T Nation

Chris on Studies (Think Tank)

Ok, bad wrist…so forgive me if this is short. I know I’ve ranted in the past about products, and I know I’ve asked for studies. Here’s the issue…I’d love to see the studies and formulate my own opinions…
So show us the FULL study, aka, objectives, proceduers, info on subjects, results, and a discussion of the results, and that would be awesome and I would buy even more Biotest supplements than I already do (I mainly buy stuff from you guys in the summer when I need the best prodcuts money can buy). Like A7-E for example; we know it’s a great thermogenic but how much extra weight loss will it cause in a group vs. a placebo group? How much more muscle is retained? The info you give us about the products is great…mechanisms of action etc… but there are some science geeks on here that would love see a more pharmaceutical version of it, completely unstripped down. Granted most of won’t understand all of it but I’ve learned more from this site than I’ve learned in college in a lot of respects. LIke what was done with studying TRIBEX was exceptional…
We all trust you guys, and in fairness we SHOULD NOT rant about a study, rather we should ask constructive questions to further our own knowledge which is more limited than yours.
Like say for Alpha Male…how much does it boost T levels in different age brackets (mean value +/- Standard deviation)…how much is BMR elevated by A7-E and how much more T4 is converted to T3? How much should one expect their body temperature to rise if at all?
Granted there are certain things you can’t explain; not all mechanisms of action are always known (evne for plenty of prescription drugs too). But studies showcasing the clinical data would be fun to read and hopefully educational.
There’s my think-tank contribution

Oh darn I posted a question about how to…on the think tank log section. I hope it gets bumped to here instead.

But since the subject is about providing studies. Why doesn’t anyone, I mean anyone, question the Federal Dietary Guidelines from as far as the 1950s, and the declaration of the high carb, low protein, low fat diet to today’s slightly changed dietary guidelines? It’s our money (ours, parents, grandparents, etc) that has been wasted over the years on absent research to try and prove a belief that wasn’t conclusive. Like the drug war I guess I could say. We’re fed the whole checking government in HS US history, but there isn’t too much when it comes to what comes into out homes legally.

yup it’s a rant. i feel better now.

Proteinpowda, mate, that like at least 10 to 15 pages of paper for each study plus data and references! If the study was done by Biotest well there is no problem but published third party research may be owned by a journal and then licensed for distribution to a journal provider which you then have to pay a fee to subscribe to and even then further reproduction is breach of copyright!

All that copyright nonsense aside there are very few people even here qualified to read them and interpret the information correctly remember, too much info can be as bad as not enough. For example I could write a paper on genistein and thelarche rates against the changing of Asian diets and with the aid of statistical manipulation could say that I proved Y when the data pointed towards X. There’s only a few people even here who would be able to see through and it would still take them some time. Even if I had said I had proven X which I had, there may be many more that would disagree due to their lack of knowledge in the area or the fact that they had not spent long enough studying results. In short it would be a mess! The internet allows people to give opinions with very little comeback so many don’t spend as long thinking about things as they would if their (professional) reputation depended on it.

If it’s a question of trust well you can only really rely on peer reviewed work which would usually mean it’s published, if the paper is peer reviewed and published you can find an abstract and sometimes the full paper at pubmed, science link or other search engines. Even then not all research is created equal!

You can allways take down the info on the works cited page and do your own abstract if you choose. That is what they are there for, aside from preventing plagerism.
I have actualy done this a few times. Not much fun, and being a lazy s.o.b., I’d rather just take these guys word for it.

[quote]Chris Shugart wrote:
Are studies valuable or not? After all, we learned that “squats are bad for your knees” from a study. And studies are grossly abused in marketing. Boron anyone?[/quote]

I’m sorry, but I have to respectfully, partially disagree with Chris and most others on this matter. (I say “partially” because I completely agreed with everything Chris said up until this last sentence, which actually comprises a small portion of the total post.)

If T-Nation has taught us one thing about all things training-related, it is to question external appearances and hype. As T-Men, we are to learn. Yes, I buy Biotest stuff every month as if the company is packing up and moving to Thailand. I have tremendous respect for the company and the products that they manufacture/produce, and I will until I have a reason to feel otherwise. However, I don’t think that dismissing studies as being possibly irrelevant is a very logical assertion.

Many of the responses coming from other contributors went something like this: “Well, strength coaches have to be ahead of science, knowing what works before we actually know how it works.”

True. However, this is not really a supporting statement, as training developments and supplement developments are not analogous. I guarantee you that Mr. Conte didn’t stumble along ZMA when he found those exact mineral proportions were in the drinking water at Ronnie Coleman’s house. Supplement production, most always, is derived from a scientific process. Yes, ideas from past innovations are sampled, but studies are done because there is simply no other means of collecting a working, in vivo model of the product.

So, why do we want to see studies? Personally, I have never asked to see one on this site; however, I certainly relate to those that have (with exception to the “But I felt it!” guys that Chris mentioned). New users of a supplement would have absolutely nothing to guide them except the praise of the product by T-Nation staff. Is that good enough? Likely it is, but (I speak for myself on this) I would just want something more. There is something at the root of me that demands to know the following:

*What is the mechanism of action?
*How was the study conducted?
*What was the mean response to the product?
*How many in the sample were non-responders?
*How did response correlate to age/gender?

There are other questions, as well. Yes, I know that not every study lists information so explicitly. However, the good ones do. An effective study has the appropriate sample to answer these questions. An effective publication will have the appropriate information for the reader.

Are studies useless? No, they are not. Good studies are invaluable. However, those are often rare. I’m just going out on a limb with this, but I would imagine that Biotest would know a thing or two about making a solid, well-drafted study.

Just a thought, guys.

~Terumo