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Eggs Causing Blood Clots? - Exercise On Examining How Clickbait Spreads and Medical Studies Are Warped
If only they taught us digital literacy in school - but we wouldn't be so easily manipulated if they did...
Internet clickbait spreads faster than COVID variants.
We’re going to do a thought/research exercise here that will show a few things:
1) How clickbait blogs misrepresent stories for sensational headlines
2) How mainstream media tabloid articles fuel the clickbait fire
3) How scientists can easily warp studies to get specific results, mistakenly or not
Let us begin:
1) Clickbait blogs misrepresenting stories for sensational headlines
This article from a website called Newspunch was released yesterday and quickly went viral. The headline states “Scientists Warn Eggs Are Causing Thousands of People to ‘Suddenly’ Form Blood Clots”. They’re jumping on the viral nature of both blood clot stories and egg stories in the mainstream media knowing this will cause readers to jump at this headline. They even used the word “Suddenly” to jump on the “Died Suddenly” keyword craze, even though the source study made no mention of the sort, which we will dive deeper into below.
This story went so viral so fast that even Joe Rogan caught wind and posted this onto his Instagram timeline.
Definitely trolling, Joe. Not even black belt level though, you just didn’t read the article.
A little bit of background on “Newspunch”, this website used to be called YourNewsWire. YourNewsWire operated from 2014 until the end of 2020. YourNewsWire would post the fakest article, claiming such things like George Soros getting arrested, or claiming any-random-celebrity “Says Hollywood Elites Use Babies Blood to Get High”, typical disinformation flooded into the internet sphere to garner page views with.
While writing for YourNewsWire, the owner of the site went by the pseudonym “Baxter Dmitry”.
Sometime in 2020, the owner of YourNewsWire folded that website and migrated his work over to Newspunch. He cleaned up his act just a little bit, not running pure disinformation anymore, yet Newspunch still gravely sensationalizes stories and, in my opinion, is most definitely considered clickbait.
Once he started writing under Newspunch, Baxter Dmitry changed his pen name to Sean Adl-Tabatabai.
2) How mainstream media tabloid articles fuel the clickbait fire
Digging deeper into the Newspunch piece on eggs and blood clots, they didn’t come up with the story themselves. They sourced this story from Express.co.uk.
Express is a UK based mainstream media tabloid blog, essentially falling under the internet clickbait umbrella too. The Express article gives us more clues as to where this original study purporting “eggs to cause blood clots” came from.
Looks like the study originally came from the Cleveland Clinic. Unfortunately, as per usual, these tabloids/clickbait blogs rarely link the original source material for their claims and headlines.
So that takes us to the internet search engines to find this study. A simple search with keywords “eggs blood clot study” finds us the Cleveland Clinic piece.
3) How scientists can easily warp studies
Come to find out, this study is actually from 2017, well before COVID in 2020 and well before the egg-mania we’re seeing here in 2023.
This study also focuses on Choline and it’s effects on blood coagulation, not eggs. Now, egg yolks are high in dietary Choline, but for argument’s sake it’s an important distinction to make between Choline and Eggs, and for the sake of the study they used supplemental Choline, not dietary Choline. Big difference between supplements and nutrients found in the nature, as we will further discuss.
Also, there are some glaring issues with this study that we will analyze below.
I am no expert on medical studies, but I know a little something about supplementation (unlike most doctors), and there a few issues to note with this 2017 study":
1) They recruited “healthy” vegans and omnivores for their study groups. What metrics were used to ascertain them as “healthy”? This could be fairly arbitrary.
2) Before comparing the study groups at a “baseline evaluation”, the groups were given 81mg of aspirin for 1 month. How could this aspirin have effected the vegan and omnivore control groups?
3) The biggest issue, the issue that may undermine the whole narrative that it’s Choline causing the blood clot issues, is that the scientists gave their subjects Choline Bitartrate for this study. Choline Bitartrate is made by bonding choline bonded to tartaric acid.
Tartaric acid is a long used and studied compound that causes blood coagulation, or clotting. See the simple Google search I screenshotted below.
So it appears that it wasn’t the Choline causing the blood clotting seen by the scientists, but the bonded tartaric acid that was more likely the culprit. I think if they had used a different variation of supplemental Choline, or had studies dietary choline isn’t of using a supplement, results may have been drastically different.
It’s too bad that medical doctors are taught so little about nutrition and supplementation in their schooling, otherwise we could avoid possible mistakes and misrepresentations like this.
And that brings us to our last problem with these studies, as is a problem with most medical studies, the funding.
4) Financial connections to the NIH, Proctor and Gamble, Pfizer, and conflicts of interest
At the end of the study lists a “Disclosures” section, where the funding source of the study and financial connections of the scientists are documented.
As you can see, this whole study was funded by grants from the NIH.
The doctors themselves on the study list their financial connections to Big Pharma heavyweights Procter and Gamble and Pfizer.
And the disclosures state that these doctors may receive royalty payments for inventions of discoveries made through the Cleveland Clinic’s HeartLab.
Could there have been a vested interest in forming this study in a way to appease their benefactors? We don’t know and can’t say, but with the way mainstream “modern” medicine works these days, it’s not a ridiculous question to ponder.
What we’re dealing with in our “eggs causing blood clots” story is:
- Clickbait blog runs headline sourcing from mainstream tabloid website
- Mainstream tabloid website sources headline from 6 year old study
- 6 year old study may have been warped due to nature of supplements used
- Financial interests of study may have played a part
I hope this thought and research exercise helped show how clickbait spreads on the internet, how blogs and tabloids looking for page views misrepresent stories, and how medical research can often time misrepresent itself as well, let alone be possibly warped due to special interest.
Another day, another story to debunk. It’s good that people are waking up to the mainstream media’s trash, but the next stage after that is waking up to how much trash is on the internet in general, especially the trash targeting the “truther” community. It is important and necessary to examine, and I be here continuing to do it, no matter how much hate and cognitive dissonance is directed at me for doing so.
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