A recent study of several hundred female physicians showed that their tendency to develop coronary disease was invers...

Kath on October 30, 2019

Why A is correct

It seems that the premise does not say the physicians take the food that contains folate and B6. The stimulus directly says the relationship between coronary disease and the folate and B6. So why A is right?

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Kath on October 30, 2019

And could you explain why E is wrong?

shunhe on January 11, 2020

Hi @Kath,

Thanks for the question! This is a Weaken question, so we need information in the answer choice that will hurt the author’s argument. Let’s go through the stimulus. We’re told that researchers found an inverse relationship between developing coronary disease and intake of folate and B6. In other words, more folate and B6 is less coronary disease, and vice versa. Therefore, the researchers concluded that folate and B6 inhibit the development of heart disease in women. It’s generally helpful to think of what the answer could be before looking at the answer choices. We’re presented with what seems like pretty good evidence, but it might just be a correlation—perhaps there’s a hidden third variable involved. For example, skiing and eating ice cream have an inverse relationship, but it’s not because one causes people to do less of the other. It’s because there’s a third variable—the weather—that affects both. (A) gives us this third variable. It tells us that foods that have folate and B6 also have other nutrients that inhibit heart disease. Thus, women who ate more of these foods would have more folate and B6, but also more of these non vitamin nutrients, and these non vitamin nutrients were inhibiting heart disease, not necessarily the folate and B6.

(E), on the other hand, is incorrect because we’re presented the researchers are making a causal argument based on a correlation. Thus, it doesn’t matter if there’s a lot of folate and B6 in the food or not, this is irrelevant to the argument the researchers are making. They could be present in small amounts and still inhibit the development of heart disease in women. Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any questions that you might have.