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Issue #05 (March 2015)

From the Editor

Examine.com has recently reached a milestone of one million visitors per month. Milestones and goals are often completely arbitrary round numbers (Yay, I’m at 10% body fat! Oooh, gotta get 10,000 steps per day). But they also offer an occasion for reflection. The question we’ve been asked most this month is:

Congrats! Having shaken things up the past few years, what changes would you like to see in supplementation and nutrition, in (insert arbitrary number of years)?

This is a trick question. Or rather, I’m going to give an answer assuming it’s a trick question.

Everyone is an armchair quarterback when it comes to food and nutrition policy. But creating policy for a country of extreme diversity in income, knowledge, health, and many other variables? That’s tough.

Examine.com is the Switzerland of the nutrition and supplement world. We focus on research, and try to translate it to the best of our ability. Sometimes even Switzerland gets pulled into quibbles, but by and large we are a group of nerds who read papers, read papers about those papers, and then read more papers.

We don’t claim to know for sure what you should eat for optimal health. Nor do we claim to know how your government should craft its health policy, or what advice your physician should give. If anybody from our team is on a podcast, they provide their own views, not Examine.com’s views. Examine.com doesn’t really have views, except in the meta sense that putting ink on paper (or words on a web page) indicates an opinion.

What do we want to see changed in the next few years? We want people to be better informed, and we want to help people foster their sense of curiosity over niggling methodological details (should we rely on p-values so much? When are meta-analyses inappropriate?) as well as the big picture (Do macros matter that much? Is nutrition THAT important, or should we transfer some of that focus to improving sleep?).

Examine.com is in a position now where we can legitimately help a large number of people. There are some obstacles. The Internet is what allowed us to come into being, but it also provides nearly unlimited amounts of distraction. Ideally, people would take time out of their day to learn some basics about research, and then we could delve into deeper and deeper topics. But people have busy lives, and it’s a priority of ours this year to make information more accessible, no matter who’s reading it. We want to be as useful as possible to people looking for high quality information.

Okay, back to the main topic. Milestones, goals, and reflections. We’ve come this far by keeping a finger on the pulse of our readers, and providing information that can be used to help you figure out diet and supplementation. Our goal for the next few years is to provide more and more comprehensive information, and to keep honing our existing information until it’s gleaming with accuracy (that’s not an analogy that people use, is it?). We’re excited to do the work, and hope you’re excited to read it.

Kamal Patel,
Editor-in-chief, Nutrition Examination Research Digest

See other articles in Issue #05 (March 2015) of Study Deep Dives.