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Example of Research Scientist's-Ignorance

Example of Research Scientist's-Ignorance

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I recently found this abstract of a study done to determine whether or not insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) plays a role in producing acne.

I present the abstract in its entirety as it appeared on MEDLINE. I then offer you the study's fatal flaw. Often times, the design of a study results in pure research results which can benefit mankind. Poorly designed studies such as this one are a waste of time and money. In this study, the poorly designed research parameter doomed its results.

The researchers use the term "polymorphism". Polymorphism refers to genetic mapping of genotypes. The subject is complex, but a simple translation for those without biological and genetic backgrounds is this: People have genetic differences.

While all people have eyes, some have blue eyes and some have brown eyes. There are subtle differences too. Some might be able to tolerate milk sugar (lactose) while others might not. Some people might have a genetic pre-disposition to developing diabetes or sickle cell anemia, while others do not.

In the case of the following study, the researchers searched for a polymorphic reason that some people get acne while others do not.


J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Oct 10. Insulin-like growth factor-I gene polymorphism in acne vulgaris. Tasli L, Turgut S, Kacar N, Ayada C, Coban M, Akcilar R, Ergin S. SourceDepartment of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey.


Acne vulgaris is a multifactorial disease of the skin. Several studies have shown that elevated levels of serum insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) correlate with overproduction of sebum and acne. Recently functional relationship between IGF-I (CA) polymorphism and circulating IGF-I levels in adults has been reported.


The aim of our study was to investigate for the first time whether IGF-I (CA) polymorphism might be involved in the pathogenesis of acne or not. Methods

We included 115 acne patients and 117 healthy subjects to the study. The clinical grade of acne was assessed based on the Global Acne Grading System. Participants were questioned about diabetes mellitus, PCOS and other systemic disease. We searched for the IGF-I (CA) 19 polymorphism in this study. The IGF-I (CA) 19 polymorphism was performed by polymerase chain reaction.


We categorized the IGF-I (CA) 19 polymorphism area into three groups as lower than 192 bp, 192-194 bp and higher than 194 bp. We found that the frequency of genotype IGF-1 (CA) 19 gene was significantly different between control and acne patients (P = 0.0002). A significant association between IGF-I (CA) genotypes and severity of acne was found (P = 0.015). No significant difference was found between male and female patients (P > 0.05).


Our results suggest that IGF-I (CA) 19 polymorphism may contribute to a predisposition to acne in Turkish patients.

* * * * *

The Study Flaw.

This research team discounted the effect of IGF-I in milk. Previous studies increase IGF-I levels in experimental subjects by giving them IGF-I in a laboratory setting and then grading future acne development.

While that might seem like a creative experiment, such research does not take into account the actual mechanism of IGF-I. IGF-1 is a protein made up of 70 amino acids as its building blocks. IGF-I manufactured within the human body remains naturally intact for less than a half second before it is either bound to an IGF-1 receptor, or broken down into

its basic building blocks and completely deactivated. IGF-1 tested on human subjects in laboratories is then deactivated unless it is first "encapsulated" within a micronized capsule. That process is extremely expensive... but, that process is also accomplished by homogenization and can be quite inexpensive.

Researcher option: Use IGF-I costing tens of thousands of dollars per dose per subject, or use a container of ultra-pasteurized Parmalet milk costing $1.98.

IGF-1 is identical between humans and cows.

The scientists who performed the above study determined that there are differences between humans (polymorphisms) and that those naturally producing greater amounts of IGF-I also have greater amounts of acne, but they ignored the dietary intake of milk and dairy products which naturally contained "protected" IGF-I which exerted what I call

"Zit-Influence". See: Too many scientists incorrectly conclude that it's "genetics" and not other variables after finding some evidence of genetic/polymorphic differences. They apply such ignorant conclusions to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma, and I.Q. A famous philosopher from my own youth said it best. His name was Tiny Tim, and his motto was that 'You are what you eat.'

Tiny Tim:

"Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear." - Mohandas Gandhi

Robert Cohen

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