T Nation

Fish Oils, Interesting Article


#1

Apparently they can't say for sure that Fish oils or Plant oils work in any way.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4838086.stm

Thought I'd share this.

What do you guys recon?


#2

Hi,

This study was conducted on people with existing heart disease, not on the potential of Omega 3s & EFAs to prevent diseases. The best way to treat disease, is to prevent it in the first place. It is clear that in many situations, nutrition responds differently in sick and healthy individuals. Furthermore, although people are supplementing with fish oils, we do not know about the rest of their diet and lifestyle.

I also think that most people who are into training and nutrition, are generally one step ahead of the game - and we know that fish oils, EFAs & healthy fats enhance health and performance - we don't really need any more evidence to tell us this (granted specifics regarding dosage & specific ratios would be interesting).

P.S - For the benefit of you guys in the US, the BBC is the 'great' public news media here in the UK.....full of politically correct crap and clearly influenced by 'significant others'....they would write something critical about omega 3s, but wouldn't dare expose something like Aspartame.

Keep popping those fish oils caps!


#3

I have always believed that the benefits of fish oil have been grossly exaggerated by supplement promoters, most notably Barry Sears. With that said, the article and the study it mentsions on look at mortality rates, and it is enormously erroneous to extrapolate that to the conclusion that fish oil has no benefits at all. There IS research indicating that fish oil is beneficial for conditions like arthritis and hypertension, so I have no idea why they would say that there is no evidence either way (unless they were referring exclusively to mortality rates).


#4

lol - that is true.

I'm going to keep popping them too.

Interesting debate though.


#5

I have made the point about the BBC in the political threads and been blasted for it. The BBC is fine for what it is as long as you recognize it.

I just popped one a minute ago. I anxiously await the fishy belch.


#6

After dozens of studies enlighten the benefits of fish oil, people go nuts when one experimental group shows increased mortality. Also, I don't know that fish oil has ever been shown to treat angina, which makes the result kind of irrelevant.

I think it's usually safest to be very skeptical about studies that we have little information on, you never know about methods or where the funding comes from. Especially if we're talking about just a single study.

I remember seeing a study a couple of years back showing that antioxidants kill you too.


#7

It seems that for healthy people the health advice remains well-founded but for people with chronic heart disease there is now a doubt

thats the take home message really. There are a myriad of other benefits associated and proven by fish oil intake so as was hinted before - keep eating the makerel, salmon, fresh tuna and fish oil.


#8

I've been taking fish oil long before Flameout came along and I will tell you from first hand use they work.

It clears up my complexion (no more pimples), makes my joints feel better, and helps aleviate my allergy symptoms.

I feed them to my father who has eczema and my mother who has cholesterol and it has signigficanly helped them both. My father no longer takes medication and my mothers cholesterol dropped 30 points without any changes in diet or exercise.

You might not see muscles pop out from taking fish oil but the benefits are significant for overall health.


#9

Wow that may have been one of the most poorly written "news" reports I have seen! I don't even know where to start.

First, nowhere in that article does it mention supplemental fish oils. It references only fatty fish.

Second, it doesn't define what is meant by "high amounts" of fatty fish. Salmon once a day? How big a serving? Three ounces, or a whole damn fish?

Which study changed the whole picture? Where was it published, and where can we find it to look at it. Oh, that's right, they didn't tell us. It may not have been published, which honestly isn't a big deal, except it then couldn't be easily acessed.

Why would they say that there is no real evidence either way, then say it will harm people, then say to keep eating it? So, if you have angina without a heart attack, fih is bad, but once you have an infarction, eat more fish again? Of course, I may have just read this page wrong, it is really haphazard.

So 89 studies offered no clear evidence, but one study changed the whole picture? If those first studies weren't pro-fish, how could there be one study that challenges them? Saying that it is an opposite result implies that the previous review suggested that eating fish is good.

How did they extrapolate cancer incidence from cardiac events?? That is real interesting.

I'm sure I missed something....Oh yeah.

Were any of the men in that study on medications? Blood thinners, maybe? Because Omega-3's will mildly thin the blood. What was the rest of their diet like? How old were they? It is possible that the men were elderly, and therefore at a greater risk (statistically)of having a heart attack? The men in that study were at a higher risk compared to whom? People with angina that don't eat fish? People without angina? Were there even any controls?

As another poster mentioned, nutrition is different when it comes to treatment for specific diseases. There may be a legitimate reason to avoid fatty fish if you have a cardiac condition, but I sure wouldn't change my position based on that horrible report!


#10

You really have to be careful when you analyze the results of some of these studies. There is an ever increasing trend of attempts by government and whatever "health watchdog" group exists in your country (FDA in the US) to discredit, outlaw, show harm from, etc. many useful and effective supplements. If you dig deep enough into many of the studies you find that they were designed from the get-go to make a particular substance look ineffective or dangerous.

The study you mention was done on people who already had serious issues and a history of disease and lifestyle problems. The FDA and others bad mouth non scientific, non professional, non sanctioned use of supplements and yet they resort to the same tactics to ban safe and effective supplements like Ephedra and to continue to try to ban vitamins, antioxidants, Q-10, protein: the list goes on. However, it's ok to sell a known and proven organ destroyer and kidney killer like Ibuprofen over the counter under license from the FDA of course. ($$$$ in their pocket)

Why the hell would the people who are supposed to be the watch dogs of your health and well being do this??
The all mighty buck (as usual)!!! They get no license fees, no kickbacks, no royalties from any of the supplement sales because they don't have any part of it. That's a bunch of $$$$$ slipping through their fingers that they can't touch. It amounts to billions of dollars a year in the US. The only way to stop it is to ban the supplements by making them illegal and outlawing their use. The way to do that is to make them look ineffective and/or dangerous.

Also, if you look far enough into some of these "studies" you find that either the "researchers" who did the study or the organization they work for are funded by the very people who are trying to outlaw these supplements. Big surprise that the research would show the supplements to be ineffective or dangerous, huh??

I have a father-in-law who lived 30 years after they told him he would die from inoperative prostate cancer. He did not use one single standard treatment: no chemo, no radiation, no surgery. He (red-meat and potato guy) switched to a macro-biotic diet and went to a natropath who started him on supplemnts. Instead of living 6 months he lived 30 more years. I have dog who has seizures. I found an herbal formula that I order from South Carolina, imported from China, just for this. The vet wanted to put him on barbituates (the usual treatment) but I wanted to try the herbs. In 3 years he has had no more seizures. I ran out of the herbs (my fault), he didn't have them for about 3 days and he had another seizure. Back on the herbs, no more seizures.

Ok, enough, but the point is that there are many, many herbal supplements that are safe and effective. Buy quality goods from quality companies. Find good, honest, independant sources of information and pay attention! Do your own homework. There are lots of straight up, honest, knowledgable people on this site who can give you the straight skinny or send you to someone who can. If you want more accurate info on fish oil and how great it is read the first part of the thread on Flameout. There is a bunch of info there all backed up with references to studies.

Jimbob

You rust out before you wear out.


#11

The literature review was strongly dependant on the results of one study...the Burr, et.al. study. The literature review discusses reasons why this study may not support previous analyses which do support positive results from use of fish oils. The Burr study was the longest duration and one reason given is:

"Why does the study by Burr et al contradict the other large
studies by not suggesting a benefit of omega 3?14 The first possible
explanation is that this RCT had the longest follow-up of all
RCTs and the harmful effects of methylmercury could be cumulative."

[RCT == randomised clinical trail]
The Burr study used oily fish as opposed to refined fish oil supplements.

Here is the reference to the Cooper analysis (referenced in the BBC article posted above):
http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/bmj.38755.366331.2Fv1?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=1&author1=hooper%2C+l&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&fdate=1/1/2004&resourcetype=HWCIT
[sorry it's so long...you could go to the British Medical Journal website and search on au:Cooper, L with published after 2004 dates]


#12

I agree, to a point. That'a another example of a new trend. Take a common, inexpensive, effective supplement that has been proven through several studies to be effective, give it a fancy, formal, gee-whiz name so it sounds official, license it, market it, get royalties and the $$$$$ will roll in. However, don't tell the public they can buy it for 2/3 the cost at the local health food store. The same thing has happened with Glucosamine/Chondroitin.

Jimbob


#13

If you had put down your Kevin Trudeau book long enough to actually read the article, you might have noticed that the research in question was performed overseas. Kinda casts doubt on the whole FDA conspiracy thing.


#14

Jimbob wrote:
You really have to be careful when you analyze the results of some of these studies. There is an ever increasing trend of attempts by government and whatever "health watchdog" group exists in your country (FDA in the US) to discredit, outlaw, show harm from, etc. many useful and effective supplements. If you dig deep enough into many of the studies you find that they were designed from the get-go to make a particular substance look ineffective or dangerous.

The study you mention was done on people who already had serious issues and a history of disease and lifestyle problems. The FDA and others bad mouth non scientific, non professional, non sanctioned use of supplements and yet they resort to the same tactics to ban safe and effective supplements like Ephedra and to continue to try to ban vitamins, antioxidants, Q-10, protein: the list goes on. However, it's ok to sell a known and proven organ destroyer and kidney killer like Ibuprofen over the counter under license from the FDA of course. ($$$$ in their pocket)

Why the hell would the people who are supposed to be the watch dogs of your health and well being do this??
The all mighty buck (as usual)!!! They get no license fees, no kickbacks, no royalties from any of the supplement sales because they don't have any part of it. That's a bunch of $$$$$ slipping through their fingers that they can't touch. It amounts to billions of dollars a year in the US. The only way to stop it is to ban the supplements by making them illegal and outlawing their use. The way to do that is to make them look ineffective and/or dangerous.

Also, if you look far enough into some of these "studies" you find that either the "researchers" who did the study or the organization they work for are funded by the very people who are trying to outlaw these supplements. Big surprise that the research would show the supplements to be ineffective or dangerous, huh??

I have a father-in-law who lived 30 years after they told him he would die from inoperative prostate cancer. He did not use one single standard treatment: no chemo, no radiation, no surgery. He (red-meat and potato guy) switched to a macro-biotic diet and went to a natropath who started him on supplemnts. Instead of living 6 months he lived 30 more years. I have dog who has seizures. I found an herbal formula that I order from South Carolina, imported from China, just for this. The vet wanted to put him on barbituates (the usual treatment) but I wanted to try the herbs. In 3 years he has had no more seizures. I ran out of the herbs (my fault), he didn't have them for about 3 days and he had another seizure. Back on the herbs, no more seizures.

Ok, enough, but the point is that there are many, many herbal supplements that are safe and effective. Buy quality goods from quality companies. Find good, honest, independant sources of information and pay attention! Do your own homework. There are lots of straight up, honest, knowledgable people on this site who can give you the straight skinny or send you to someone who can. If you want more accurate info on fish oil and how great it is read the first part of the thread on Flameout. There is a bunch of info there all backed up with references to studies.

Jimbob

You rust out before you wear out.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
If you had put down your Kevin Trudeau book long enough to actually read the article, you might have noticed that the research in question was performed overseas. Kinda casts doubt on the whole FDA conspiracy thing.

Well, at least your name is appropriate.
I did get a little off topic. Not enough coffee I guess. Dr Colgan is my source of info, Trudeau always was a putz.
Read the second sentence in my first paragraph. The FDA is just one of the problems. The fact that this took place in England is no surprise. Think the ripple effect will find its' way over the pond? Keep watching the news media. Think this is just half assesd reporting/researching or something else? Indirect support for discrediting another effective supplement?
Check out the first sentence in the second paragrah of my post. This was not a study of the effects of fish oil on a subject population. It was a review of 89 previous studies. It singled out people with chronic heart disease to draw general conclusions about fish oil. Here's the first headline I saw on the topic:

" Doubts cast on oily fish benefits

Omega-3 fats are contained in oily fish and some seeds
There is no evidence of a clear benefit to health from fats which are commonly found in oily fish, researchers say."

Do you think most people will read beyond that headline? If they do read past the headline will they read between the lines and wonder about the info that is NOT in the article? Will they do their own research? Nope.

There is plenty of evidence of a clear benefit to health from fats which are commonly found in oily fish and not just for the heart. Curing CHRONIC heart disease may not be one of those. Curing chronic ANYTHING is a crapshoot at best. Once it's chronic much of the damage is done and is permanent. Why would adding more lipids to the diet of people who have chronic heart disease possibly from screwed up blood lipid profiles be expected to help or cure the condition?

Way too many unknowns to draw a conclusion like that and then throw it out to the media.

Jimbob


#15

Fuck the BBC ! and abolish the license fee, bastards !


#16

Here is another article from The Australia

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,18591979-36398,00.html

hope that links works.

Interesting that a bit of a fish-oil-bashing badwagon has rolled by. Can't imagine it will last long though.

You never know how well these studies are conducted. Constantly frustrates me that people can't just put together a well constructed definitive study on, it appears, ANYTHING to do with health that won't result in a juicy patent.


#17

Besides supposedly reducing heart disease risks, and helping with inflammation, does Fish Oil have any other benefits. I read somewhere that it promotes fat loss through increase metabolic rates, is this true or a bunch of crap?


#18

check out www.oilofpisces.com for a bunch of great info on fish oil.