Trans Fats Are Healthier than Omega 3’s?
If you had to read that headline a couple of times, don’t feel bad. But that’s what a recent study discovered… sort of.
I’ve mentioned before how mainstream media takes potshots at holistic medicine and nutritional supplements. But reporting on this new study may take the cake. The study warns that fish oil – a rich source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids – may lead to prostate problems.
Serious prostate problems.
On the other hand, the study also found that trans fatty acids – about as heart-unhealthy as you can get – may promote prostate health.
Science turned on its head? It gets worse.
The researchers didn’t actually study the effects of fish oil. In fact, they didn’t study anything. They simply analyzed the results of someone else’s study. And the study they looked at had nothing to do with nutritional supplements. Either fish oil or any other kind.
The original study measured levels of certain nutrients in men’s blood. Supplements weren’t even considered. But they did find that men with certain prostate problems tended to have higher levels of DHA – an Omega-3 found in fish.
They also found higher levels of trans fatty acids in the blood of men who didn’thave prostate trouble. Oddly enough, this little gem didn’t make it into the news reports.
But they had a grand time trashing fish oil. In spite of having no record of the men with prostate trouble actually taking fish oil. Not only are they missing the smoking gun… there’s not even any smoke.
The media also skipped over another study – published at about the same time. In this study, doctors in Iceland came to a very different conclusion.
This study looked at 2,268 men up to age 96. They found that older men who ate fish or fish oil later in life had a lower risk of prostate trouble. The same prostate trouble the first study appears to blame on fish oil.
In the Icelandic study, only men who ate a lot of smoked or salted fish had a higher risk of prostate trouble.1
The study from Iceland seems more in line with the results of a 2012 animal study. In this study, a team from Marshall University found a positive effect from Omega-3’s. Mice fed a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids had less serious prostate trouble than other mice.2
So, should you toss out your fish oil supplements? Not yet. Though, as I’ve mentioned before, fish oil capsules would be my third choice. The concentration process chemically alters DHA… and it may promote slightly higher blood pressure.
My first choice for getting Omega-3’s is wild-caught fish. Salmon and trout are great sources, and they’re delicious. My second choice is cod liver oil, which is also high in vitamin D. Look for deep-water varieties, which tend to be purer.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Torfadottir, J.E., et al, “Consumption of fish products across the lifespan and prostate cancer risk,” PLoS One. Apr 17, 2013; 8(4): e59799.
2 Akinsete, J.A., et al, “Consumption of high !-3 fatty acid diet suppressed prostate tumorigenesis in C3(1) Tag mice,” Carcinogenesis. Jan 2012; 33(1): 140-148.
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