Response to discrepancies in publications related to HMB-FA and ATP supplementationby Jacob M. Wilson, Nutrition & Metabolism 2017 14:42. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-017-0201-7 Recently, Gentles and Phillips  wrote a communication requesting further explanations regarding our recent publications on ATP , HMB-FA  and co-ingestion of ATP and HMB-FA  on training adaptations, resulting from the same study with the clinical trial identifier: NCT01508338. We acknowledge that the authors have invested a great deal of time following our work on multiple platforms, and our reexamination only serves to further our understanding of the significance of these studies. In their effort to better understand our research, Gentles and Phillips  have submitted questions pertaining to the homogeneity of subjects’ characteristics between the three different published papers, and why there appears to be differences in the number of subjects in placebo groups across studies [2, 3, 4]. Our response addresses each of these issues and demonstrates that there are no discrepancies between papers but rather a misunderstanding of the papers previously published. Gentles and Phillips  question the homogeneity between papers, providing a table showing that subject characteristics for Wilson et al.  and Wilson et al.  are even identical. The table by Gentles and Phillips is incorrect. The correct participant characteristics in Wilson et al.  are as follows: age 23.4 ± 0.7 with 1-RM of 1.71 ± 0.04, 1.34 ± 0.03 and 2.05 ± 0.04 times body weight for squat, bench press, and deadlift, respectively. We are uncertain as to where the numbers presented by Gentles and Phillips came from in their Table 1. We have provided the corrected Table 1 below. The values in the corrected table add a degree of heterogeneity which may reasonably be expected, but are still quite homogenous. This was accomplished by the randomization procedure. We arranged the subjects by strength, and then performed the randomization. Table 1: Sample means and standard deviations
Wilson et al. according to  Entire group (n = 21)
Actual Wilson et al.  Entire group (n = 21)
Wilson et al.  Entire group (n = 20)
Lowery et al.  Entire group (n = 17)
21.6 ± 0.5
23.4 ± 0.7
21.6 ± 0.5
21.7 ± 0.4
1.7 ± 0.04
1.71 ± 0.04
1.7 ± 0.04
1.7 ± 0.07
1RM bench pressa
1.3 ± 0.04
1.34 ± 0.03
1.3 ± 0.04
1.3 ± 0.05
2.0 ± 0.05
2.05 ± 0.04
2.0 ± 0.05
2.0 ± 0.06
“The ATP trial was completed in a later semester and thus, two additional subjects were recruited to the placebo group to blind the treatments. One of the additional placebo subjects was lost due to injury.”There are several major problems with this statement. First, consider what the above quote implies. This means the control group from the first study, which compared control vs. HMB vs. HMB + ATP cohorts, was used again in the study which occurred during a later semester that compared control vs. ATP cohorts. To reiterate, they used the same control group twice. If that does not sound odd enough, this issue is more troubling when you consider the fact that all three papers describe these studies as double-blinded. So Jacob Wilson, I have two questions for you.
- If these studies were blinded, how would you have known which subjects were in the control group from the first study to reenlist them as controls during the second study performed in a later semester?
- If blinded, how would you know to add two more control group participants to replace the two that dropped out? Thanks to Stuart Phillips and Douglas Kalman for raising this point.
Second, if you look at the study timeline on ClinicalTrials.gov, the start date was January 2012 with a completion date of October 2012. The statement by Wilson above suggests that the control group had to complete this study twice but did so during separate semesters. With this timeline the control subjects would have had to complete this 12 week (actually 14 weeks) protocol during the Spring and Summer semesters in order for Wilson’s statement above to be true. Did this control group lose all the strength and lean tissue they had just gained during the first time completing this protocol that could have only been a month or two apart? How could the control group be matched for strength and other factors if they had just made gains from completing the previous 12-week protocol? Third, the authors have edited the information on ClinicalTrials.gov to match what he/they have said in their response to us.
How does one blindly add to the placebo group as Wilson claims? https://t.co/YTTZHZqJEt— Douglas Kalman PhD (@dougkalmanphdrd) December 10, 2017
Last but not least, I have email confirmation from Jacob Wilson himself stating these three papers were part of a single study that occurred simultaneously. You can download and view these emails here. Here is the statement from Jacob Wilson in his email to me which you can find on page 2 of the email linked above.
Gasoline thrown on fire! Admits same control group used three times, changes clincicaltrials record to match description, says new subjects were added… when will it end?— Stuart Phillips (he/him) (@mackinprof) December 11, 2017
“In short yes we did all these studies at once. It was one large study divided into 3 papers which we mention in the HMB-ATP paper. So we had a control, HMB and HMB+ ATP group. For all 3 papers half of the subjects would be identical.”So, this “change” in methods was not communicated in any of the studies, it was not mentioned in the ClinicalTrials.gov description of study methods (until they recently edited them), and Wilson said the exact opposite to me via email. What version of the methods are we to believe? The different versions presented in the 3 papers, the version originally presented on ClinicalTrials.gov, the version currently listed in this response, or the version presented in Wilson’s email to me? [/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_text admin_label=”Part 4″ _builder_version=”3.0.91″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_layout=”light”] We hope this serves to clear up any misinterpretation in our studies. Sincerely, Jacob Wilson, PhD Corresponding Author [/et_pb_text][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Response to Part 4″ use_icon=”on” font_icon=”%%86%%” icon_color=”#456f74″ content_max_width=”750px” _builder_version=”3.0.91″ background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0.05)” url_new_window=”off” use_circle=”off” use_circle_border=”off” icon_placement=”top” use_icon_font_size=”off” background_layout=”light”] No Mr. Wilson, this has not served to clear up any misinterpretations in your study or studies (who knows what is correct). But I am sure you are well aware of that. You have simply dug a deeper hole for yourself and I am happy to watch you keep on digging. [/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_text admin_label=”References” _builder_version=”3.0.91″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_layout=”light”] References
- Gentles JA, Phillips SM. Discrepancies in publications related to HMB-FA and ATP supplementation. Nutr Metab. 2017;14:42. View Article Google Scholar
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