Remember the three Ps when reading health news.
It seems like new medical research comes out every day—sometimes disagreeing with what came out the day before.
When reading health news, keep an eye on the source. The three Ps can help:
- Primary source – Is the information from a first-hand source, or is it a report of a report? Remember, it’s best to get your information from the original source.
- Peer reviewed – Is the information from a well-respected medical journal that has been peer reviewed? Think of peer reviewed as fact-checked by another expert in that field. If a study has been reviewed, then the research is far more trustworthy.
- People – Was the study conducted on people? And how many? Early clinical research can happen in a lab on tissue samples or on animals. These results may be interesting or promising, but they are not developed enough to inform your health decisions. For studies on people, it’s a good idea to consider how many people were in the study—in general, the more the better.
To get true medical advice, go to your doctor or a trained medical professional.