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Re: [IP] Re: insulin-pumpers-digest V6 #702

Ryan Bruner <email @ redacted> wrote:

> For example, on UrbanLegends.com, they "debunk" an article meant to
> incite hysteria (or something!) about aspartame.  It basically gives
> many references that show that the article itself is hogwash.  But, at
> the end, it directly links to the specific results of a scientific
> study (this is the actual study results, not someone reporting on the
> results of the study) that show there is an increased occurance of
> headache among certain people due to aspartame.

Once again . . . citation please.  Maybe I haven't been clear myself.  By
citation, I mean I'd like to know the name of the author(s), the title of
the paper, the year of publication, and the journal and page numbers.  If
the article you are referring to doesn't supply this information to support
the claim, then it, too, is little more than hearsay.

> This, of course, is
> not a serious side effect...and headache is not a big enough of a side
> effect for the FDA to not approve something.  (Nearly every medication
> you hear of on television lists "headache" as a side effect.)

It depends.  If the headache is a symptom of a potentially serious
condition, then it is, indeed, an adverse effect that is worthy of

> But, there IS, in fact, scientific
> reports that correlate it to some of the symptoms reported.

You have yet to demonstrate that to me.  BTW, I am a statistician at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  One of my duties in that
capacity is that I serve on one of CDC's Institutional Review Boards to make
sure that the research carried out by and with CDC (or with CDC funding) is
ethical.  A protocol that does not employ good scientific scholarship is
inherently unethical.

> And, just because a symptom is correlated doesn't mean that most people
> will experience it.

Even more important is that a factor that is correlated with a symptom may
have absolutely no causal relationship with the symptom.

> The research mentioned above concluded that
> certain people are more prone to headache as a result of asparatame
> than others...so, ingesting it will cause those people to experience it
> more.

Now that I can categorically refute.  See my previous statement.  There may
be a *statistical association* (i.e. a correlation) between aspartame
consumption and headache.  No one has yet successfully claimed that
aspartame consumption results in headaches - that is no one has demonstrated
anything *close* to a causal relationship.

And now I really *am* done with this thread.

James Handsfield, PhD, MPH (yes, I am being formal this time).
email @ redacted
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