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don1942

Fish oil debunked

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don1942

Visited my GP the other day for an annual review. When reviewing my medications, he noticed I was taking fish oil. He then advised that recent studies have shown that there is no evidence that fish oil has any effect on reducing heart attacks or strokes. He also advised that some of the “fillers” used in some fish oil products could be harmful.

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/omega-3-good-fat-fish-oil-cod-liver-heart-attack-stroke-disease-death-cardiovascular-a8451426.html

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dowling gram

Why take omega 3 or any fish oil supplements  or even flax seed oil. They are not cheap and there is an alternative that doesn't contain fillers. 1 tablespoon of ground flax gives you more than the daily allotment of omega 3 plus many other nutrients. It's cheap and it's so easy to add to a lot of dishes.

 

There are so many foods that diabetics can eat that contain Omega 3 that there's no need for supplements

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Kit

I was just reading through the responses from that link.  In my opinion I feel they all had good arguements on both sides.


First, I have also heard many times that for the benefit from omega 3 supplements that you need at least 3g of EPA and DHA combined.  You'll notice 1g mentioned in the comments that was mentioned by Professor Sanders.  This can add a complication to the matter.


As an example, I searched Amazon for Omega 3 fish oil  and grabbed the first hit.
https://www.amazon.com/Tobias-Strength-Burpless-Non-GMO-NSF-Certified/dp/B00CAZAU62/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1546469334&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=omega+3+fish+oil+tablets&psc=1


Look at the nutrition label.
A serving is 2 softgels.  Each serving contains:
800mg EPA
600mg DHA


Which is 1400mg (1.4g) in one serving.  To get the minimum of 3g you would have to take 5 softgels.  I bet you pretty high the average consumer wouldn't even notice this.


Also, flax is an iffy subject in regards to Omega 3s.  It is high in ALA, not EPA or DHA.  ALA has to be converted to EPA or DHA before it can be used by the body and that conversion rate is pretty bad.


https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/why-not-flaxseed-oil
"The main problem with ALA is that to have the good effects attributed to omega-3s, it must be converted by a limited supply of enzymes into EPA and DHA. As a result, only a small fraction of it has omega-3's effects — 10%–15%, maybe less. The remaining 85%–90% gets burned up as energy or metabolized in other ways. So in terms of omega-3 "power," a tablespoon of flaxseed oil is worth about 700 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA. That's still more than the 300 mg of EPA and DHA in many 1-gram fish oil capsules, but far less than what the 7 grams listed on the label might imply."


Note:  I do not mean to imply that flax ins't good for you.  Just that it is not a good dietary source of DHA and EPA.


Also, the issue isn't so much that we don't get enough Omega 3s so much as the ratio between Omega 3 and Omega 6 is totally off balance in our modern diets.  While we want to increase our intake of Omega 3s, we also want to decrease (or keep from increasing) our Omega6 intake.  The optimal balance is somewhere from 2:1 (Omega6 to Omega 3) to 4:1, though I have seen that some even say 1:1.  Our modern diets currently give us rations in the range of 15:1 to 24:1.


So, to get any benefit in adding Omega3 to your diet will be significantly offset if you are keeping your Omega 6 intake high.


Nuts and seeds are, for the most part, bad when it comes to Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios.
For example (all samples are a 1oz serving size)
Walnuts have a ratio of 4:1
Almonds have a ratio of 1987:1  (this is one reason why some people say you should avoid baking with almond flour)
Pecans have a ratio of 21:1
Coconuts have only trace levels of Omega 3.  However it also contains very little Omega 6 (0.102g)
Hazelnuts a ratio of 90:1
Sunflower seeds a ratio of 312:1


Flax has a ratio of 1:4.  So again, while it is not a good source of EPA and DHA, its not going to make the imbalance worse.
Chia has a ratio of 1:3, though this is ALA as well.


But then, to add more interest to this subject, there's an article on Mark's Daily Apple.
Why the Omega-3/Omega-6 Ratio May Not Matter After All
https://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-the-omega-3omega-6-ratio-may-not-matter-after-all/


In this article, he says that raw ratio between may not matter so much as the sources and how they are treated.


"Omega-6 fat is thus “bad” because the most abundant source of it in our diet is heated vegetable oil, because it’s so susceptible to oxidation, because excessive heating can even create trans-fats out of it, because it’s a proxy for processed junk food, and because it contributes to oxidized lipids in our blood."


How many people in the study popped the pills and went on eating french fries fried in who knows what kind of oil or how long that oil was in use before changing.  Believe me, I used to work a fryer.  I was night shift.  It was my job to drain the fryer into a special device that filtered particle matter and fed the used oil right back in again.  I also know that the oil was never changed out more often than twice a month.  And you know that special device?  I can't remember it ever being cleaned the entire time I was there.


And then part of me thinks.  How many of our ancestors lived near large bodies of water with easy access to fatty fish high in Omega 3s?  So is this all a push to pop pills instead of fixing the realy bad elements of our diet?  How many articles have I read about SUPER FOODS!  Those miracle dozen foods that if you add to your diet will cure cancer, heart disease, signs of aging, make us beautiful, and live forever.  Eating a clean diet requires effort, especially in our modern age where most people haven't the slightest clue what they are actually sticking in their mouths.  Its easy to pop a few extra pills in the morning and pat yourself on the back on a job well done.


I've always tended to lean towards the idea that its best to get the nutrients you need from the foods you eat and not pills and other supplements unless there are other limiting factors involved.  Avoid processed foods as much as possible and be aware that other people, restaurants, and similar won't have the same concerns as you and are going to try to feed you utter crap and call it healthy. :)

Edited by Kit

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