headquarters located near the UMASS lab. (In Turners Falls, two miles from my house. So I know what I'm talking about.) Lightlife was recently purchased by Conagra, a huge conglomerate that grows soy for the plastic industry and is always looking for ways to sell the excess soybeans. The article does not disclose whether LightLife/Conagra funded this study or others being done at this nutrition lab. Wanna guess if they were?

Finally, THE STUDY DID NOT MENTION THAT SOY IS POISONOUS TO THYROIDS AND PEOPLE WITH TYPE 2 HAVE A VERY HIGH INCIDENCE OF THYROID DISEASE!

The article concludes that, of course, everyone knows that a diet high in fruit and whole grains is what diabetics need.

Would someone send this lab a blood sugar meter and ask them to observe the effect on blood sugar of their fruit and sugar-laden yogurts compared with, say, a nice piece of chicken breast with cheese?

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