T Nation

Anyone Good Reading Into Studies?

So I was debating about the benefits of sat fats, and was presented with this study showing that increasing PUFA in place of SFA reduces chance of CHD.

I’m not great at pulling these things apart, but it kind of goes against what I’ve been led to believe lately.

Little help?

This is just a meta analysis of randomized controlled trials.

In other words this was not reported from a single clinical trial but aggregated from many different studies.

I would not take it seriously because they do not control for normal, healthy and active individuals but rather individuals who had CHD events. Basically they are trying to show a correlation between consumption of PUFA (no specific fatty acid) and lowering of CHD events.

There is so much left unanswered in this analysis.

edited

[quote]Tom240 wrote:
So I was debating about the benefits of sat fats, and was presented with this study showing that increasing PUFA in place of SFA reduces chance of CHD.

I’m not great at pulling these things apart, but it kind of goes against what I’ve been led to believe lately.

Little help?[/quote]

Buy the book Studying a Study and Testing a Test. It helped me enormously in undergrad and masters.

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]Tom240 wrote:
So I was debating about the benefits of sat fats, and was presented with this study showing that increasing PUFA in place of SFA reduces chance of CHD.

I’m not great at pulling these things apart, but it kind of goes against what I’ve been led to believe lately.

Little help?[/quote]

Buy the book Studying a Study and Testing a Test. It helped me enormously in undergrad and masters. [/quote]

I will, thanks! Just looked on Amazon and it’s going for either £45 or £1.32 with different covers…am I missing something?

you basically want to do the opposite. too many PUFA’s increase inflammation in the body. this has been studied a lot lately and you can find quite a bit of research articles on it. you body is a hot environment and breaks down PUFAs just like when you cook them. they oxidize very easily and readily in the body. i would however still consume moderate amounts of fish oil since they have a large array of benefits but to just make sure they are taken with vitamin E and or other antioxidants. you want to keep saturated and monounsaturated fat intake high. get your fats from eggs, coconut oil, grass fed butter, avocados, some olive oil, and limit your intake of nuts and seeds

[quote]deadliftindago21 wrote:
you basically want to do the opposite. too many PUFA’s increase inflammation in the body. this has been studied a lot lately and you can find quite a bit of research articles on it. you body is a hot environment and breaks down PUFAs just like when you cook them. they oxidize very easily and readily in the body. i would however still consume moderate amounts of fish oil since they have a large array of benefits but to just make sure they are taken with vitamin E and or other antioxidants. you want to keep saturated and monounsaturated fat intake high. get your fats from eggs, coconut oil, grass fed butter, avocados, some olive oil, and limit your intake of nuts and seeds[/quote]

That’s what I thought, hence the confusion. Ordered that book anyway, thanks Brick

To anyone interested, that book can be downloaded for free with minimal effort.

Now, there are various issues that need to be taken into consideration when judging the worth of a meta-analysis. These can be found pretty easily with Google, but we can discuss them here if you’d like.

Beyond that, I don’t personally like throwing around meta-analyses in discussions. Not because I feel they are inherently worthless, but because I’m generally distrustful of anything that requires the manipulation of complex and diverse sets of data with nutty statistical software in order to synthesize results. That’s just my personal bias; doesn’t necessarily mean anything beyond my general skepticism of most publications and subpar education in mathematics.

However, this analysis only looked at eight studies. Since I’ll be done with finals tomorrow, if we can them in their entirety, we can use them as skill-building exercises as you read through your book.

[quote]anonym wrote:
To anyone interested, that book can be downloaded for free with minimal effort.

Now, there are various issues that need to be taken into consideration when judging the worth of a meta-analysis. These can be found pretty easily with Google, but we can discuss them here if you’d like.

Beyond that, I don’t personally like throwing around meta-analyses in discussions. Not because I feel they are inherently worthless, but because I’m generally distrustful of anything that requires the manipulation of complex and diverse sets of data with nutty statistical software in order to synthesize results. That’s just my personal bias; doesn’t necessarily mean anything beyond my general skepticism of most publications and subpar education in mathematics.

However, this analysis only looked at eight studies. Since I’ll be done with finals tomorrow, if we can them in their entirety, we can use them as skill-building exercises as you read through your book.[/quote]

Anonym

I see what youre saying, but with respect, meta-analyses represent one of the most important tools in our arsenal for being able to understand the mechanistic links between various treatments and outcomes. For a nice example, look at the explanation of why the Cochrane Collaboration logo is what it is:

http://www.cochrane.org/about-us/history/our-logo

No-one is saying that a meta-analysis cant be without fault. But what they can do is take a whole host of studies dealing with the same question and use all the data contained within to provide much more robust insight than any single trial could do. This is because some trials have low sample sizes, or low effect sizes, or big effect sizes with huge uncertainty (e.g. confidence intervals), and a meta-analysis can integrate over all this uncertainty to give clearer answers, while at the same time reducing the bias that any one study can contribute because there was something “special” about it (intentional or not). If we were to look at that special study in isolation, our conclusions might be totally different to the generalized outcome from the corresponding meta-analysis.

BG