In recent months, findings from several studies—and the media attention they’ve garnered—have created a stir in the natural products industry.
The scenario has played out like this: Emerging research calls into question a mainstream supplement with seemingly impressive science behind it. Headlines declare that the once-wonderful nutrient is now, well, not so wonderful. Sales of the supplement in question fall off. Fellow scientists scramble to restore confidence, pointing out flaws in the new research. The media frenzy dies down. Consumers and retailers are left vaguely unsettled, but mostly reassured… that is, until the pattern repeats again.
How does one distinguish good science from “bad science”? When armed with the proper knowledge, it is possible to distinguish a meaningful clinical study that has utilized rigorous methodology, from a potentially flawed one that has generated results that are questionable, or just plain false.
Here are six questions to ask to evaluate the strength of a particular piece of research:
So, the next time the media circus comes to town over controversial new research, ask some questions before drawing any conclusions. The answers will determine the degree of confidence you can place in the study, and will help you make informed decisions about your own health, the products you carry, and the health of your customers. WF
Energized by a desire to unite public health initiatives with the growing field of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), Eliza Leggatt is a gifted communicator and health educator. Eliza draws upon a wealth of experience ranging from the United States Marine Corps to motherhood. During her time in the Marine Corps, Eliza earned a meritorious promotion upon graduating from recruit training in Parris Island, South Carolina. She was honored after graduating from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where she earned a higher GPA than any previous graduate. She saw and experienced firsthand the prevalence and consequences of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affecting our servicemen and women, and entered the civilian world with a renewed enthusiasm for educating about Natural Living. Intense in her zeal, yet gentle in her approach, Eliza empowers others on their health journeys with compassion, candor, and a unique ability to convey complex scientific principles in a down-to-earth, accessible manner.