Measuring one dimension of health

This 2020 human study asserted:

“Our data provides the first epidemiological evidence supporting evidence obtained in preclinical models of metabolic syndrome and NAFLD that demonstrated hepatoprotective effects of phenolic acids.

  • High dietary intake of total phenolic acids is associated with a lower prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and insulin resistance.
  • High intake of hydroxybenzoic acids, a class of phenolic acids, is associated with a lower prevalence of steatosis and clinically significant fibrosis.
  • High intake of hydroxycinnamic acids, another class of phenolic acids, is associated with a lower prevalence of insulin resistance.

Data on polyphenol content in foods was obtained from the Phenol-Explorer database (www.phenol-explorer.eu).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7078532/ “Higher phenolic acid intake independently associates with lower prevalence of insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease”


It’s a bad weather day, so I investigated the phenolics database and ran some numbers:

coffee and tea phenolics

Phenolic contents of all the other food I eat is 9% of my coffee-and-tea 1,975 mg total phenolics. Microwaved broccoli sprouts contribute half of that 9%.

Subjects were grouped according to whether their phenolics daily intake was over 221 mg or not. The over 221 mg group drank 5 cups of coffee a day, whereas the other group drank 1 cup.

According to a phenolics dimension of health, all these researchers needed to do was ask subjects about their daily coffee intake. But then the study would be over, with few “is associated with” findings.

Do humans avoid insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by drinking more than one cup of coffee and tea? Is an answer available from real people, not just from a statistics package?


A 2020 study that primarily sourced a database last updated in June 2015 selected a fertile ground for later hypothesis-seeking.

fitting data

Ignoring subsequent research helped when staking a claim of first for whatever niche provided a publication opportunity.

I didn’t upload a screenshot of the Excel workbook with entries for pictured items I eat every day. That June 2015 database was incomplete with respect to current science here in December 2020.

See Eat oats today! for current examples of phenolic compounds in my daily 81 grams of steel-cut oats.

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