Correlations vs Causes

Quick rant on research studies these days…

Here’s the deal. Most research studies published today and popularized by supplement companies and bloggers with big reputations are based on correlations, NOT causes.

What’s the difference?

Correlations are defined as  a mutual relation of two or more things, parts, etc

Causes are defined as a person or thing that acts, happens or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result, the producer of an event.

Now that we know the differences we can continue.

For example, a study can come out that says that a person who drinks 5 sodas a day has terrible teeth. Thus soda causes bad teeth, right?

That’s a correlation, it’s NOT a cause. Might the same person who drinks 5 sodas do so out of a straw? Might he brush his teeth every other day?

In the sports nutrition world we often see these correlations mistaken as cause.

Tribulus raises testosterone levels…

No, tribulus, in short term studies, slightly raises the lutenizing hormones. So since raising the LH hormone has been shown in endocrinology to raise testosterone levels then tribulus raises test.

Here’s some other correlations and not causes…

Leucine increases protein synthesis therefore leucine increases muscle mass.

Ariginie increases nitric oxide production thereby increase nutrient delivery.

Ornithine spurs the pituitary gland therefore raising growth hormone.

Green tea raises metabolism thereby it burns body fat.

Training your legs increases muscle mass all over your body.

Carbs led to body fat so they have no place in a fat loss diet.

I could go on for days but my question to you is, what do you have to add? Leave a comment below.

If we get  25 Facebook “Likes” I’ll hook you guys up with part of a interview that I did with Dr.John Berardi all about progressive nutrition.

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