Dry Scooping – a harmful internet fad + Blue Zones diet misinformation

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Dry Scooping – A Harmful Internet Fad

EXCERPTS: Don’t get your health advice from TikTok. That is the somewhat obvious conclusion of a recent study looking at a new social media fad called “dry scooping”. The phenomenon is also not an isolated case, but typical of several troubling trends – the overall poor regulation of supplements, a relatively low level of scientific literacy among the public, exploitation by clueless “wellness gurus”, and the rise of social media as a significant source of factual information.

[...] The popularity of using creatine supplement incorrectly and unsafely is partly due to the high levels of scientific illiteracy in the public, specifically regarding health science. The public has been largely influenced by marketing campaigns to make them responsive to the supplement industry and snake oil in general. Products are sold as “natural” without any specific meaning, and used as a health halo to imply safety and efficacy often in the absence of scientific evidence or even a plausible rationale.

Another popular fallacy is that if some is good, more must be better. This is essentially the entire rationale behind most supplementation. The reality is that biological systems mostly follow the principle of complex dynamic homeostasis, where there is an optimal range and balance of nutrients, electrolytes, etc., and simply taking more of something is unlikely to improve the functioning of the system. Taking a small daily dose of creatine may help elite athletes push the limits of their performance, but likely has no benefit for everyday exercise or moderate activity. There is also no reason to think that loading, taking high doses, or dosing just prior to a workout should be of any benefit... (MORE - missing details)

Blue Zones Diet: speculation based on misinformation

INTRO (excerpts): The so-called Blue Zones are geographical locations where people are said to live longer than elsewhere. These include Sardinia, Okinawa, Loma Linda (California), the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and Icaria, Greece. They have been studied looking for common factors that might promote longevity. Some of the common factors: these are people who live in tight knit communities, they eat well, following a Mediterranean or plant-based diet, they don’t over-exercise but they have a busy domestic life with energetic chores. The Blue Zone Diet assumes that common dietary factors have been identified and that following the diet will make us live longer. That appears to be a false assumption based on speculation, misinformation, and wishful thinking, not on science.

The claims of longevity in those locations may be based on fraud and error. Record-keeping has been deficient in many of those areas [...] Loma Linda has a longer-than-average life span. This has been attributed to the large population of Seventh Day Adventists with a healthy lifestyle, but it might just be due to the fact that people who are richer tend to live longer. Similar longevity might be found in other well-to-do locations. There have been no good studies to rule out possible confounders.

The Okinawa claim is now disputed. Overall Japan has the highest life expectancy of any country, but recent data shows that men in Okinawa don’t live as long as men in other Japanese prefectures. A recent commentary in the journal Gerontology pointed out that “Current demographic and nutritional data suggest that the remarkable Okinawan longevity is now a phenomenon of the past”.
Even if they did live longer, it might have nothing to do with their diet

It is simplistic to assume that diet is the reason. There could be any number of confounding factors such as heredity and lifestyle differences... (MORE - details)

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