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Personal Science Week - 12 Jan 2023
FODMAP diets, new products of interest, and pointers to other Personal Science Week posts
Personal Scientists use the ideas and techniques behind science for personal, rather than professional reasons. This is a brief summary, published every Thursday, of a few practical ideas and thoughts we think are helpful to anyone interested in Personal Science.
Previously in Personal Science
New readers may be interested in some of our previous weekly posts:
Have you done a blood test? There’s an easy (and free) way to upload your PDF results for long-term tracking. Learn this and other blood-tracking tips at Personal Science Week - 9 Jun 2022.
Red Pen Reviews have published several new book reviews since our Personal Science Week - 07 Jul 2022 summary. Definitely a great resource for a detailed scientific take on recent and popular nutrition books.
For interactive discussions with other Personal Science-minded people, join the Open Humans Weekly Call, every Thursday at 10am Pacific Time. Open to everyone, and very friendly. (See Personal Science Week - 15 Sep 2022)
Personal Scientists often carefully track the tiniest details of their lives, hoping to find insights in their spreadsheets and sophisticated statistics. But often — usually — the best interventions work so well, so quickly, that there’s no need to rigorously prove anything. Take allergies for example: if your eyes get itchy around cats, don’t bother concocting a spreadsheet to “prove” it.
Another example is gluten, but while some people find gluten-free diets helpful, many find that gluten-free is only helpful sometimes. I’ve found that in many cases, the reason is simple: the person is not sensitive to gluten, but to a larger class of foods that are Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols (FODMAP).
If you suffer from chronic indigestion, especially a “bloated” feeling after you eat, you might be surprised at the effectiveness of one easy fix: stop eating FODMAP-containing foods. Gluten is a FODMAP, but so are many common gluten-free foods like fruits, avocados, or mushrooms. For some people, the problem is not an allergic reaction to the food, but rather some misplaced bacteria: some of the microbes that should be in the lower gastrointestinal tract are too high in the tract. The breakdown of nutrients that should happen in the colon ends up nearer the stomach, where all it causes is gaseous bloating.
Try it. If it works, you’ll find relief in hours, not days, and it’ll be obvious.
New Products of Interest
We’ve received a few new product suggestions that we may evaluate. Let us know if you know anything about these products, or if you have other products or services you recommend:
AIKinetix is an app that runs a machine-trained algorithm against a video of you running on a treadmill. Use your phone to take and upload your video and it automatically analyzes your running style, to critique your movement and suggest improvements. They’ll eventually charge money but it’s free during the current beta.
VitaminLab is a Canada-based company that makes personalized supplements, either to whatever spec you request or based on your answers to their quiz. For example, a 5000 IU Vitamin D tablet costs about $50/month. Add 1 gram of MCT oil to the three daily supplements and the total is $66.
About Personal Science
Personal Scientists are skeptical about everything. It's in our motto: Nullius in verba, the 1660 motto of the Royal Society: “take nobody’s word for it.”
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