Academic ResearchFruit

Now 10-a-day Supplemental

Further to this post, one of the most interesting findings of this recent study was that individual fruits and vegetables and various categories of fruits and vegetables randomly seemed to help or not help different conditions.

In the following table, I have taken the findings from Tables 2-6 in the paper – for CHD, stroke, CVD, Cancer and all-cause mortality – and shared whether or not the findings were statistically significant (Y or N). I have then loosely used the term ‘helped’ where there was a statistically significant difference and “didn’t help’ where there was no statistically significant difference. (The * indicates where this particular item or category was not contained in the table for that condition).

Does this make sense to you? Either certain fruits and veg have magic properties or they don’t. How can we claim fruit and veg are healthy with these random results?!


Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Table 6 (* = Not In Table)
Significant Difference? CHD Stroke CVD Cancer All-cause mortality Comments
Apples, pears Y Y Y * Y Apples & pears help
Bananas N * * * N Bananas don’t
Berries N N N * Y Berries help mortality but not the rest
Citrus Fruits Y Y Y N Y Citrus fruits help – but not cancer
Dried Fruits N N N N * Dried fruits don’t help
Fruit juice Y Y N N Y But fruit juice (sometimes) does!
Grapes N N N * * Don’t bring grapes to hospital
Allium vegetables N N * * N Garlic/onions etc…
Onions N * * N N … don’t help
Cruciferous veg N N N Y Y Cancer & dying helped but nothing cardio
Non-cruciferous veg * * Y N N Cancer & dying NOT helped but cardio is
Green leafy veg Y Y Y N Y Helps, but not with cancer
Potatoes N N N N Y Spuds help mortality but not the rest
Tomatoes N N N N * Not the wonder food they’re claimed to be
Beta carotene rich F&V Y * N * * CHD yes, CVD no? How does that work?
Vit C rich F&V Y * N * * As above
Raw F&V N * N * Y Even raw food ain’t that good
Root veg * N * * N Root veg does nothing…
Carrots * * Y * * …but carrots help with CVD?
Tinned fruit * * Y (adverse) N Y (adverse) Tinned fruit doesn’t help or may harm?
Broccoli * * N N * Don’t bother with broccoli
Pickled veg * Y * N * Pickled veg for stroke, but not cancer
Salads * * * N Y Not much helps with cancer full stop!

13 thoughts on “Now 10-a-day Supplemental

  • Here’s another “correlation does not equate to causation” study:

    This couldn’t possibly have anything to do with marijuana users diet or lack of exercise (no one ever dealt with the munchies by eating steak and salad) could it? It must be the illegal (at the time) drugs. And of course, people who indulge in illegal recreational pharmaceuticals (or non-pharmaceuticals) live perfect healthy lives all the time.

    The reason I’m posting this, is because it’s yet another example of Bad Science(tm) which seems to be endemic these days, and not just limited to nutritional studies.

  • Isn’t one of the main problems with this study is that most (or all?) of the underlying research is based upon Food Frequency Questionnaires?

  • From reading this table, it would appear that eating only apples, pears, citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables is of much benefit to our health!

    • Hi Carol
      Indeed! However, it sill doesn’t address my view that F&V intake is a MARKER of health, not a MAKER of health. It could be that healthy people happen to eat those things – not that those things make people healthy!
      Best wishes – Zoe

      • I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about nutritional “science”!

        My degree was in mathematical physics. Physics has several comprehensive Theories (in the scientific sense of “Theory”). Before you can claim a new particle exists, the convention is “5 sigma”; a bit different from nutritional claims! Good studies that contradict existing Theories are taken seriously by many (perhaps younger) scientists, because they may mean we need a paradigm shift. (Although as Max Planck said: “science advances one funeral at a time”!)

        A good scientist shouldn’t look at the above variety of results and simply average them out. The differences and disagreements are features to be explained, perhaps leading to new paradigms, and not simply be dismissed. It may be the difference between getting one more publication, and getting the Nobel Prize!

        Rant over!

  • This is a little bit on-topic here, and much more on-topic for this website:
    “A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes”

    I expect you are on first-name terms with some of the authors! (I’m a fan of Dr Sarah Hallberg. If I had such problems, I would very happy to have her as my doctor).

    • Hi Barry
      Many thanks for this ‘hot off the press’ – I do know many of these people. I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting Sarah, but we have a mutual friend in Nina Teicholz so one day!
      Best wishes – Zoe

    • Interesting. But it’ll get buried because of this paragraph:
      _We evaluated whether individuals with T2D could be taught by either on-site group or remote means to sustain adequate carbohydrate restriction to achieve nutritional ketosis as part of a comprehensive intervention, thereby improving glycemic control, decreasing medication use, and allowing clinically relevant weight loss_

      “decreasing medication use” is not in the game plan. /snark.

      Having said that, this is a real winner:
      _Baseline HbA1c level was 7.6% (SD 1.5%) and only 52/262 (19.8%) participants had an HbA1c level of <6.5%. After 10 weeks, HbA1c level was reduced by 1.0% (SD 1.1%; 95% CI 0.9% to 1.1%, P<.001), and the percentage of individuals with an HbA1c level of <6.5% increased to 56.1% (147/262). _

      They saw a substantial decrease in HbA1c — 7.6% to 6.4% is a drop in average BG from around 170mg/dl to around 140mg/dl which would make a huge difference in outcome over time.

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