I signed up for an online “carnivore study” being run by Dr. Shawn Baker at NEqualsMany.com, with software development support by Matt Maier. Participants will try their best to eat only meat and water for 90 days. We post numbers and notes on the web site, and at the end we will see whether people were able to stick with it, and what outcomes people had, for better or worse.
For some people this is a new experience and may be surprisingly hard, surprisingly easy, or somewhere in between. Others, like me, will require very little change to our existing diets.
This does not purport to be a randomized controlled trial. Participants are self-selected (hence biased); there is no control group; there is no blinding; we’re self-reporting all our data; and so forth. It’s a different kind of experiment. The following, from a blog post about ethics and oversight, serves as a good description of the motivation for this exercise:
With the explosion of social media and the ever increasing popularity of bio-hacking and N=1 experimentation, it is very easy to find countless public examples of human experimentation, often with hundreds of thousands of exposures. Do these add to the general knowledge base? […]
What about a very popular public Facebook group that has several members that all follow a common dietary or medical protocol and then record their progress and their results? Does this contribute to the general knowledge base and is it thus considered human research? […]
At this point nequalsmany.com is not planning to engage in research publication, nor is it seeking federal funding. We are facilitating and providing a location for biohackers and n=1 experimenters to get together and share in a common experience. If this information leads to further formalized research utilizing more traditional methods to include IRB oversight, then that is a good thing.
Today (August 18, 2017) is day 4 of the study. Some people have already reported feeling great, while others have had some discomfort. I had already been eating almost 100% meat for a couple of months, and low-carb for 18 months before that, so it’s been easy for me. In practice the biggest change has been cutting out the diet sodas. I’m trying to drink only water and unflavored seltzer.