Tuesday, January 9


That's the unspoken message in two science stories I just ran across on the front page of Google News, though neither, of course, spells it out this way. And in one case, the evidence is only circumstantial: In nearly one in five nutrition studies done on milk, there is a conflict of interest on the part of the author(s) that calls into question the credibility of the entire study. While it's possible the "author conflict" turns out to be irrelevant to a given study's conclusions, it's worth noting that this percentage of occurrence - 18% - is greater than that found in juice studies (8%) and soft drink studies (6%) combined.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell the authors of this study don't even mention that fact, only their sun-rises-in-the-east conclusion that beverage studies' conclusions may be biased in favor of the studies' funders. But the data is there in "Table 1" on page 4 of this document (the "author conflict" data). Dunno why the study's authors didn't see fit to point out this anomaly. Who's funding them, anyway?

The other item is more straightforward: Milk cancels health benefit of drinking tea, much as milk cancels health benefit of eating chocolate. Of course if one food is health-positive and adding another renders it health-neutral, it's a pretty good bet, isn't it, that the second food is health-negative, that is, bad for you in some particular way. But I guess it's asking too much for any of the news reports I've read to even bring up that possibility. It's all just some bizarre phenomenon that only affects milk when in combination with black tea. Right.

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