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  • Spotting Bad Science by Andy Brunning

    Many of us rely on media that publish scientific research to adjust our nutrition. Here is something to remember, when evaluating it.

    Spotting Bad Science by a chemistry teacher from UK, Andy Brunning - 12 points to help you separate the science from the pseudoscience:
    1. SENSATIONALISED HEADLINES
    2. MISINTERPRETED RESULTS
    3. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
    4. CORRELATION & CAUSATION
    5. UNSUPPORTED CONCLUSIONS
    6. PROBLEMS WITH SAMPLE SIZE
    7. UNREPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES USED
    8. NO CONTROL GROUP USED
    9. NO BLIND TESTING USED
    10. SELECTIVE REPORTING OF DATA
    11. UNREPLICABLE RESULTS
    12. NON-PEER REVIEWED MATERIAL

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to animals.

Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score

The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) has been adopted by FAO/WHO as the preferred method for the measurement of the protein value in human nutrition. 

PDCAAS = Amino Acid Score x Digestibility

The method is based on comparison of the concentration of the first limiting essential amino acid in the test protein with the concentration of that amino acid in a reference (scoring) pattern. This scoring pattern is derived from the essential amino acid requirements of the preschool-age child.

Although the principle of the PDCAAS method has been widely accepted, critical questions have been raised in the scientific community:

  1. the validity of the preschool-age child amino acid requirement values (more than 4 times greater than the EAA requirement for an adult),
  2. the validity of correction for fecal instead of ileal digestibility,
  3. the truncation of PDCAAS values to 100%.

The reference scoring pattern was based on studies performed more than 25 years ago on a limited number of 2-year-old children recovering from malnutrition.

According to the current official recommendations, a 2-year old child needs ~ 3x higher essential-to-non-essential amino acid ratio, and needs essential amino acids in different proportions than adult. Methionine/cysteine is the limiting essential amino acids for adults, and for children it is lysine or tryptophan.

The use of fecal digestibility overestimates the nutritional value of a protein because amino acid nitrogen entering the colon is lost for protein synthesis in the body and is, at least in part, excreted in urine as ammonia.

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