Episode 1 - The truth about science and how to be your own fact checker with Brigitte Factor Episode 1 - The truth about science and how to be your own fact checker with Brigitte Factor

I'm super excited to introduce my new podcast, Hungry for Truth. I created this podcast to help you ditch the dogma and discover real solutions for radiant health and vitality.

Each thoughtful episode centers around topics related to holistic health, nutrition, faith, fitness, sleep, stress, mental health, and natural living. Hear stories of transformation and healing. Gather tips and tools for your own wellness journey.

In this first episode, you'll learn more about my background as a scientist. I explain the difference between science and truth. I also give a few tips on how you can be your own fact-checker.

Listen and enjoy the show. I promise you'll be challenged and learn something new.

Please subscribe to Hungry For Truth:   iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

Follow Hungry For Truth on Instagram:  @hungry.for.truth
Follow Brigitte Factor on Instagram: @brigittefactor


Episode 1 Transcription

0:13 Hello, and welcome to the hungry for truth podcast. I'm your host, Brigitte Factor, a truth seeker, researcher, scientist, nutritionist, teacher and truth teller, and awakening is coming. Get ready for it.

0:46 Welcome to the first episode of the hungry for truth podcast. I'm delighted that you're tuned in and listening, this is going to be a fun and thought provoking show. If you're tired of the nonsense and propaganda around health information, and you're looking for a balanced and reasonable view, then you've come to the right place. My goal is to deliver a non dogmatic science based and practical perspective about health and nutrition.

1:13 Everybody, everybody's got an opinion on what it means to eat healthy and avoid disease. And what I've learned through my own research and experience is that there's not a one size fits all approach. What works for someone may not work for someone else. And it's difficult to translate scientific findings done on a group of people to an individual with different variables at play. So how do we sift through that information and know what's going to work and what isn't relevant to us. And that's what this podcast is about is to help us understand and decipher that information and sift through it. Each of us has our own unique genetics, environmental inputs, health challenges, and health goals. And I want to help you become your own detective and figure out what's going to work for you.

2:06 First, I want to give some background information about me. So you can know where I'm coming from and know what my biases lean towards. I'm a board certified in holistic nutrition, and I have advanced training in functional nutrition. And you may be asking what that means. And here's how I break it down. Functional nutrition is using food and nutrients to improve the way our body functions. So we can not only avoid disease, but also operate the way we are designed to at our highest level. I came into the field of holistic and functional nutrition through my own health challenges, as most people in this field do. And prior to that I was a chemistry researcher and university teacher and I'm a huge science nerd. I'm fascinated by how our body works. I have a Master's of Science degree and my thesis was published in a peer reviewed journal. So I can proudly say that I'm a published scientist. I also spent a few years working toward a PhD in the field of bio analytical chemistry. My dissertation research was developing electrochemical immunoassays and DNA assays for detecting waterborne pathogens. And if you don't know what any of that means, that's okay. It just means I'm a big nerd that understands how science works. Because I've engaged in the process. I've not just read about it in a book. And I find that the average person can be a bit intimidated by the subject. And my goal is to make it fun and understandable for you. Because I feel it's important to have discernment and critical thinking skills even if science isn't your thing. We have to take responsibility for the information we share.

3:52 Now, here's the thing about science. It's not absolute truth. It's not a religion, although some people treat it that way. It's a process of discovery. The scientific method is a way to acquire knowledge from the world around us. Science and truth are different. Facts can change as we gain more knowledge. Truth is constant, unchangeable. Sometimes we hear the phrase my truth, and what that phrase is referring to is their perspective. Our life experiences can shape our perspective. That's why people have wildly different political views. And when you find yourself saying, I don't understand how they can think that way. The problem is the lack of understanding because you don't have their perspective. That's why we use the phrase put yourself in someone else's shoes. Our individual perspectives can also lead to bias and science is supposed to be an unbiased, but science is conducted by scientists who are fallible human beings and have their own inherent biases.

5:11 There are three realms of knowledge. There's what we know, there's what we don't know. And there's what we don't know, we don't know. And that third round is significantly larger than the other two. So we need to have some humility. When we proclaim science says, because it could change tomorrow. And for every study that supports your perspective or hypothesis, you can likely find a study that concludes the opposite. Another reason information online can be so confusing.

5:49 I've taught at the university level for 20 years, and one of the key lessons I would give was about how to read the scientific literature. I mainly taught allied health students, and this lesson is valuable for any current or future healthcare professional. It's important to be able to see past clickbait headlines and find the original study and decipher what the data is really saying, not only for yourself, but for people who come to you for advice. And much of the time, the news headlines are spinning conclusions and delivering misinformation about the study. And now we live in an area where someone tries to communicate what the study is saying or tries to give their scientific perspective. And if it doesn't fit the narrative of the media channel, it gets fact checked or worst censored. I find it very frustrating seeing peer reviewed articles labeled as false information by fact checkers, because it doesn't fit their agenda. Anyway, I don't want to go down that rabbit hole today.

6:58 But what I do want to do is give you some quick tips on how you can become your own fact checker, you have to start with the actual study. So when you see a headline or an article, you need to sift through it, find the original reference if you can, and go to the original study the original text, hopefully you can get the full text, you want to look beyond the abstract. And when you get the full text. And you could go through the study, you can look at the study design, and determine where that study design falls on the hierarchy of scientific evidence. At the top of the hierarchy are placebo controlled randomized clinical trials. In the middle are cohort or epidemiological studies. And these types of studies we have to be careful with because they're population based studies or surveys that can show us trends or correlations, but we can't draw conclusions from them. So we have to be careful about the inferences we make from those types of studies. And at the bottom of the hierarchy is case studies. Next, we want to look at the data and determine is the data statistically significant? Are the conclusions that are given? Do they match the data?

8:24 Sometimes an author will make a conclusion that doesn't exactly match the data. So it's important to actually look at what the data says what are those trends saying? And is there some statistical significance to them? And next, you want to look at who funded the study? Was it a government grant or private corporation? Does the author have financial ties to the industry? This can and does skew the bias of a study. There is evidence of the sugar industry funding studies that point to fat as the culprit for heart disease, for example. So there are there is this type of bias happening in the research.

9:08 Now, this may be a lot to take in. But it's important, and it's possible for you to understand most of my students who are 18 and 19-year-olds straight out of high school, if they can learn this, so can you. It does take practice, and you'll get better with it over time. And I love that you're listening to this and you're intrigued by it right? You may even start reading science for fun. That's amazing. And I give you permission to call me out when I share mission formation to I'm not perfect, and I need you to hold me accountable as well. I value those in my life who can tell it like it is. Think about a time when you were hanging out with friends. Maybe you went out to eat and then you got home later that day. You looked in the mirror and you noticed you had this big piece of spinach stuck in your teeth, and nobody told you about it. I hate that.

10:05 And we live in a time where we're afraid of offending someone or hurting someone's feelings. And while I don't condone being mean, telling the truth is important for maintaining those healthy relationships. That's why the verse speaking truth and love will be a guiding principle for each episode of this podcast. I appreciate those who gracefully speak truth to me, and challenge my thinking and allow me to grow. I hope this podcast does that for you. And for me as well.

10:37 One of the things we say in our household is that factors are honest. And we really like to set that principle so we can be honest, and our family doesn't sugarcoat things they tell it like it is. Sometimes we need to learn a little grace with that. But it also helps us have better relationships with each other. And I have the story that illustrates how Frank our kids can be sometimes kids are really good about being honest, and just seeing straight through things. And there was one time when I was going to target with my youngest when he was a preschooler. And remember the days when we could go to Target, we could order a coffee and just roam the aisles while we sip the warm coffee. And, you know, take our time, and it was like a break for moms. Well, this was one of those times and I'm pushing him in the cart, sipping my coffee, and I'm just strolling along, and he looks at me, he grabs both of my cheeks and his hands, and he says mom focus, he was ready to get out of Target. And I needed to focus. So I love stories like that. And I love that we can be honest with each other. And I think that's important.

12:04 And I want to tell another story, and with the story when a little deliver some truth and love as well. And this goes back to me one time when I was giving a presentation to a small group. And if you can picture a small conference room with the tables lined up, people sitting in chairs, staring at the front of the room. And looking at the projector screen, I'm standing next to the projector screen and presenting information. And I'm talking about how our health exists on a continuum. And we are either moving towards health or towards disease each day based on our beliefs and our behaviors. And someone in the audience mentioned that they were healthy, which I find that a lot of people if you ask them, are you healthy, they just say yes, I'm healthy. But then this person proceeded to ask questions about some of the diagnoses they were dealing with. And this disconnect, took me aback, you know, the disconnect between proclaiming to be healthy. And then mentioning the health struggles that they were dealing with. That was shocking to me. And what I found is that much of the population is living in denial about their health, or what true level of health they have. And I've had plenty of struggles with my own health too. So I don't say this to make anyone feel bad. But I needed someone to speak truth to me about it so that I could change. And that's what I'm here for, to speak truth and love about your health. When we have that awareness or wake up call, which is the moment that we have, where we become aware of what's going on, we can begin to move in a better direction. Without that awareness, we can't change.

13:59 So my question is, are you ready to start telling yourself the truth, when we can start speaking honestly, with ourselves, that's the moment we can move in a better direction. An example would be someone that proclaims, I'm an emotional eater. If we can reframe how we talk to ourselves about that, and instead say, up until now I've dealt with emotional eating. And moving forward, I'm making progress. That subtle shift in the language that we use with ourselves can help us get unstuck and help us to start making progress towards better health.

14:41 Here's what's going to come up in future episodes I'm going to talk more about how to make those subtle shifts, how to start speaking to ourselves honestly and becoming more aware of our health. I'm going to spend some time addressing how to take responsibility for your health and your life.

15:01 And I love this quote by Byron Pulsifer. That goes, there is one truth that must be sought after first before you can go further. And that truth is that you must take charge of your own life, for you cannot lead a life of truth. If you let someone else take responsibility for your thoughts or actions. You can control your thoughts, words and actions, you might not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control how you handle it.

15:34 And in Episode Two, we're going to cover the topic of epigenetics. Isn't that a fun word epigenetics, I love it. I find epigenetics so fascinating. And what that word means is, it's about how we can change the expression of our genes. We can't change we are who we are at the core, but we can change how our genes are expressed, the foods we eat, and the thoughts we think can shift our genetic expression towards health, or disease. And the shift can also be passed down through generations. The foods we eat now can change our epigenome in a way that can be passed on to our offspring and our not only our children but our grandchildren as well. And there's science that supports that which we're going to dig into next time. So I'm going to be delivering some truth on how your genes aren't your destiny, and what you can do to change the trajectory of your health for yourself and future generations. Future episodes we'll also cover topics related to nutrition, real food, fitness, faith, beliefs, our spirituality, physical and mental health, environmental pollution, low toxic living, relationships, and community. All of those things impact our health.

17:03 And if you want to have a healthy body and mind you must feed them with truth. You must feed yourself not with junk, but with truth. My hope is to provide you with solid teachings on how to be happy, healthy and whole from body to soul, so you can live your true purpose and potential as a radiant blessed child of God. Thank you for being tuned in and going on this journey with me. Please subscribe to this podcast. Help me get the word out. Share it with your friends and family. The more people subscribe, the more people will be exposed to these valuable lessons that can change their life.

17:45 You can follow this podcast on Instagram at hungry for truth. And find a tome on my website at Brigitte Factor com forward slash hungry for truth. Thanks for listening. Until next time, Grace and peace to you.

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