Companies from across the supplement supply chain advocate for a transparent industry and empower consumers to take control of their health. We tell the supplement industry’s story through content, research and education-based events.

Embracing the power of all data in clinical research: Why every point matters – spotlight

The idea that every quality data point has the potential to offer valuable insights is a practical imperative for the supplement industry. Dive into the details.

June 18, 2024

4 Min Read

Inside the Bottle aims to provide communication narratives that elevate the entire dietary supplement industry, putting forward the manufacturing and scientific rigor that are required for producing highest quality, efficacious products that consumers can trust to deliver on industry and brand promise.

We asked Radicle Science co-founders Pelin Thorogood and Jeff Chen, M.D. to speak about how to evaluate what is “good science” considering the complexities of real-world conditions and what consumers can reasonably expect from their supplements – which, by design and regulations, are created to optimize health versus cure disease states. When evaluating research data, what are the optimal perspectives and data points that formulators should consider for creating products that deliver benefits that consumers desire?

Here's what they had to say.

In clinical research, the adage "all data is good data" holds profound significance. While there's a tendency to prioritize positive outcomes and statistically significant findings, the truth is, every quality data point has the potential to offer valuable insights. Embracing this mindset not only transforms our approach to research but also drives scientific discovery forward in remarkable ways. Let’s dive further.

At the heart of this perspective is the recognition that clinical research is inherently complex and multifaceted. From the intricacies of human biology to the variability of real-world conditions, numerous factors influence the outcomes of studies. Take, for example, a clinical trial evaluating a supplement for stress relief. In a controlled setting, it may demonstrate promising results among participants. But its effectiveness in real-world conditions can be influenced by factors such as comorbidities, socioeconomic status, access to health care resources, and social support networks. No single data point exists in isolation; each is a piece of a larger puzzle, contributing to our understanding of the subject under investigation.

Embracing all data in clinical research offers the opportunity for comprehensive analysis and interpretation. Rather than focusing solely on results that align with preconceived hypotheses, researchers can adopt an inclusive approach, considering the full spectrum of findings. For example, in a study investigating inflammation reduction, researchers might expand their scope beyond pain reduction to include measures of physical function, psychological well-being, and quality of life. This broader approach enables a more nuanced understanding of the intervention's overall impact on health and functioning. By examining a comprehensive range of outcomes, researchers can more accurately evaluate the intervention's efficacy and potential benefits across diverse patient populations.

Furthermore, embracing all data fosters resilience and adaptability in the face of setbacks or unexpected findings. In clinical research, as in life, not everything goes according to plan. Studies may encounter unforeseen challenges, participants may exhibit unanticipated responses and experiments may yield unexpected results. For example, a supplement trial may encounter unforeseen side effects, varied participant responses or unexpected outcomes. Researchers must adapt to these surprises, adjusting protocols and investigating further to refine their understanding and improve future studies.

By embracing all data, researchers learn to view setbacks not as failures but as learning opportunities through deeper dives. They remain flexible in their approach, willing to adjust methodologies, refine hypotheses and explore alternative explanations — driving innovation.

Inclusion of all quality data points promotes diversity in research practices. By valuing every data point, researchers affirm the contributions of all participants, regardless of demographic characteristics or clinical outcomes. Historically, significant portions of the U.S. population, including women, pregnant individuals, seniors, rural residents and people of color, have been inadequately represented in clinical trials. This imbalance carries significant consequences. Women, for instance, encounter adverse drug reactions nearly twice as frequently as men, often due to unexpected side effects. A more inclusive approach not only enhances the ethical integrity of research but also ensures that findings are applicable and relevant to a broader range of populations.

Finally, embracing all data is essential for advancing precision medicine and personalized health care. In an era where individual variability is increasingly recognized as a key determinant of treatment efficacy, it is crucial to evaluate the full spectrum of participant data. By analyzing data from diverse populations and subgroups, researchers can identify patterns, biomarkers and therapeutic targets that may otherwise go unnoticed. This personalized approach to research promises tailored interventions and improved health outcomes for individuals worldwide.

Embracing the power of all data in clinical research is not just a philosophical stance; it is a practical imperative. Recognizing the value of every data point unlocks new pathways to discovery and fosters scientific integrity. In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, embracing all data is not merely a choice — it is the key that will allow researchers to unlock the full potential of personalized wellness.

Read more about:

Co branded articles
Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like