DO YOU NEED ONE MORE QUICK LESSON ON WHY YOU CANNOT TRUST BIG PHARMA OR THEIR MOUTHPIECES IN PEER-REVIEW?Read Now
TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENS TO CARDIOLOGY RESEARCH WHEN FRAUDULENT PLACEBOS ARE USED
"The results are 'truly extraordinary given the magnitude of CV event reduction. We have never seen such strong risk reduction with fish oil before. Prior results have been conflicting or showing only minimal benefit'. The effect appears to be even bigger than with PCSK9 inhibitors, and the risk reduction is 'even more impressive since these are contemporary patients, on statin therapy, and with controlled LDL ...."'. Taken from the almost-making-me-giddy Medpage Today article being discussed today.
As I've stated before, studies can be set up so that they can prove just about anything. Case in point are the recent commercials carried by the New England Journal of Medicine that masqueraded as research. Allow me to back up for a moment and discuss some of the nearly unbelievable (nearly) CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST in the studies known as ASCEND.
Despite the fact that the American Heart Association (AHA) and the ACC (the American College of Cardiology) are considered among the most prestigious cardiology organizations in the world, they are also, arguably, among the most corrupt. I showed you this when I showed you how they recently panned coconut oil as dangerous, while continuing to promote the same old crappy PROCESSED OILS as heart-healthy (HERE). I also showed you how they panned using fish oil for people with diabetes (HERE), not to mention putting the kibosh on using nutritional supplements for people with heart disease (HERE). Enter Dr. Alex Vasquez.
In response to the fish oil / diabetes study mentioned above, Dr. Alex wrote a letter to the editor of the NEJM, showing that since numerous studies have shown EVOO to be cardio-protective itself, it cannot be used against / opposite fish oil as a valid (inert) placebo. In response to his very nice letter to the editor (which, of course, the NEJM declined to print), Dr. V issued a not-quite-as-nice rebuttal on his Linkedin page, titled, Commentary: Medical Zombies at Work to Destroy Real Nutrition and Promote Pharmaceuticalized Prescription-Only Pharmanutrition. Among other things, Dr. Vasquez showed that.....
What does the word "inappropriate" really mean when talking about a fish oil study, and why should we be interested or care? It seems that Big Pharma recently created a prescription-only fish oil that blew the pants off of normal PGFO in studies. Or did it? It seems that this research was set up using (gulp) mineral oil as the "inert" placebo.
Although you can read industry's positive spin on their new Frankenfish oil drug by going to the November 10 issue of Medpage Today (AHA: Prescription Fish Oil Wins for CV Prevention: Positive Findings for Vascepa in REDUCE-IT Trial), Vasquez's article is a more accurate and honest barometer of what really happened. Here is a slice of his well-bibbed rebuttal.
"I can hardly restrain harsh commentary regarding the imbecility that was published this year, clearly attempting to eviscerate the data supporting real/natural fish oil via overtly bogus publications. An article published decades ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that mineral oil blocks absorption of cardioprotective antioxiants such as beta-carotene and that "The Council on Foods and Nutrition of the American Medical Association concluded in a report published in 1943 that the indiscriminate use of mineral oil in foods and cooking is not in the interest of good nutrition and that any such use should be under careful supervision of a physician." Furthermore, mineral oil is inaccurately promulgated to be unabsorbed and therefore inert, but the research evidence in animal studies and human necropsies has shown that mineral oil is absorbed from the gut, causes "white nodules in the intestinal wall, and vacuolization in the mesenteric lymph nodes and liver." While most of the pro-pharma major media served their drug company advertisers by praising the new prescription fish oil product as a "breakthrough" for cardiovascular disease prevention, a closer analysis published in Forbes raised concerns that "mineral oil had not behaved as a placebo at all. In other studies of cardiovascular drugs, blood test results on placebo do not budge. That’s not what happened here. Patients who received mineral oil saw their levels of low-density lipoprotein, the bad cholesterol, increase 10% to 84 milligrams per deciliter, 6% more than in the Vascepa group, according to the New England Journal of Medicine paper."
Just remember that when it comes to research, nothing is ever quite as it seems. This is exponentially true in the fields of cardiology (see previous study's links in opening paragraph) and cancer (HERE), as well as any research that will ultimately be used to sell you a regulated product (chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, foods, etc, etc ---- HERE).
If you are looking for information on reducing your inflammatory load without pharmaceuticals (or at the very least, requiring fewer / less of them --- always a noble goal), HERE is a starting point. Oh, and please make sure you get the word out to the people you love and care about most. Liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK is typically a nice way to reach them.
IS SUPPLEMENTING WITH FISH OIL A WASTE FOR PEOPLE WITH TYPE II DIABETES?
Increased intake of Omega−3 fatty acids has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in observational studies, but this finding has not been confirmed in randomized trials. It remains unclear whether omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has cardiovascular benefit in patients with diabetes mellitus. During a mean follow-up of 7.4 years (adherence rate, 76%)....., among patients with diabetes without evidence of cardiovascular disease, there was no significant difference in the risk of serious vascular events between those who were assigned to receive Omega−3 fatty acid supplementation and those who were assigned to receive placebo.
As I've said many times before, Type II Diabetes is not so much a "sugar" problem as it is an INFLAMMATION problem. It just so happens that sugar is one of the most inflammatory foods Westerners consume on a constantly-all-the-time basis (HERE). Thus, it shouldn't come as a surprise that many people using FISH OIL (highly anti-inflammatory) to help manage their DIABETES get good results.
However, according to a brand new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Effects of Omega−3 Fatty Acid Supplements in Diabetes Mellitus), taking supplemental fish oil for diabetes is a waste of time and money that's no better than placebo. Speaking of placebo, in this study the authors took over 15,000 patients who had diabetes but no signs of heart disease, broke them into two groups, giving them one group 1,000 mg capsule of either fish oil (460 mg of EPA and 380 mg of DHA) or placebo (olive oil) daily for two and a half years.
I noticed two things about this study right off the bat. Firstly, olive oil is not a PLACEBO, which by definition, must be "inert". Numerous studies have not only shown olive oil to be cardio-protective, but we actually understand the mechanism(s) by which it works. In other words, EVOO is anything but inert. Secondly, while the amount of EPA/DHA in the assigned fish oil capsules was a decent start, that's all it was --- a "start". While this amount of fish oil might be fine for maintaining health in an already healthy person, the dose was too low to meet the threshold of being "therapeutic" if being used to treat a pathological condition.
Furthermore, the best diets for INFLAMMATORY DISEASES (cardiovascular disease and diabetes both fall into this category) are LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat), such as PALEO or KETOGENIC. Considering that study after study after study has shown that an optimal ratio of dietary Omega-3's to Omega-6's should be no less than 1 to 2, it's highly unlikely that the Omega-3 pills are going to get people there unless they are eating foods high in Omega-3's already; GRASS-FED BEEF, DEER, COLD-WATER FISH, EGGS from free-ranging chickens, etc, etc, etc.
My point is simply this; unless you do something to stem the tide of inflammation-causing dietary components (CRAPPY FATS, TRANS FATS, OBESE MEATS, SOY AND OTHER PROCESSED OILS, GRAINS, JUNK FOOD, etc, etc, etc), you can't take enough "supplements" (whatever they happen to be) to counteract a poor diet. I wrote about this phenomenon HERE. Just remember that quality supplements are great, but they're just that, "supplementary". Unfortunately, three decades in practice has taught me that far too many people want to eat what they want to eat, and then take all sorts of "supplements," hoping to tip the balance of health in their favor. The problem is, it doesn't work that way, never has, and never will (HERE).
Lastly, when you look at the organizations that funded this study, they could only be referred to as industry insiders. In the same way that both the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology are corrupt organizations (as you saw HERE), so were the people controlling the purse strings in this study. In this case, all the study said about financing was that it was "funded by the British Heart Foundation and others." Who are the "others"? BIG PHARMA, of course --- the people who don't want you taking fish oil, but instead want you taking INEFFECTIVE DIABETES DRUGS and STATINS.
I'm in a mastermind group with Dr. Vasquez and just noticed that he beat me to the punch on this study as well. Rather than keep going, I am going to let Dr. V take over with a very cool and informative 5 minute video on this subject. Oh; if you are looking for ways to get off the medical merry-go-round and start taking your life back from the ravaging effects of T2D or any number of other inflammatory or even AUTOIMMUNE ISSUES, be sure to take a look at THIS POST. Also be sure to like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK, which will help you reach the people you love and care about most.
FIRST PROSTATE CANCER, NOW IT'S JUST PLAIN BAD
Just a few months ago, it was PROSTATE CANCER, and now we find out that The New York Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and several other heavy-hitters in the media have been reporting on a recent study by a company (LabDoor) that tests Nutritional Supplements. It seems that --- surprise surprise --- many Fish Oil supplements are substandard. Not only that, but the lab stated that, "Every fish oil supplement tested contained measurable amounts of mercury". None of this should come as a surprise if you have read much of my materiel or been in my office. If you want to find out why most health food store or Mal Wart fish oil supplements are often worse than not taking any fish oil supplement at all, take a moment to visit our PGFO PAGE.
FISH OIL INCREASES CHANCES OF
"We've shown once again that use of nutritional supplements may be harmful." Dr. Alan Kristal, member of the Fred Hutch Public Health Sciences Division and author of the recent paper in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute touting a the relationship between Omega-3's and Prostate Cancer.
Back in 2011, a study was published by (yes, you guessed it) the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center of Seattle, Washington. The study talked about the link between aggressive Prostate Cancer and Fish Oil / Omega-3's. Interestingly enough, that particular study showed not only that Omega-3's were tied to increased levels of Prostate Cancer, but that TRANS FATS were supposedly protective against Prostate Cancer. If you understand anything at all about the Immune System chemicals that we collectively refer to as INFLAMMATION and their relationship to both Trans Fats and CANCER, you are already sensing that something might be rotten in Denmark.
All of this begs the question about previous research on Omega-3's and Fish Oil Supplements. Are decades of previous research wrong? Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids just a bunch of hype? What is the truth? As always, I recommend that you do your own research and never take anything that any physician tell you (self included) as factual without first checking it out for yourself. Question everything you read or hear and you'll wind up healthier (and wealthier) for it!
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE RESEARCH
- SWEDISH STUDY: The June 2001 issue of the Lancet, published a study that followed nearly 6,300 men for 30 years. Conclusions? "Men who ate no fish had a two-fold to three-fold higher frequency of prostate cancer than those who ate moderate or high amounts did. Our results suggest that fish consumption could be associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer."
- NEW ZEALAND STUDY: The 1999 issue of the British Journal of Cancer compared 317 men with Prostate Cancer to a control group of 480 age-matched men from the same community. Conclusions? "A reduced risk of prostate cancer [is] associated with dietary fish oils". The Prostate Cancer reduction in this study was nearly 40% in the Fish Oil group.
- JAPANESE / BRAZILIAN STUDY: The September 1999 issue of Cancer Science followed 50 men from each of 5 different areas of Japan, as well as 50 men from Sao Paulo, Brazil (300 total). Conclusions? "The frequency of total fish intake corresponded to serum Omega-3 Fatty Acid composition. The relationship between cancer mortality and serum Omega-3 Fatty Acid levels was not clear, though an inverse association between prostate cancer and serum Omega-3 Fatty Acid levels appeared to exist." (in other words, more Omega-3's in the blood, less Cancer in the Prostate).
When you add it all up, what does all of this prove? I'm not quite sure other than it seems like Omega-3's are only related to Prostate Cancer if you are from the good ole USA. So; in light of what we know about the Cancer / Inflammation relationship, what could possibly be the mechanism via which Omega-3's are 'causing' Prostate Cancer? Hang on to your hats because this is where things start to get interesting.
Could there be something else other than consuming fish or taking Fish Oil Supplements that raises blood serum levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids? It turns out there is. And this one throws a monkey wrench in the machine, so to speak. It turns out that low fat diets also raise levels of Omega-3's in the blood. In February of 2001, the Journal of Nutrition (a peer-reviewed scientific journal) published a study called, "Total Fat Intake Modifies Plasma Fatty Acid Composition in Humans". The study's conclusions? "The [various Omega-3's] levels were all significantly increased in subjects when they consumed the low fat diet compared to consumption of the high fat diet.". What does this really mean? Let's take a quick look at a couple of different possibilities that prove Omega-3's might not be the menace that Dr. Kristal and his team are making them out to be.
- TOO MANY GRAINS AND SUGARS: The first thing that comes to mind is that if low fat diets, if they played any role at all in this study, tend to come with some serious baggage. Who remembers the crazy Low Fat / No Fat diet recommendations of the 1980's 1990's, and even the 2000's (HERE)? Nothing did more to ruin the health of our country than for our own government to openly declare that dietary fat, and not copious amounts of sugar and / or GRAIN-BASED STARCH is what makes people fat (and sick ---- HERE). The bottom line is that eating a crappy diet while taking Fish Oil Supplements does not get around the fact that you are still eating a crappy diet! If you want to truly deal with the Fatty Acid imbalances in your body, you must first understand that.......
- RATIOS RULE: If you look back at my Fish Oil Page, you will notice that I talk a lot about ratios of Omega-3's to Omega-6's. An optimum ratio of threes to sixes would be 1:1. That might happen if you were marooned on some fabulous tropical island. But in the real world, about the best you can expect is a ratio of 1:3 (maybe 1:2 if you are a total health freak). The problem is that here in America, every study I have ever seen on the subject says that we are eating diets with a ratio closer to 1:25 or even 1:30. Understand that this not only means that we are probably not eating enough Omega Threes, but that we are over-eating Omega Sixes as well. If you really want to fix this ratio (or at least drive it closer to optimal), you'll have to not only increase your intake of Omega-3's, but more importantly, decrease your intake of Omega-6's. Face it --- many people eat a crappy diet and then take some supplements to off-set it ---- including Fish Oil. Not only does this not help fix your ratio problem, odds are that in the process you are probably consuming.........
- POOR QUALITY OMEGA THREE SUPPLEMENTS: If you again look at what I have said on my FISH OIL PAGE, you will notice that I heavily promote only high quality, Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil Supplements (and the fact that these must be refrigerated). I am not going to go into detail on this matter here, but I would ask you to check out the link above if you want to understand what constitutes a quality Fish Oil / Omega-3 product. Again, read what I have written in the past. "Not taking Fish Oil is better than taking inferior quality Fish Oil". Again; to understand why, read the link.
What do studies like this recent one really prove? They prove that poor quality Fish Oil Supplements that contain copious amounts of potentially rancid oils, and likely contaminated with known carcinogens such as PCB's, dioxins, MERCURY and other heavy metals; may cause cancer ---- just as you might expect they would. I find it exceedingly hard to believe that in lieu of nearly two decades of research on Omega-3 Fatty Acids from around the world showing that fish or high quality Fish Oil Supplements are actually protective against Prostate Cancer, we now have to watch out for them because they actually cause it. As always, do your own research and make an educated decision regarding this topic.
For more information on Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil, including hundreds upon hundreds of studies from the peer-reviewed scientific literature, just visit THIS SITE.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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