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Research Methodology for

Evidence-Based Content

We are a ‘research-first’ organization, which means all our content is based on the latest scientific evidence, written by our expert dietitians and fact checked by our amazing team.

Here at Digest Life we believe in ‘following the research’. Which means we dive into topics with eyes wide open and simply show you what we find. No pre-existing bias or philosophy sways us.

As you can see all our articles contain extensive references. The numbers used throughout are clickable links to the reference section at end of article.  And of course, within the references section itself, you can find direct links to the original source.

Research Methodology

Our panel of experts follows a research methodology built on three core principles:

  • Strength of Evidence
  • Transparency
  • Avoidance of Bias

Strength of Evidence

An evidence hierarchy is followed to ensure conclusions are formed off of the most up-to-date and well-designed studies available. We aim to reference studies conducted within the past five years when possible.

Quality of evidence is ranked as follows from highest to lowest quality:

  • Systematic review or meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Controlled trials without randomization
  • Case-control (retrospective) and cohort (prospective) studies
  • A systematic review of descriptive, qualitative, or mixed-method studies
  • A single descriptive, qualitative, or mixed-method study
  • Studies without controls, case reports, and case series
  • Animal research
  • In vitro research

We interpret the above evidence cautiously with the awareness that the future of gut research will be in n=1 precision interventions.

Given this knowledge, there may be times when systematic reviews or randomized controlled trials miss details that are best captured with study designs that provide a more granular rather than broad perspective.

We present evidence from various study designs in such cases to most accurately portray the state of the evidence.

Transparency

We are transparent in our presentation of information. When referencing studies of weaker design such as case-control studies, in vitro studies, or research conducted in animals, this is clearly stated.

When it is believed that further research is needed to draw conclusions, this is also stated.

We steer clear of cause-and-effect conclusions in cases where the evidence or study design is insufficient to draw a cause-and-effect relationship. When evidence is conflicting, we present all of the available evidence.

Our panel of experts weighs out conflicting information to guide the reader towards the most evidence-supported conclusion. Considerations include the date on which the study was conducted, research methods, and risk of study bias.

Avoidance of Bias

Articles are written and reviewed by a panel of experts with varied personal dietary patterns and beliefs to avoid bias. We prioritize presenting a broad perspective built on facts rather than conjecture.