Do the users of this forum constitute a test/experimental group?

(Hugo) #1

I’m not a scientist, but surely some of you are. Do tell me if I’m off base, and why, if you would.

Gary Taubes when talking about his NUSI initiative etc. is always banging on about the difficulty/expense of human nutritional experiments – liability, expense, compliance.

Controlling for outright liars and so on, don’t we on this forum constitute a test/experiment group (as opposed to control group)? If we agreed to get tested, report on our length on time on the diet, etc., go some way to solving this problem?

Any thoughts are appreciated, this has been on my mind.


Not unless they pay us lol.

Otherwise it’s all n=1, because there’s no way to control other outside variables here, nor is there any control group. We’d have about as much validity as a food questionnaire.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #3

I don’t mind doing food surveys for people if the questions are intelligent and if nobody is asking for personal information.


Yea, we neither have controls, nor are controlled for additional factors. We’re mostly a gathering of anecdotal evidence.

That’s not a bad place to get reasons to look into something, but it’s not an experiment on it’s own.

(Hugo) #5

I’m thinking outside variables get lessened the more of us there are, and that the control group (people who eat a standard diet) are the ones who are easy to find, or even that that data already exists – it’s literally the biomarkers of most people, contrasted to ours, that is people who have been on this diet long-term.

(Robert C) #6

Nope - we do not.

If 100 people show up here and only 10 stay, you’ve got a very specific group of 10 people that are (likely) successful on Keto.

Of the 90 that left, if they left out of boredom, no issue but, if they left due to different forms of failure - that would be a big issue.

Getting stats from the 10 people still here might seem all positive in terms of blood numbers for example.

But, it wouldn’t be representative of the 100 people that started.

(Alec) #7

I’m with RobC. We might be an interesting bunch to study, but we are hardly a representative sample. All sorts of confounders and lots of initial bias. Not a group I would pick to prove anything.

But the collection of n=1 wisdom and experience in here is mind-bogglingly brilliantly useful.

(John) #8

Self-selection bias. Any study based on us would only be true of people who voluntarily choose to sign up for a forum, actively post there, and also choose to participate in studies.

(Bunny) #9

Gary Taubes is quite an insightful thinker, he also talks about how people need different levels of ketosis on an individual basis, that’s some pretty deep stuff?

@Daisy Thought it was also interesting what Dr. Shawn Baker has to say about this:

The Adventures of Keto Woman Podcast Shawn Baker - Transcript

Daisy: And so what was it that led you into making that leap from keto to carnivore?

Shawn: Yeah. Certainly keto had helped me in a number of “health issues”, mainly with regards to things like, quality of sleep, blood pressure, musculoskeletal health and those types of things. But as an athlete, I was looking for a competitive athletic edge. And I started reading about the fact that a lot of athletes from days gone by would heavily utilized meat-based diets for performance. And as somebody who was always looking to try to do as good as I can, I just started to experiment with that. Then I explored some of the groups of people that were doing at the time on Facebook. A lot of people gave me criticism for, but I’m like, that’s where the data was. Once you look at that, and it’s…in my view, observing a group of people online is no different than an anthropologic study.

In my opinion better than any study could observe in the absence of paradox (the data parameters being most favorable to the researcher unconsciously influencing the outcome)? Not just cherry picking other pre-existing research?

If I were to fly out to Africa and observe those people, even though I can’t speak their language, and there’s all those barriers there and I can only get a glimpse, I can do the same thing online and just ask 5,000 people what works for them. And I think it’s a valid observation. Seeing that people were having success with that I said, well, I’m going to…I had been doing it off and on over about a year - I did it for a week, three or four days here, two weeks there. And then at one point I said, well, I’m going to do it for 30 days. Just kind of do a real trial. And I didn’t die. Nothing bad happened to me. In fact, I felt really, really good. Even better than I had on a ketogenic diet. …” …More

(bulkbiker) #10

Yes but… a lot of us would be happy sharing their data… I keep a daily food diary and I bet many do. I’ve got my data for food weight blood sugar etc for over 2 years… Better than any what did you eat over the past 12 months food questionnaire.

(Bacon is the new bacon) #11

If more of us were properly supervised, our stories could rise to the level of case notes, which are often valid sources of information. Case notes still don’t provide scientific proof, but they can be indicative and can offer perspectives on treatment. A doctor interested in treating patients with a well-formulated ketogenic diet could learn a lot of useful treatment tips by lurking here.

(John) #12

That would sure help in my case!

(Karen) #13

And there’s the when I have an epic unreported fail.

(Jane) #14

Same problem Keys had with his studies on hospital/ institutionalized patients. He could control their food but the population changed as patients checked in and out of the facility.

(Alec) #15

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there aren’t some doing exactly that! After reading the limited number of scientific papers and books on keto, where would you go next to get some real world evidence of keto reality? We’ve certainly seen some drs on here (I remember a discussion with one on statins some time ago), but I think they generally keep a low profile.

Any practising doctors care to stick their hands up to share their keto experience in their practice?


The only way I’d go back to hoarding data, to obsessively calculating calories and whatnot, is if they paid me. I ain’t about that life anymore, I’ve done my time. The only info they’d get out of me right now is a vague sense of how much food I eat, how I handle Carb Days (which is a lovely variable that would ruin their data), and how I handled a week of E. Coli on Ketovore.

(Ketopia Court Jester) #17

Outright liars or outliers? When it comes to outliers, ask me about my body’s hypersensitivity to stress. When it comes to outright liars, ask me about my landlady.

(I'll trade you my bacon for your cheese) #18

How many bananas can you fit in your mouth?

(Herb Martin) #19

First of all “Welcome” though you may have been ‘here’ longer than I have :slight_smile:

No we aren’t ‘scientific’ as others have said and are at a great resource for generating conjectures or hypothesis, perhaps some case notes but even that won’t be approximately valid for most of us.

Half the time I can’t even tell you WHICH intervention I did to cause a change. And if all the interventions are cheap & easy and perhaps needed it maybe be a long time (or never) before trying to isolate the cause will even be interesting to me.

In the last year, I’ve done (at least): Keto, Carnivore, Extended Fasting, Mega-Vitamins (with dozens of subtances), dropped statin drug (perhaps most important FOR ME*), and Nootroopics (all legal, some prescriptions by Doc though I would consider others if a source were available), and Hypnosis/NLP.

Notice that last: Hypnosis/NLP. I am trained in this field and do my best to IMPLEMENT THE PLACEBO and other psychological effects.

After all, placebos are 40% as effective a morphine in controlling pain and infinitely cheaper with no discernable or identifiable side-effects.

What’s improving my health? All of the above???

  • The statins drug was almost certainly making me stupid and almost incapable of long term focus or even getting through a day without extreme drowsiness. (Can’t prove it 100% though.) My wife too I believe, but almost certainly true for me.

Most of the above is fun or has some other use like weight loss, so I don’t much care. I could drop supplements that aren’t giving me a good ROI but they are cheap enough it’s not worth isolating them to decide which to drop first, and maybe there is some weird interaction where something else only works when the one I would drop is present.

What I do know is this:

My 4 years missing motivation & energy is BACK, or on the way back, and it showing effect on the real world in improving my life and my wife’s life (and maybe others.)

Placebo and all, I want it all – for now.

(Margie) #20