Does Your Kid Need Fish Oil?!

I get a surprising number of people asking about doses of fish oil for their kids.

The amounts may be different but not as much as you might think. If we work backwards I would tell you that the same 4-6 grams a day of Omega 3 I recommend for adults would be good for today’s 16 year olds!

Now there are no solid studies on this but understand that in most cases body mass of a teenager these days equals that of adults 30 or 40 years ago. In addition, the amount of Omega 3 needed is not tied to body mass as much as it is diet.

Women often ask me if they shouldn’t take less than I usually recommend. This is entirely linked to diet and not sex or body mass. So, the answer is usually the same of adults of both sexes and children 16 and over, especially with today’s carb/sugar rich diets!

Guidelines for under 16: When your child is old enough to safely swallow a capsule start them on one a day or break open the contents and add it to their favorite foods like applesauce.

At age 10 you can to 2 a day, age 14 3 a day and then by 16 adult doses.

In spite of constant mention of “potential dangerous side effects” of too much fish oil there have never been any solidly reported. As with all people taking fish oil if you start to see bruising back off for a week and start at half the dose.

There is another reason why you might want to consider supplementing your children.

Behavioral studies suggest that aggressive, violent and disruptive behaviors may improve, along with attention span. These studies transcend age and gender as well.

As always consider asking your Pediatrician if you are unsure, but please make sure they actually know something about Omega 3 biochemistry!

Now more than ever our children could benefit from Omega 3!

Dr Dave

 

PS please keep in mind most of the highly publicized studies that doctors “believe” are done with way way way too low a dose of Omega 3 to show benefit. This will undoubtedly continue until the Pharmaceutical Industry controls all supplement distribution. Then as always, the tune will change completely!

Tumors and Fish Oil

This is one of those emails that has to start with a disclaimer because it contains the “C” word e.g. cancer.

Whenever anyone suggests that there is a potential way to prevent, treat, or suppress cancer in anyway that is different than what Big Pharma and our government has spent 3 trillion dollars on (genetic research, gene products and chemo cocktails) they are immediately targeted, vilified and sometimes worse.

So please research everything I say here for yourself and do not take any of it as anything but FYI.

Especially don’t infer imply or even cogitate that anything said here might have any impact on cancer.

This is for entertainment only!

About 5 years ago I was speaking in front of an audience of around 1200 people in California.

I showed a slide that reported the different effects of Omega 6 and Omega 3 on cancer cells and tumor growth. That slide is published in our National Library of Medicine database along with tons of other information on the following topic: How fish oil type Omega 3’s inhibit cancer and may be useful in the treatment of cancer. And how the inflammatory Omega 6 fats drive cancer forward. And how you can add one and then the other to a cancer cell line and play see saw with tumor growth.

Please remember this when the next Big Pharma sponsored anti-fish oil smear campaign comes out and gets tons of press.

An article that was recently released (see reference below) did not get big press. It shows much like I did several years ago how fish oil metabolites get converted into many things that resolve inflammation (prostaglandins/prostacyclins/resolvins/protectins and finally endocannabanoids. Yep that is the chemical you get from the none psychogenic part of dope.

When I was head of my original company I wrote several articles on this topic and frankly I am surprised they have not been reprised by the individuals that now have the company. They have certainly reprised much else of what I wrote years back.

Anyway, the path is clear: inflammation drives cancer and certain anti-inflammatories inhibit that drive and reduce tumor load. Sadly, for Big Pharma their beloved aspirin, statins and NSAIDS are not among them.

Omega 3’s are.

And as I titled one email a while back “Are YOU Getting Enough”, I ask that question again.

It’s a standard trick to do a study with less than 2 grams a day of fish oil to get a negative result. It’s a standard trick to get a major power base like say, the American College of Cardiology to say, “For God’s sake don’t take more than 3 fish oil a day”.

It’s a standard trick to leave out studies that use higher doses and show great results.

It’s a standard trick to call attention only to negative studies and leave out the positive ones.

Don’t be tricked!!!!! 

 

Doc

 

 

Reference: Please note information like this has been published many times in the past over the past several years. None of these studies got anything near the air time that the negative ones did. I have only to remind you to the infamous Braskey study of 2012 which insinuated that fish oil caused prostate cancer as an example. As wrong as that study was it got and still gets major air play.

Reference: Antitumorigenic Properties of Omega-3 Endocannabinoid Epoxides
Jahnabi Roy§, Josephine E. Watson⊥, In Sup Hong⊥, Timothy M. Fan‡, and Aditi Das*†⊥¶
†Department of Comparative Biosciences; ‡Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine; §Department of Chemistry; ⊥Department of Biochemistry; ¶Beckman Institute for Advanced Science, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Neuroscience Program, and Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61802, United States
J. Med. Chem., 2018, 61 (13), pp 5569–5579

Fish Oil for Kids (and Adults!)?

A recent study in the Journal Pediatrics should call into question all the nonsense that was touted as science in the recent JAMA metanalysis that panned the effects of fish oil in heart disease. That article is now 3 months old and still being cited and published around the world as definitive.

It was definitive in its complete lack of knowledge about the doses required for effect. They used only studies that dosed below 2 grams a day except for the one study that used 2.5 grams a day. That study was, by the way, the only positive result included in the analysis. Surprise Surprise fish oil at really low doses does not work.

Then again neither do statins and no one is doing studies with 2 or 5 mg a day of lovastatin.

My conclusion is that this was deliberately misleading by the authors and I would bet they are being paid by Big Pharma.

Now let me tell you something else I have learned from experience.

The government does not care about right or wrong or your personal rights once they have you in their sights. If they spend money and time on you personally you are going to pay somehow. Money, reputation, freedom… it doesn’t matter- you are going to pay right or wrong.

Still there is too much wrong out there to ignore and plenty of right that does not get any attention.

So today I am going to sum up the article in pediatrics for you and then you can read it if you like.

The study compared Omega 3 fish oil with olive oil.

Fish oil worked olive oil didn’t in spite of the Dean Ornish crowd. You can by the way find similar studies on olive oil versus fish oil on Pub Med. Olive oil falls far short versus fish oil in the health department. Simple reason: Olive oil is primarily a MUFA (mono unsaturated fat) Fish oil is a PUFA (poly unsaturated fat).

Children supplemented with an appropriate dose of fish oil at birth for 2.5 and 5 years showed all kinds of improvements including: lower waist circumference (basically a body fat measurement) and much lower insulin secretion (considering the diabetes epidemic this is important!).

The final conclusion was that these benefits were carried through into adolescents and could have major benefits in adulthood.

I suspect they are right!

If you have a child and want to give them my fish oil simply carefully puncture the capsule and squeeze the contents onto a favorite food such as apple sauce and there you go!

Your kids will thank you for it down the road!

 

Dr Dave

Watch Out for these Two New Trends in Fish Oil

I have watch fish oil grow from a back water industry into a giant machine in the supplement world.

Honestly, I am going to blow my own horn here and tell you I had a lot to do with it. Of course no one would dream of saying that out loud but I have seen my exact words copied, paraphrased and used to sell other people’s products for almost 18 years now.

I have seen people slowly but surely adopt my “arguments” against the nonsense that masquerades as research in Omega 3 fatty acids including most recently, a decent sized back lash at the supposed “reputable group of scientists” who published yet another BS meta analysis that did not include, address or otherwise mention dosage as an issue.

These same scientists would scream bloody murder and never allow something to be published that used 2.5 mg of one of their vaunted statin drugs and then said they were worthless.

If you are going to evaluate the effects of fish oil the dose must be correct, and if you’ve been reading me for a while you know it needs to be between 4 and 6 grams a day in spite of the ACA statement that anything over 3 grams is worthless. If they had ever done a study with anything over 3 grams I might listen but again BS is BS.

Now the supplement industry is not free of BS by a long shot.

I have seen two disturbing trends coming to the forefront by clever marketing.

The first is advertising a huge dose right on the front label panel. I am seeing doses of 3300 etc. glaring out at you from the label front. In tiny print on the back they put dose: 4 capsules daily. So, the amount you are getting per capsule is less than 1 gram, especially when you add up the EPA and DHA amounts.

Remember, a lot of fish oils are not that pure. They may contain only 500mg of so of the essential fats and another 500 of “fish oil or marine lipid concentrate”. That is not contributing to the Omega 3 amount you want and need. It may even contain a fair amount of Omega 6.

So, watch you for what I like to call label fraud and look at the total EPA and DHA numbers PER CAPSULE, not per the recommended dose in the fine print. It is very hard to get more than 1 gram of EPA and DHA in a capsule because it starts getting hard to swallow. Our capsules always always always require a special run by the encapsulator because they are larger than the standard size although no one complains about swallowing them!

Next trend to watch out for is clever but also falls short on the science. Someone has decided that “clear” fish oil is going to convince people its purer and better. Unfortunately, this flies in the face of reason.

Fish oil is naturally slightly rose colored if it is not distilled (purified) or naturally golden if highly distilled. It also has to do with the type of fish used, salmon oil having a more orange hue than white fish which are more straw colored in their oil.

Clear color has nothing to do with the purity or potency. As a matter of fact the actual amount of EPA and DHA in this oil appears to be at best mediocre-less than 500 mg per capsule. If it were so highly refined and distilled it would approach the 85% levels my oil does.

It falls far short of that which can only mean it is NOT more pure or more distilled or more free of contaminants. It would be hard to exceed the vanishingly low levels of oxidation and toxins in the Longevity Edge Fish Oil.

I applaud people’s attempts to create new things and distinguish their products.

I just wish it would be something meaningful because every new nonsensical thing that comes out is just more fuel for Big Pharma sponsored science and our dear friends at the alphabet agencies to attack the supplement industry.

I have been at this for 18 years from all angles including biochemistry, production and human biology. I consider it my job to keep you informed of the tricks and marketing hype out there so you can make an informed decision. Remember, I take the same oil you take!!!

Yours Truly!

Dr. Dave

*Since I make and take my own fish oil I freely admit a personal bias for it.  That said I will go toe to toe with any oil out there any time.  Any takers?!!!

Fish Oil as an Anti- Aging “Drug”

Please note the word drug is in quotes. I am not suggesting it is a drug in the pharmaceutical sense and of course no sane person would ever suggest in this era of censure that fish oil has drug like properties or any properties that compete with preexisting drugs.

Silly me I used to think that ageing was sacro sanct from the alphabet agencies since there is no ICD code and it is repeatedly denied that aging is disease by some of the most respected and erudite medical minds in the country.

Then the FTC took action against TA Sciences for false claims*. The guise was primarily the claims in one of their studies that showed improved bone mass. I was not privy to those discussions but second source info told me that was the bugaboo and it makes sense given that there is a drug out there for said condition.

Never mind that side effects may include osteonecrosis of the jaw and other bones. Ironic that the drug to prevent bone loss in the hip may cause it in the jaw no? In terms of studies it appears that the studies done by TAS were insufficient to prove efficacy even though they were done by good and reputable scientists.

Perhaps “more studies were needed”. Never heard that before! I would have asked how many but I can only guess the answer would have been “more than you did!”

So is aging a disease or isn’t it. The above response in all its glory suggests that its not nice to fool with mother government. Or is that who’s your daddy?!

In either case the bottom line is this: I am not making medical claims, mitigating claims, diagnosing claims but I am guessing I may still have the right to report the data as it is published.

I guess I will find out soon enough!

A recent study by one of my favorite scientists Maria Blasco showed the relationship between inflammatory Omega 6 content in red blood cells and white blood cell telomere length.

So, in a sense this study combines a bunch of my favorite topics- Omega 3 and its opposing relationship to Inflammatory Omega 6 fats (nuts vegetables, processed oils and foods) and another favorite, telomere length.

Maria pioneered what is now known as TAT, the best telomere length measurement out there www.lifelength.com several years ago.

This study shows that white blood cell telomere length is dependent on the red blood cell content of Omega 6 inflammatory fatty acids.

Now if this sounds confusing it should not be, especially if you are a regular reader of my writings.
If not or if you’ve forgotten here are a few facts to clarify the issue:

  1. The ratio of Omega6 to Omega 3 fats often called the “Land’s ratio” after Dr Bill Lands the man who pioneered it uses red blood cells as a source of how much Omega 6(inflammatory) and Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) you have in your body.
  2. This test was developed for commercial use after it was found there was a high correlation between red blood cell fatty acid content and tissue fatty acid content. The Land’s ratio takes that into account. Note: most companies that sell this test omit the reference to DR Lands. I know the man as a great scientist and I refuse to ignore the source of this test.
  3. Telomere testing as developed by DR Maria Blasco (another great scientist I am pleased to call a friend) uses white blood cells to measure telomeres because they are easy to obtain by a simple blood draw.
  4. Please note I am not longer affiliated with DR Dave’s Best or its products. My web site and the only source for my product line is www.thelongevityedge.com. I attempted to make this well-known but was prevented from doing so by legal issues.
  5. The reason white blood cells are used for telomere testing and not red blood cells is that telomeres “live” in the nucleus of the cell and red blood cells have no nuclei.
  6. Dr. Lands found that tissue fatty acids correlate very well with red blood cell fatty acids in Omega 6/3 ratios. Dr Blasco and others found a correlation between white blood cell telomere length and other tissues in the body*
  7. The white blood cell is a primary arbiter of the Immune System, and the immune system is instrumental in organizing the protection of the body from damage due to infections of all kinds, toxins of all kinds, cancer cells that develop, and healing damaged tissues. As such it may be the most important system in the body in determining how the body ages!
  8. Dr Blasco’s study has effectively merged the two concepts of essential fatty acids and telomere testing and showed a direct effect of inflammation to telomere shortening at a cellular level. Others have shown the effects at a clinical level.
  9. Many articles state telomeres are directly related to aging and disease and that their measurement is critical. This is in spite of Harvard scientists saying it is not really useful. That is the typical party line which I personally think is wrong! I think it is useful and I think you can affect changes in telomere length and those changes have a good chance of improving your health and perhaps your life span.

Taken in context I would argue that since higher levels of Omega 3 in your body displace Omega 6 inflammatory fats from their shared (Omega 3 and 6 use the same pathways metabolic pathways, and that the Omega 6/3 ratio must must must = 100% that having higher Omega 3’s will always result in lower Omega 6’s. For instance, if you have 30% Omega 6 you will have 70% Omega 3 and you will be in an “anti-inflammatory state” unless you have some super weird metabolic disorder!

This would suggest that having a higher Omega 3 is good for your telomeres as Dr. Farzeneh Farr showed clinically several years ago. Now Dr Blasco has equated it directly to your cells!

Dr Dave

* Then there was the infamous Suzanne Summers infomercial which was interpreted to be misleading because it looked like a news piece. Can’t do that unless maybe you are some other mainstream TV doctor whose show is basically one giant infomercial sponsored by a list of “trusted sponsors”.

Frankly I don’t see how that is any different but I don’t work for the government.

Something We Don’t Get Enough Of!!!

You might expect me to get launch into a sales pitch for one of my products as I am often want to do.

That will probably come later as it always seem to, LOL,  but bear with me for a moment.

I recently saw the “explosion” of “Fish oil not good for…” articles yet again, this time with dry eye.

This is another classic illustration of internet headline tactics that we should all expect by now.
As seems to be the case it flies in the face of previous scientific research that showed exactly the opposite.

Last week fish oil was good for dry eye, now its not!?

Have you ever noticed how often this happens when the topic is fish oil?

The best comment I ever heard came about 2 years ago when a relatively famous journalist who was interviewing me about fish oil threw up his hands in disgust and said, “Why can’t we just get a final answer?!”

Remember a few weeks ago we actually did. Several internet outlets pronounced the “final” verdict on fish oil and heart disease was in once and for all, for good, really settled, never again to be revisited.

A JAMA meta-analysis by a “reputable” group stated fish oil was only moderately effective at preventing heart disease, with a modest 7% reduction while statins in similar analysis delivered 11% reduction (provided several medications for high blood pressure were also present!).

Then numerous experts including me destroyed the validity of the study by pointing out the lack of appropriate dosage and lack of any monitoring of Omega6/3 levels. That stuff did not get the airplay.

In similar fashion the fact that the FDA recently ok’d an eye drop containing Omega 3 for dry eye also seemed to be missing from the internet headlines.

So here is my advice:

  1. Take your fish oil because for every “no good” headline there are often several “good studies”.
  2. Remember there are no Fact Police on the internet and headlines are designed to get you to instantly draw a sound byte conclusion based on the 2 seconds it takes you to read them. “No Good” sounds bad right? But “No Good” has never meant harmful or bad or anything worse than “no better than placebo”. Most times it means something different- like 7% reduction in heart disease which got stated as “no good”.
  3. Keep your eyes peeled, no pun intended, for another study in the next 2 months that shows the exact opposite for dry eye suggesting that fish oil is good for it. And then look for the ads touting the eye drops with Omega 3 as an ingredient.

And, the thing we could all use more of and don’t get enough of, in addition to fish oil is the magic little attribute called patience.

In the case of fish oil, you can bet that with a little patience you will see the exact opposite of something you just read as a headline within a few weeks.

You can also bet that whenever there is a known or shown benefit, someone in the medical/pharma community will try desperately to nay say it!

But in the end, if you are patient, you will know what is real.

 

Doc

The Mystery Ingredient, or, If it Doesn’t Work Why Are They Still Doing It?

I gotta tell you, I have to laugh sometimes. I think as mentioned in past blogs and emails there has been a stepped-up effort to discredit any beneficial effects of fish oil, especially in heart disease. The most ludicrous of these attempts has been what I call the “mystery ingredient”.

The mystery ingredient theory suggests that there are as yet some unknown uncharacterized magical ingredients in fish that account for the health benefits ascribed thereof. No one knows what they might be, and there is no research to support their existence, but they are out there somewhere in fish and only in fish so don’t take fish oil.

If that smells fish to you it should. Eating fish has a series of risks conveniently left out but easy to research

There are many agendas at work here but if you follow the money you wind up looking at Big Pharma and squarely in the eyes. Now if that is OK with you far be it from me to make waves but at least do your research and find out the truth.

Along those lines I will get back to fish oil supplements in a moment, but I want to ask you to look at something else and this time we have to blame the supplement industry for hyperbole and agendas.

There is a fairly common defect called 5-MTHFR that affects folate metabolism in about 15% of Americans (some estimates are higher). Folate is a critical player in methylation pathways which are in turn critical players in epigenetic regulation our genome and Genome repair.

The supplement industry has tried to convince everyone they need a “reduced folate form” to correct this deficiency. This form is considerably more expensive and is probably needed by very few people. Increasing the folic acid form by 2-3X the dose will probably do the same thing and save you some money.

I am not “against” the reduced form of folate but its not as necessary as the industry would convince you it is. I am against misinformation.

So here is some more: Folic acid is an “acid” e.g. it must be bad because its an acid and acids are bad right. In addition, the “natural” form of folate is non-acid reduced and far more complex in its chemical appearance. This makes it better right.

Actually, it means that even in the harvesting of folate rich foods such as green leafy vegetables you may destabilize folate and lose as much as half of it. Also, true if you cook it so now you are down again on your folate. Now add the purported poor soil and you’ll see why I wrote “The Case for a Multi Part 3”.
Folic acid is FAR MORE stable and works just fine to raise folate levels in the body even if you have the 5-MTHFR deficiency. You just have to take enough.

Another example of supplement company hype is “reduced glutathione” versus N-Acetyl Cysteine. Big cost differences, no studies by non-agenda interested parties and the continued use of N-Acetyl Cysteine in alcohol and acetaminophen overdoses leads me to conclude you are fine with N-AC!

Ok now back to fish oil. What I have tried to demonstrate above in the process of busting some balloons and undoubtedly setting myself up for the usual “you are so ignorant hate mail” is that sometimes the simple tried and true non-sexy non new stuff is all you need.

Case in point- Fish Oil!

There have been many new sources of Omega 3’s out there both marine and vegetable but not one of them has been around nearly as long as fish oil as a supplement and not one of them has the huge body of non agenda funded research for (or against it!).

Trust me if krill were more than 13% of the market share or mussels were the new source for marine lipids 4 things would happen.

1) You would see an explosion of scientists using these forms of Omega 3 to evaluate their benefits. This clearly has not happened and what few studies are done are almost always paid for by these “alternative” manufacturers.

2) The words fish oil would be dropped from other marine lipid sources completely and their uniqueness would be touted. You do not have to look far to find brands that are krill based but contain the words “fish oil” in the title. That tells you what people are really looking for.

3) The Pharmaceutical industry and their mouth pieces would claim that krill is not useful and “gives you expensive urine” or some other nonsense. You do not see an attack on these alternative forms because they are not the perceived source of the problem from an industry stand point because they are not making enough of an impact on Pharma and other profits to be worth attacking.

4) Finally, you would see tons and tons of beneficial headlines using these forms, and see drug companies trying to usurp Mother Nature and patent these other oil formats for their own benefits as well. All you ever see both “good” and “bad” is fish oil.

The truth is that every Omega 3 based industry from krill to hemp to chia, to algae is all built upon the back of the genuine article.

After 18 years making and taking my own, I do know a thing or two!

Best, Dr. Dave

Remember we offer big discounts on cases of the real deal!

 

 

Suggested reading:

Are You Getting Enough?

A recent study done on the Omega 3 levels of non supplemented people showed that in spite of dietary recommendations and nutritional education, 98% of people DO NOT get enough Omega 3’s to make much difference in their health.

A simple and accurate way to determine if you are is to do the finger stick Omega 3 ratio test. Many years back I used to sell that test and over those years had done literally hundreds. It was very rare indeed that anyone doing the test had a healthy Omega 3/6 ratio (known as the Land’s ratio) unless they followed my guideline of 4-6 caps of purified Fish Oil on a daily basis or in much rarer cases followed a high Omega 3 low Omega 6 diet (see fast learner.org).

The recent meta analysis I panned in one of my blogs shows several typical behaviors:

  1. The willingness of ‘experts’ to weigh in on large meta analysis that use the same input studies that have shown negative fish oil results before without recognizing the recycled nature of the data and touting it as “new and definitive” research.
  2. The willingness of experts to ignore the tiny amounts of fish oil and the complete or deliberate ignorance of said experts concerning the Land’s ratio lately known as the “Omega 3 index”
  3. And I could not resist a quote from one of the expert Cardiologists tapped by “How Stuff Works” see below.
  4. The unending of the “just eat fish” argument without being able to cite what magical unknown fish components are responsible for small amounts of fish consumption reducing the incidence of heart disease when fish oil does not. Maybe it’s the lead mercury cadmium or plastic derivatives that are routinely found in the fish we eat! I refer you to pub med to read about the Helsinki Heart Study which years ago pointed out that large amounts of fish consumption yield large enough amounts of methyl mercury which is toxic to the heart and most likely responsible for the high rates of cardiac disease and death in this fish eating country. You can also find articles there that show that eating one wild caught cod fish a week is enough to induce mercury levels that are toxic. You can also find my speeches on YouTube that detail how the krill product I tested had 50X the arsenic allowed in drinking water.

Or you can just eat fish!

But if you do be aware that a recent well done study by a respected group of individuals some of whom are actually clinicians showed that 98% of non supplemented people do not get enough fish oil http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/9/930

In other words a whole ton of people are not getting enough!

You will also see in the commentary that one Dr Susan Steinbaum is astute enough to mention the need for studies using the Land’s ratio (Omega 3 Index) to document how well the doses achieve meaningful levels.

In addition, if you go here you will see an encouragingly mixed group of responses ranging from the usual- “just eat well and live well and you’ll be fine!” This is the same expert opinion on aging often used to tell you, you are wasting your money on supplements and treatments. Meanwhile people are not living a whole lot longer or better including many of those who say “just eat well and live well”. Either we really don’t know what that means and are telling people to do the wrong things, or it doesn’t really work. You decide.

The encouraging part comes when you read the number or experts who state that the studies included in the JAMA meta analysis underdosed everyone and so the negative results are not surprising, A few even mention the Omega 3 index!

One guy even does what I used to do before I had a more potent purified fish oil.  He gives his patients 20 capsules a day. Now this tells me he has to be using a run of the mill triglyceride product containing only low doses of Omega 3’s but hey, it’s a start!

As someone who has been saying this stuff for over a decade I had just about given up on reaching anyone but lo and behold some of the “experts” are actually learning the simple truth about how the body uses Omega 3 fish oil.

But not everyone.

I could not resist this quote from one of the experts from “How Stuff Works”- a Canadian Cardiologist identified as Dr. Gerstein.

Here it is:

“The good news is that taking a regular fish oil pill as a supplement doesn’t seem to do any harm. Except, Gerstein says, all those extra fatty acids, not to mention all the money spent, may end up, quite literally, down the drain.

“You’re making expensive urine,” Dr.Gerstein says.”

While it may be a lot to expect a Cardiologist to understand Omega 3 metabolism, “How Stuff Works” health writer John Donovan did tap him as an expert.

Truthfully, Almost 100% of the fats processed and excreted by your body are excreted in the stool not the urine unless you have a shunt between your bowel and your bladder. The correct interpretation by our dear doctor would be that fish oil pills give you expensive stool and have nothing to do with the urine.

Stick with your statins doc!

This reminds me of the Nationally famous urologist who got in TV in response to the infamous Theodore Braskey “Fish oil increases prostate cancer study” telling everyone to stop taking fish oil now!”

That study was refuted soon after but continues to be cited in the media.

I always love hearing from the experts about urine and stool. Surprising how many of them are full of both.

I guess we could all just take statins. That would give us expensive stool for sure.

 

Doc

The Heart of a Woman

February was national heart month and I had a chance to attend some high-level conferences in cardiology. One of the things that struck me was the double-sided sword of woman’s cardiovascular health.

If you are man reading this please don’t stop now because this is a “woman’s article”. For centuries the stereotypical female role in Western households was to take care of the man’s health along with the rest of the family. While so many other social changes have happened and recently many more have been ignited and will surely follow, the awareness of heart disease in women is not where it should be.

So here is a simple guide for you:

  1. The incidence of pre-menopausal women who suffer from heart disease is rising while the incidence of post-menopausal women with heart disease is falling somewhat.
  2. Post and peri-menopause are STILL the high-risk times when all women and the men who love them should wake up and be proactive about more aggressive testing. Stress testing in low risk people can lead to false positives but in this population, anyone can benefit from more aggressive screening.
  3. Women do not have the same symptoms for heart disease and heart attack as men do. Extreme fatigue even in the absence of exercise, nausea and vomiting and upper back pain are considered “atypical presentations” for angina and heart attack but they are far more typical in women than the stereotypical fist in front of the chest Hollywood Heart Attack that men get. This may be because women tend to clog long segments of a heart artery while men tend to have more specific localized blocks that suddenly rupture but the bottom line is there is a difference in presentation and even anatomy in women versus men heart wise.
  4. When I graduated Medical School so many decades ago my class graduated with 53% women making up the tally. This is a tendency that has continued with the average medical school class being at least 50% women. For whatever reason these women tended to wind up in primary care areas and not in specialty areas.

Only 10% of women who graduate medical school become Cardiologists. It may seem trendy to say that this represents a gender gap but in the case of heart disease it is an important one. I am sure there are many fine male cardiologists who pay attention to the differences in heart disease between men and women.

But I think the prognosis and outcome for women would be improved if more women went into Cardiology as a sub specialty.

I am surprised with all the activism there is not a large support group out there to help correct this imbalance.

Men and Women, are you listening? The same banding together for a common good of women in other areas would work here. The AAC has a women’s section, but at 10%, women could be far better represented. Maybe you can help?!

In the meantime: Ladies and gentlemen- are you taking your fish oil

Dr. Dave

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Fat Shaming, Supplement Shaming and Arthur Schopenhauer Strikes Again

Over the many years I have been writing to you I have written numerous “This is Rich” Entries to try to highlight what I consider is the double standard applied to the supplement industry versus the rest of the world.

Make no mistake about it your right to free choice is going to be defended by the alphabet agencies who will protect you from charlatans, quacks, money grubbing baxxrds and most of all yourself and your own education and free will.  Frankly I’m surprised they still allow the First Amendment although I have seen all kinds of incredible offenses and affronts taken by all kinds of people to shut down the opinions of others.

When it comes to supplements I am taking a page from something called “fat shaming”.  Fat shaming apparently became poplar enough in France to warrant a social outcry.  As I understand it, it occurs most often when fat people (is that still allowed?) are seen buying stuff in a bakery.  They are then ridiculed for their poor dietary choices by the not fat people.

While I think this is a pointless waste of time- we all make our own choices, as long as I am not paying for your health care I do not really care.

So now I am coining the term “Supplement Shaming”.

This occurs when Big Pharma sponsored agencies attack the supplement industry and demand it complies with the same standards drugs do.  While I would love to have 5 million dollars to do a randomized double blinded double dummy placebo-controlled trial with my fish oil versus say, a statin for cardiovascular outcomes, I don’t and I am not likely to unless I win the lottery.

And then there would be the attacks by you know who!

The latest example of supplement shaming has to do with my favorite supplement.

The headline reads “Omega-3 FA Supplements May Only Modestly Impact High-Risk Populations from CVD”.

A previous headline of the same study stated there was “NO EFFECT” because the 7% concluded improvement was not considered statistically significant.

Of course, this trail was a “meta-analysis” scientists new tool to avoid doing new research and cherry pick old research to show the foregone conclusion they already have before the run the number through a computer.

The only trial they chose that had significant positive results including on all because mortality was the GISSI trial which is actually 4 trials all of which supply data.  They chose GISSI Prevenzione only.

This was also the only trial that had a significant dosage of Omega 3 at 2.5 grams- way below what most people will need for an effective Land’s ratio of 60% Omega 3.  One trial only used EPA and this was under 2 grams.  As a matter of fact, some of the trial only used 1 gram a day.  Then there was the infamous margarine trial.

Remember that one?  The makers of Lantus insulin had egg on their face because their magic insulin did not improve outcomes in diabetics with heart disease. But to obfuscate the results they did a sub group using 1 gram of crappy triglyceride cod oil in a stick of margarine that subjects were required to consume.

At the end of the trial the conclusion was: fish oil didn’t help either.

Go figure.

So, what you have is what I entitled Fish Oil- Failure by Design. Yet again.

There seems to be an endless stream of studies that are meta-analysis and not real studies using the same old “let’s fall back on these!” known negative studies using doses that mean nothing and no mention of Omega6/3 Land’s ratios.

The conclusions range from the first on “NO BENEFIT” which is clearly not correct to “modest benefit”.

I guarantee you BIG Pharma will never do a study with meaningful doses and compare the outcomes to drugs.  Why should they shame themselves when they can shame supplements with big BS trails run on computer?

And they call that “original research”.

Now I have included a statin-based study on risk just for your understanding.  Please look at the headlines and read the study.  Notice that aggressive multiple drug therapy including statins and blood pressure meds would have at best yielded 11% reduction.

Note also this is not a real study either- its just what they think would happen based on other studies. Sound familiar?  Did anyone shame Big Pharma for getting only 11% out of 3 or more drugs.  Then notices the magical statistical manipulation accounting for “regression dilution”.  That is not a real-world thing but a way to fit data on to a straight line that is widely accepted to make data look “nice”.

Any body do it with the fish oil data?

Nope!

Finally note the magical conclusion that states and I paraphrase “We need to use more statins in more people including those who are not at this high risk to see the benefits” In other words more statin prescriptions and more drugs for us all.  Lower the threshold for cholesterol, lower it for blood pressure, lower it for blood sugar and then tell people the only way to do it is drugs.

Why even bother with lifestyle modifications!

But remember the status quo (not the musical group but the state of things) is good and anyone who challenges it like me is bad, misguided or far worse and should be censured and attacked.

Also remember that your body and your health and your future don’t give a rat’s ass about meta-analysis and regression dilution.

Educate yourself and don’t take everything that is status quo as good. And remember even a crappy study showed 7% improvement.  That is not NOTHING!!!

And when you are done go here.

Doc’

“’All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Arthur Schopenhauer”

We are at the violent opposition stage.
 

 

 

JAMA

Associations of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement Use With Cardiovascular Disease RisksMeta-analysis of 10 Trials Involving 77 917 Individuals

Theingi Aung, MBBS, FRCP1,2,3; Jim Halsey, BSc1,2; Daan Kromhout, PhD4; et al

Eur Heart J. 2004 Mar;25(6):484-91.

Evaluating the impact of population and high-risk strategies for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Emberson J1, Whincup P, Morris R, Walker M, Ebrahim S.

Author information

Abstract

AIMS:

To estimate the potential effectiveness of different “high-risk” and “population” approaches to the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in middle-aged British men, after correction for regression dilution bias.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We used a combination of cohort and randomised controlled trial evidence to estimate the effectiveness of high-risk strategies, based on the identification of high-risk factors or high absolute risk, and strategies based on population-wide reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure. High-risk strategies were potentially effective but would need to be used widely to have a substantial effect on CVD in the population. Aggressive pharmacological treatment (using statins, beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors and aspirin) in individuals with a 10-year Framingham event risk of >or=30% (6% of population) would have reduced major CVD by at most 11%. This figure increased to 34% at a >or=20% treatment threshold (26% of population). In contrast, modest downwards shifts in the population distributions of serum total cholesterol and systolic blood pressure led to marked expected reductions in major CVD. Taking regression dilution bias into account, 10% reductions in long-term mean blood cholesterol and blood pressure could have reduced major CVD by 45%.

CONCLUSIONS:

If high-risk strategies are to have a major impact on CVD in the population, they need to be more widely used than previously envisaged. Population-wide reduction of major risk factors is needed if CVD is to be substantially reduced.