Of all of the research-related activities I’ve done, short of actual research, peer-review is the activity I do the most, and the one that I’ve been doing the longest. I regularly review for three publications (i.e. I’m in their rota somewhere), and get sporadic requests from others (usually because I’m one of the references.) My perspective on peer-review differs from most. It’s not to say that I’m against it or that I have a better idea; but that as with all processes in science, the imperfections are worth knowing because the devil lies in those details.
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Before I even start explaining what I’ve done here, I want to make it absolutely clear that this analysis is fairly casual, and that by no means have I followed a text-book rigourous protocol to do it because if I HAD done that, you wouldn’t be reading this for another year while it waited in the publication queue of some nutrition journal. However, I will say that even with that disclaimer, I’ve probably been a bit more rigourous than a lot of crap I’ve read, so…well, there really isn’t anything more to say, is there?
Back in the early 2000’s there was a small surge of medium-chain-triglyercide (MCT) research that petered out around 2003ish. While there were a fair number of human trials looking at MCT’s and lipid profiles, there were also a handful of trials that also examined the effect of MCTs on body composition, specifically fat loss. And while MCTs are used in some supplements and meal-replacement shakes, there hasn’t been a widespread adoption of MCTs like there was when olive oil got really big (also in the early 2000’s), and I have to say that it’s not entirely clear as to why. Part of the reason might have been the sparseness of human trials involving MCTs compared to those looking at olive oil. Since 2009, however, there appears to be another blip of human trials looking at MCTs, and specifically at coconut oil, or mixes that involve a fair amount of coconut oil.
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