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Don't even think about overstating those study results. Right, Mr. Fructose?

August 05, 2010
  • The road between a lab experiment and public policy is long. Or it should be.
The road between a lab experiment and public policy is long. Or it should… (Victor Jose Cobo / For The…)

Perhaps these headlines ring a bell: "Does high-fructose corn syrup cause cancer?"; "Fructose: The sugar of choice for cancer cells"; "High-fructose corn syrup linked to deadliest type of cancer"; and, of course, "Cancer cells slurp up fructose, U.S. study finds." ... All were published this week in the wake of a UCLA study on the effects (as observed in the lab) of glucose and fructose on pancreatic cell cancer metabolism.

Today, both the coverage and the study net a critical -- but illuminating -- posting from Orac over at the blog Respectful Insolence. The researcher's comments about the public health implications and the potential response from the federal government particularly rankled.

Orac writes: "I hate science press releases that hype a study beyond its importance. I hate it even more when the investigators who published the study make statements not justified by the study and use the study as a jumping off point to speculate wildly."

What follows is a lesson in overstatement and, even better, metabolism as it pertains to the study.

Always a pleasure...

-- Tami Dennis

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