Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 553651
Title Perspective : Fundamental limitations of the randomized controlled trial method in nutritional research: The example of probiotics
Author(s) Zeilstra, Dennis; Younes, Jessica A.; Brummer, Robert J.; Kleerebezem, Michiel
Source Advances in Nutrition 9 (2018)5. - ISSN 2161-8313 - p. 561 - 571.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/ADVANCES/NMY046
Department(s) WIAS
VLAG
Host-Microbe Interactomics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Nutrition - Probiotics - RCT limitations - Study design
Abstract

Studies on the relation between health and nutrition are often inconclusive. There are concerns about the validity of many research findings, and methods that can deliver high-quality evidence-such as the randomized controlled trial (RCT) method-have been embraced by nutritional researchers. Unfortunately, many nutritional RCTs also yield ambiguous results. It has been argued that RCTs are ill-suited for certain settings, including nutritional research. In this perspective, we investigate whether there are fundamental limitations of the RCT method in nutritional research. To this end, and to limit the scope, we use probiotic studies as an example. We use an epistemological approach and evaluate the presuppositions that underlie the RCT method. Three general presuppositions are identified and discussed. We evaluate whether these presuppositions can be considered true in probiotic RCTs, which appears not always to be the case. This perspective concludes by exploring several alternative study methods that may be considered for future probiotic or nutritional intervention trials.

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