This is why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study 

By Julia Belluz on Vox // March 23, 2015 

A highly regarded service that vets new studies for clinicians finds — on average — only 3,000 of 50,000 new journal articles published each year are well-designed and relevant enough to inform patient care. That’s 6 percent.

More often than not, single studies contradict one another — such as the research on foods that cause or prevent cancer. The truth can be found somewhere in the totality of the research, but we report on every study in isolation underneath flip-flopping headlines. (Red wine will add years to your life one week, and kill you quicker the next.)

For a study on whether everything we eat is associated with cancer, academics randomly selected 50 ingredients from recipes in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Most foods had studies behind them claiming both positive and negative results. Researchers cannot always replicate the findings of other researchers, and for various reasons many don’t even try. All told, an estimated 85 percent — or $200 billion [USD] — of annual global spending on research is wasted on badly designed or redundant studies.

This means early  medical research will mostly be wrong until maybe eventually, if we’re lucky, it’s right. More tangibly, only a tiny fraction of new science will lead to anything that’s useful to humans.

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*Think about this is you ever come across a study that tells you GMOs and glyphosate directly cause cancer, autism, alzheimers, and gluten intolerance.  

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Have you ever added vodka to your apple pie?

There’s a scientific reason for boozing up a pie crust…

Gluten develops in dough when two wheat proteins found in flour (glutenin and gliadin) are mixed with water. Because parts of these proteins do not like to interact with water, the proteins begin to stick to each other much in the same way oil droplets come together when suspended in water. As a flour-water dough is mixed, the glutenin and gliadin molecules interact to form an extensive elastic network

These networks give structure and stability to dough. Although dense networks are great for chewy bread dough, they are less than ideal for flaky, tender pie crust. An ideal pie dough has as just enough gluten to hold everything in the dough together. And while gluten development can be minimized by adding only scant amounts of water and handling the dough as little as possible, this is easier said than done.

Different alcohols like vodka, rum or even beer impede the formation of gluten protein networks. This happens because alcohol and water have very different effects on the formation of springy gluten networks in pie dough. This little trick leads to a flakier, less dense pie crust. (Here’s a recipe for Boozy Apple Pie.)

Watch “Make the best pie ever using science”

Celiac disease rate among young children has almost tripled in past 20 years

The number of young children diagnosed with coeliac disease in the UK has almost tripled over the past 20 years, but kids from poorer families are only half as likely to be diagnosed with the condition, reveals research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The evidence to date suggests that up to 1% of all children in the UK have blood markers for coeliac disease, an autoimmune reaction to dietary gluten from wheat, barley, and rye.

F. Zingone, J. West, C. J. Crooks, K. M. Fleming, T. R. Card, C. Ciacci, L. J. Tata. Socioeconomic variation in the incidence of childhood coeliac disease in the UK. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2015; DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2014-307105

Gluten protein fragments have been identified that stimulate the immune system, leading to inflammation of the intestine and shortening of the intestinal villi.UCLA

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The gluten network in a bagel vs. a pie

Gluten develops in dough when two wheat proteins found in flour (glutenin and gliadin) are mixed with water. Because parts of these proteins don’t like to interact with water, the proteins begin to stick to each other much in the same way oil droplets come together when suspended in water. As a flour-water dough is mixed, the glutenin and gliadin molecules interact to form a protein network.

These networks give structure and stability to dough. Although dense networks are great for chewy bread dough, they are less than ideal for flaky, tender pie crust. An ideal pie dough has as just enough gluten to hold everything in the dough together. And while gluten development can be minimized by adding only scant amounts of water and handling the dough as little as possible, this is easier said than done.

What flour is the best flour for pie crust? This is a contentious question that has a variety of answers depending on personal preference, but the type of flour you use can have a major effect on the final texture of your crust. The protein content of flour, based on the type of wheat the flour was made from, will affect the extent of gluten formation in your dough. Bread flour has particularly high protein content, which can make pie crust dense and tough. Flours with lower protein content, such as pastry flour or cake flour, will create less extensive gluten networks and can produce a more tender crust.

Use science to make the best pie ever →

Fuck you nbc.

I dare you to call me weak, I would love to see you experience gluten poisoning after the waiter “forgot” there was a “bit” of flour in the sauce, and then have to go to work the next day. Celiacs are some of the strongest people I know, please stop portraying us as weak asses.

My friend who’s a yoga teacher said that gluten can destroy your baby’s immune system.
— 

white woman, in Boulder, at Bodywork Bistro

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