T Nation

NY Times Article: "Is it Time to Give Up on Fish Oil?"

It is not.

Careful with the NYT health and wellness authors. They had an article on Testosterone recently where they had a bunch of doctors spout off about not giving anyone test if they were above 300ng/dl because that was “in range”.

Not one dissenting doctor was interviewed.


Omega-3 effects have tended to give conflicting results because HIGH intakes can be as bad as low intakes, not necessarily from mercury, but because all polyunsaturated fatty acids tend to cause oxidative damage to the lining of blood vessels-which is the instigator of atherosclerosis. Omega-3s are even more prone to carrying oxidizing species to blood vessels than Omega-6s. The benefit of Omega-3s is primarily in balancing out the general inflammatory effects of omega-6 (linoleic acid). So Omega-3s reduce general inflammation but increase local inflammation in blood vessels and the dose needs to be right to produce the best net effect of those two responses.

On one hand, the more omega-6 you eat, the more omega-3 you needs to balance out systemic inflammation. On the other hand, both omega-6 and omega-3 cause arterial scarring, so if you just eat a ton of omega-3 to balance omega-6 you may keep systemic inflammation in balance but have a lot of oxidative species reacting with your arterial linings.

It is almost certainly more important to keep your omega-6 below 10 grams a day, and take just enough omega-3 to have a good balance (about 2-4 grams a day). 4 Flameout provide 3 grams.

Also, newer concentrated and purified forms like Flameout have a higher proportion of DHA and EPA, and particularly more DHA which is important because men make less DHA from precursors while women make more DHA and less EPA, so men need to get mostly DHA. Most Fish oil at the store are primarly EPA. https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-stop-using-fish-oil-made-for-women

Also store bought fish oil used to only contain about .3 gram Omega-3 per gram of fat. Newer forms uncluding Flameout are about .6, so you used to have to take 10 grams of fish oil to get 3 grams of Omega-6. Some of the other fat was actually omega-6. Now you only need about 5 grams of fish oil to get 3 grams of Omega-3 with a much higher concentration of the essential forms-DHA and EPA.

It is pretty clear that there is no net health benefit from getting more than about 3 grams of Omega-3 per day (long tem-though there may be benefits from short, therapeutic periods). The increased oxidation of arterial linings starts to cancel out the ability of O-3 to balance O-6s.


Notice that the author “relented and started taking a statin”, something that has demonstrated ZERO net increase in lifespan. http://realfarmacy.com/statin-scam-cholesterol/

My wife is a cardiologist. She confirms negative effects of statins. She actually stopped taking them when they were prescribed for her because of a total cholesterol level of about 220, even though she has an HDL of 68 and low triglycerides. She believes they are beneficial in certain cases.

If I remember correctly, statins have only shown an increase in lifespan when we take a group of individuals who have already had a heart attack, or who smoke, or have high calcium scores, and that among individuals who have never had a heart attack and don’t smoke (simply those who have higher cholesterol levels), they seem to shorten lifespan. In fact cholesterol levels tend to have a significant positive correlation to lifespan among people who have never had a heart attack.

Cholesterol production actually rises in the body when there has been oxidative damage caused to blood vessels by high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, smoking and other factors, and the cholesterol is sent to the damaged lining cells to heal them-to reinforce the cell membranes. This again creates a data conundrum. Cholesterol MAY be high in someone at risk of a heart attack because the body is making it as a restorative response. Of course, if the oxidative damage gets excessive, the cholesterol can build up around the scarring and calcium deposits.

"In Japan, high cholesterol is associated with longer life at all ages. "