Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Truth About Fish Oil And Prostate Health

Here we go again with the media spewing up mis-information about the safety of supplements. This one takes it to a new level by attacking fish oil....which when taken has shown so many positive benefits and at very high dosages. Please read below for the truth about fish oil !!!

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2013—In response to a new study, “Plasma Phospholipid Fatty
Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial,” published yesterday online in the Journal
of the National Cancer Institute, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade
association representing the dietary supplement industry, today issued the following statement:
Statement by Duffy MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN:
“The numerous benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from foods (like salmon and sardines) and dietary
supplements are well-established for men and women in all stages of life—and this new study
does not change those recommendations about the importance of this nutrient. Hundreds of
studies over the past two decades have shown omega-3 fatty acids to have positive effects
associated with cardiovascular health, perinatal health, inflammation, cognitive function, or
cancer. Collectively, this body of research serves as the basis for numerous recommendations
from respected organizations, scientific boards and healthcare practitioners that Americans get
omega-3 fatty acids in their diets.
While we encourage researchers to continue to study omega-3 fatty acids with an open mind, it is
counterproductive when studying nutrition for researchers to promote their study as if it were the
only piece of research that counts. In this case in particular, it is especially disingenuous for the
researchers to make the kinds of assertions we’ve seen in the press, given their results are in stark
contrast to previous epidemiologic studies1 that not only demonstrate no correlation between
omega-3 consumption through fish and/or supplementation and the risk of prostate cancer, but in
many cases also showed a protective effect against prostate cancer.
Further, the researchers were quick to blame dietary supplements even though there is no
evidence that anybody in this study took fish oil dietary supplements. In fact, the study
demonstrates no cause and effect; it can only purport to show an association between higher
plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids and those whom the researchers advise had an increased
rate of prostate cancer.
One should also consider whether this study could have simply been measuring a biomarker
reflecting recent intake of fish or fish oil supplements in a group of high risk cancer patients that
had been told to increase their EPA and DHA levels, as compared to a group of non-cancer
patients that had not been told to consume more EPA and DHA. Plasma levels of EPA and DHA
reflect very recent intake and are considered a poor biomarker of long term omega-3 intake
especially when compared to red blood cell levels, which reflect medium term intake. A single
fish oil dose (or hearty serving of fish at lunch) results in >100 percent increase in plasma
omega-3 levels. So looking at plasma levels in healthy and sick people may only provide insight
into the recent habits of these individuals.
Additionally, the study’s conclusions are also limited by the fact that the study was not designed
to evaluate the question the researchers sought to confirm.
The American Heart Association, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Institute of
Medicine’s Food Nutrition Board (IOM FNB) and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines all have current
policies advising Americans to eat more fatty fish to get the benefits of omega-3 fish oils. It is
highly unlikely this one study will change that advice. Omega-3s can also be obtained by taking
one of the many supplement products on the market. For those consumers who have concerns
about prostate cancer or other questions about omega-3 fatty acids, we recommend speaking with
your doctor or other healthcare practitioner.”