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April 16, 2012

Let Food Be Your Medicine

According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, purified fish oil supplements may not offer health protection against heart disease.

The new report, a large meta-analysis that pooled and then analyzed data from various clinical trials involving thousands of patients, found that taking omega-3 fatty acids did not reduce the risk of further cardiovascular problems in patients who already had heart disease.

This study examined people who already have heart disease, so researchers don't know if fish oil acts to protect people who don't already have heart disease. Also, these studies don't show long-term effects of taking fish oil.

So, here's my beef with the whole issue: People hear that the omega-3 oils found in fish offers anti-inflammatory protection to the body that also helps reduce heart disease. Science has a way of looking at the big picture benefits with a magnifying glass to see what is happening at the molecular level, identifies the molecule, and throws the rest of the fish out with the bathwater.

Good health comes from lifestyle choices. Eat fish. Taking a pill will not cure all that ails us. Wouldn't our money be better spent buying actual fish twice a week? Don't like fish? Suck it up and learn to like it; we're adults here, right? Try this salmon recipe and see if it doesn't help change your mind.

The lead author has this to say about eating actual fish rather than fish oil supplements:

By eating fish, you end up replacing other less healthy protein sources, like processed foods and red meat.

Amen to that.

Posted by linda at April 16, 2012 6:00 AM

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