For many months I have been keeping track of the drivel that Amanda Davey, among other non-discriminating analysers of the medical literature have been presenting to the Australian medical community through the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) and The 6minutes Newsletter.
Having a poor ability to discriminate between the 50% or so of the fraudulent papers that get published in the medical literature, they highlight one idiotic article after another, leaving the Australian practitioner with damagingly doctored data on which to shape his or her daily practice.
Examples of outstandingly decrepit science come from Professor David Handelsman who published a study that advised new ‘normal’ levels of testosterone from which to judge whether a man needs to be given supplemental testosterone or not. The study was in fact a non-study as it was not based on a thorough clinical examination and assessment of the mental and physical skill levels of males with ideal body mass. A properly done study of testosterone would have divided men into quintiles based on age, and used only data from mentally and physically optimal males. This was not done. Therefore, the data mean nothing, but were used to inform the Australian government about what level of testosterone would qualify a patient to get testosterone supplementation on the PBS. Since a range of ‘normal’ values tells one nothing about an individual male, using that data does a disservice to all males with symptoms of testosterone deficiency and offends the intellectual integrity of those practitioners who are trying to treat a human by clinical assessment and not numbers conjured up by a bean counter. This is how the use of the ‘normal range’s abused: if a male’s testosterone is 8 nmol/L and is considered normal, how could another male in this magical normal range be normal if his level is 40 nmol/L, a value 500% greater than the other so-called normal? Anywhere else in life, an increase of such a magnitude over a ‘normal’ value would be considered very abnormal and measures would be undertaken to correct this. Possibly, in this case, castration, if according to Prof Handelsman testosterone is so dangerous.
The normal range is only useful to identify outliers, high or low, and has no value in the clinical assessment of people who are in range. This is stupid science.
Following that breach of intellectual integrity comes a paper by Prof Stephen Simpson touting that Paleo diets kill- omitting the word rodents. The paper was based on mouse data which almost never apply to humans. Worse, he is then quoted in the MJA with his ideal diet- one so extreme in its misuse of macro-nutrients, that no human could survive on it. It is vitamin B 12 deficient, has no vitamin K2 in it, is heavily sugar (carbohydrate) based and is nothing like what modern humans evolved on. It is, in short, absolute junk science. It is the rat/mouse diet.
“We also know that if you are obese and wish to lose weight, then in the short term a high-protein diet, say 25%, is a good way to go,” says Prof Simpson. The remainder of the discussion shows that the authors have no idea what an ideal diet is!
Professor Simpson is an expert on locusts. His co-author Prof Raubenheimer is a former butterfly researcher from Cape Town. They should stick to their areas of expertise as they have no sense of what humans should eat, and are giving out horribly damaging advice that flies in the face of evolutionary history and, now, the guidelines of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Shame on you ‘scientists’ and the MJA for lying to Australian doctors. We, and the public we serve, deserve better: much better..