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Archived Comments for: Comparative effects of selected non-caffeinated rehydration sports drinks on short-term performance following moderate dehydration

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  1. Manuscript Competing Interest Clarification

    Richard Kreider, JISSN Editors

    5 July 2011

    The Editors of the JISSN received an e-mail from a reader requesting clarification about author competing interests related to the article entitled "Comparative effects of selected non-caffeinated rehydration sports drinks on short-term performance following moderate dehydration" that was publishe in the JISSN in 2010. BioMed Central and JISSN authorship guidelines indicate that authors should declare real and perceived potential competing interests. A reader pointed out that the corresponding author to this paper, Dr. Sid Stohs, is listed as a member of Advocare's Board and was formerly a Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Advocare. The study was conducted on one of their products by Dr. Peter Snell at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. The Editors-In-Chief contacted Dr. Stohs and received the following clarification. Readers of this article should consider this potential competing interest when interpreting results from this study.

    Dear Drs. Kreider and Kalman:

    I strongly concur that maintaining publication integrity and the integrity of the Journal are exceedingly important issues. I pride myself on my ethical and moral standards, and the fact that the issue was even raised is embarrassing.

    In terms of background information, the study was conducted in the laboratories of Dr. Peter Snell at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Dr. Snell received no remuneration for doing the study, and AdvoCare provided no financial support for the study. AdvoCare did supply the Rehydrate product used in the study. Dr. Snell recruited participants, and was responsible for data collection. The study was double blinded and randomized. The data was analyzed independently as noted in the manuscript. Dr. Snell prepared an initial draft of the manuscript.

    I was involved in the initial conception of the study. However, I was not involved in data collection, data analysis or the interpretation of the data. As a consequence, I did not believe that a conflict of interest was involved. I was involved in the final writing of the manuscript, and sending out a draft to a faculty member in sports nutrition at a university for his review and comments (which were provided) prior to submission of the manuscript. I was responsible for submission of the manuscript. No employees of AdvoCare were involved in the submission of the manuscript, nor was there any pressure from AdvoCare to publish the study. All of the authors are essentially retired.

    I serve as a consultant to AdvoCare and several other companies. I wish to emphatically state the I do not nor have I ever sold AdvoCare products, contrary to the statement of the person who contacted you. Furthermore, none of the authors has received or ever expected to receive financial benefit from the publication of the manuscript, nor was there ever any intent that any of us would receive financial benefit. We were interested in publishing data we believe significant and that speaks for itself. Based on the above considerations we did not believe that there was a conflict of interest or ethical breach.

    I have reviewed the conflict of interest policy, and believe that an operative word is "perceived". In retrospect, I can understand how someone could "perceive" a conflict of interest when not in control of all the facts. It would have been prudent on our part to note that I was a consultant to AdvoCare, and that Dr. Chithan Kandaswami and Dr. Bob Ward were former employees. Unfortunately, at the time, we did not believe that it was necessary based on the manner in which the study was conducted and the lack of financial benefit. Dr. Snell clearly has no conflict of interest, perceived or otherwise.

    I sincerely hope that this addresses the issue. I apologize for even having the issue raised. I shall be happy to visit with you regarding this matter, should further discussion be necessary.


    Sid Stohs, Ph.D.

    Competing interests

    I serve as Co-Editor-In Chief of the JISSN. I have no competing interests related to this matter. However, I have received funding from various sports nutrition companies over the years to conduct research as well as served as a legal consultant related to exercise and nutrition matters. I currently have funding support from the National Institutes of Health, Curves International, Martin Bauer Holding GmbH, and AlzChem Trostberg GmbH to conduct exercise and nutrition-related research.