Monday, September 17, 2012

Fishy Business

It is naturally confusing to consider that the news reporting the benefits of fish oil “may” be overstated.  Last week, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a conclusion that:  “Overall, omega-3 supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all causes of mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute measures of association.”   I will suppress my sarcasm here…or not.  It’s not like every time I take fish oil; I think that I am beating sudden death.  I would actually prefer sudden death over some other choices. 
Studies are about the herd effect.  This means that we look at one supplement or intervention for a group of individuals. We then measure the outcome of a predetermined area such as heart disease.   Then we draw some conclusion that may or may not alter the choices we make.  There is no way to design a study that measures all the benefits, effects, or side effects for any group of individuals.  We have different genetics, diets, toxic exposures and are therefore all biochemically unique.  The true complexity is enormous.
How does one make sense of what supplements are beneficial?  After all, you can find information to substantiate any position.  I prefer a common sense approach.  For those that have studied fat biochemistry (or even care to) there is an amazing amount of “functional” information about fish oil and omega 3 fats.  Good fats contribute to how well each cell wall functions.  The cell wall is the brains of each cell as the gatekeeper of nutrients, waste, and cellular communication.  
As with any food, the quality of the fats you consume is imperative to your health.  Avoid all trans-fats and excess animal fat.  Quality fish oil adds balance to excess consumption of animal fats that become pro-inflammatory.  This means that fish oil can decrease inflammation to reduce pain in joints.  Fish oil is still a valuable supplement and can contribute to overall quality of life.

Stay Well!

Fish Oil Products

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