More and more “scientific” studies are beginning to follow a trend which may be disastrous on the long run for people trusting actual research. One of the most recent examples involves sexual health and a healthy diet. According to multiple scientific sources, here is why a fruit diet won’t cure erectile dysfunction by itself.
- The study claimed that flavonoids found in berries, citrus, and red wine can reduce chances of erectile dysfunction
- Being observational in nature, the study failed to find a cause-effect relationship
- The researchers also ignored some participants’ life style factors in order to confirm their theory
- Items in the questionnaires didn’t have proper definitions or explanations
- 25,000 men participated in the study started in 1986
A few days ago, a study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the University of East Anglia in England emerged, claiming that a diet rich in what is known as flavonoids can lead to as high as a 14% decreased chance of developing erectile dysfunction.
More specifically, the researchers looked at the flavanones and flavones usually found in citrus fruit, as well as at anthocyanins, generally found in such berries as blackberries, blueberries, and cherries, as well as in red wine and radishes.
The study consisted of an actually impressive and very scientifically correct sample of 25,000 men, middle aged or even older, all of whom had to fill out surveys regularly since the beginning of the study in 1986.
Over three 4 year periods of time, the participants had to fill out a survey in which they rated how well they could maintain an erection during intercourse.
According to the study, eating a diet rich in the above mentioned flavonoids can lead to a 14% lower chance of developing erectile dysfunction.
But this is where the research’s faults start becoming evident.
Most scientists that deemed the study with a response agree that the observational study couldn’t have found a direct link between flavonoids and erectile dysfunction due to the innate limitations of the study’s nature.
Also, the researchers chose to ignore the fact that eating a fruit rich diet is part of living a healthier lifestyle, and that previous studies showed associations between healthier life styles and decreased risk of erectile dysfunction.
Not smoking and exercising are also factors in maintaining a good sexual health, and the researchers behind the study omitted that the participants that ate more fruit also tended to exercise more and smoke less.
Another issue would be the improper definition of arguably the most important item in the questionnaire – the erection.
In the questionnaires, participants were simply asked to state if they were able to hold an erection during intercourse, but there was quantification or qualification involved in the item at all, the users being able to interpret it as they wished.
These are only a few of the issues concerning some of these most recent studies, which seem to plague the scientific world.
Researchers are worried that if this trend of publishing biased, incomplete studies, with no regard for the actual scientific process, the public will stop taking them seriously, or even worse, believing everything they read regardless of the source.
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