Research Methodology

This page outlines the research methodology that I have applied to this entire site.

Essentially, if you disagree with this approach, then please ignore this entire site.

However, if you agree with this research approach, then you are free to take this site’s content into consideration.

Either way, please add your feedback, as this will help this site’s content converge to the effective end of the spectrum.

Six Frames

Six FramesThis site’s research is based on a modified version of Six Frames by Edward de Bono.

Rather than the original Six Frames, I have used the following medically-oriented frames:

  • The Citation Frame.
  • The Doctors Frame.
  • The Bayes / Statisticians Frame.
  • The Toxicologists Frame.
  • The Wisdom of the Crowds Frame.
  • The No Conflict of Interest Frame.

The Citation Frame

All information on this site starts with peer reviewed journals published on sites such as PubMed (1). Every verifiable fact on this site either has a citation, or a placeholder for one, in the form “[citation required]”.

The Doctors Frame

I run new pages on this site past doctors. I ask them what they think of the research, and if there are any errors, omissions or skewed perspectives.

The Bayes / Statisticians Frame

Bayes'_Theorem_2DI think of the available evidence in terms of Bayes Theorem (5). The central question is thus:

  • “Is the balance of evidence in favour of this intervention, or not?”, or;
  • “Is this intervention more likely to help, than harm?”.

The gold standard for medical evidence is a double blind, randomised trial (6) with a sufficient number of participants to give statistically significant results. This is a frequentist view of the world (7). However, promising interventions take time to get to the clinical trial stage, so we sometimes need to switch to thinking in terms of Bayes theorem (7). This means that if we have data on 140 people that have reported largely positive effects from an intervention, we run the Bayesian analysis, then update our belief that the intervention is positive or negative. If this intervention ever gets to a medical trial, we again increase our belief that the intervention is positive. This changes out mindset from “we will not consider anything with less than a 100% probability of success” to “we will consider a promising intervention if it is more likely to help than harm”.

The Toxicologists Frame

I think of the intervention in terms of a toxicologist.

  • Is the drug FDA approved?
  • Has it been through human clinical trials?
  • Are there any citations of negative effects of this intervention? Were there any reported deaths due to this intervention? What are the side effects?
  • What are the long term effects of this intervention?
  • What is the LD50 (4) of this intervention?
  • Are we recommending the correct dose? It’s all about the dosage.
    • This requires an attention to detail that sees milligrams (mg) and micrograms (mcg) as two very different things.
    • This requires a level of care that understands that prescribing 10x the dose of the wrong drug can easily result in death.
    • This requires a level of understanding that takes multiple drug interactions into account, such as DCA and caffeine.
  • Is this intervention new, or has it been used for a long time? For example, a drug that is new on the market may have only been in usage for a year, whereas other interventions may have been used safely for a hundred years. Taking the thalidomide disaster (3) as an example, the probability that a proposed intervention is safe rises with time, as bad interventions will drop out of sight. If 100 people have safely used an intervention on a forum for 5 years, the probability rises that this intervention is safe (see the Bayes Frame above).
  • If there are any side effects for an intervention, is there a way measure some biological parameter to monitor for these side effects before they become life threatening? For example, if we want to increase urine pH to between 7.0 and 8.0, we should use urine pH test strips to ensure that we do not push the pH above 8.0.

The Wisdom of the Crowds Frame

At this point, I open up the site to The Wisdom of Crowds (2). Anyone can comment on the research.

All I ask is that the first comment from each new person is proceeded with the frame, or perspective, that it comes from. This has three advantages:

  • It prevents comment spam from automated bots.
  • It encourages constructive comments.
  • It reduces disagreement and noise, as everyone that comments understands the perspective, or frame, of the person who originally made the comment.

The No Conflict of Interest Frame

I created this site in honour of my father, who died from cancer. I decided to publish the research that probably would have saved his life, if I had been aware of it at the time.

This site is run on the following principles:

  • I do not make any money from this site, either directly or indirectly. I am wealthy enough already.
  • I do not have any ads on this site.
  • I do not get paid to write articles on this site.
  • I am not affiliated with any pharmaceutical company, or any company that sells anything.
  • If there is a low cost solution, and an expensive version of that same lost version that has the same effect, I will recommend the low cost solution.
  • I keep your email address private, and will never release it to any 3rd party for any reason whatsoever. I will never send you an email unless you first send me one.
  • To avoid a conflict of interest, I do not recommend any products from any specific manufacturer on this site, except for two unavoidable exceptions. If I need to recommend an intervention, such as turmeric, I will tell you what to look for on the label, then recommend that you buy it from any manufacturer you wish.

Long Term Thinking

I think in terms of decades. I am trying to find the lifestyle that will maximise my chance of living a long and healthy life.

As insurance against developing disease, I want to have a toolbox of techniques to fall back on.

I am more interested in preventing disease, rather than curing disease once it has begun. For example, some simple interventions such as reducing processed sugar in ones diet (8) can give you extra decades of healthy life:

Citations

 

 

 

 

 

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