Does Erythritol increase heart attack and stroke risk?
Or is this another fallacy of "correlation does not equal causation"?
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Cover image from Health with credit given to D3SIGN/GETTY IMAGES
Boy, it really does feel like there’s nothing that won’t cause a heart attack or thrombosis these days.
A few weeks ago a study was published “linking” a sugar alcohol erythritol, which has gained traction as a natural, low-calorie sweetener alternative in recent years, to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Or so that’s how the story goes as presented in mainstream outlets. CNN appears to have one of the more egregious takes on this study:
Not many outlets fare much better, although this article from Time takes a lot more nuanced approach:
But similar to how science is disseminated to the public, these studies which attempt to link some compound to some manner of health may be caveated with the typical “correlation does not equal causation”, which, if I am being honest, is a rather reductionist, heuristic approach to science.
It’s more an approach that is taken when one does not which to engage in a study or examine the nuances i.e. look at the methodology of such studies.
So rather than just gloss over these studies with a banal phrase, we should look to see what about this study is heavily faulty.
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