Today we are going to explore how Big Pharma tried to prevent one of the most helpful actions of fish oil making it basically a crime to claim fish oil was good for heart disease.
I almost titled this email “Fish Oil and Heart Disease- Keeping a lid on it!” But rather than dwell on the past I want to focus on 2 simple messages:
- Fish oil- EPA in particular does indeed reduce cardiovascular risk with or without statin drugs.
- You need both EPA and DHA not just one or the other. This is summarized by a statement I made years ago: EPA for the body, DHA for the brain. Singling out half of the necessary Essential Fatty Acids and removing the other is nonsensical. You need both. Nothing in my 20 years of study has ever convinced me otherwise.
RE #1: The recent significant findings of a study known as REDUCE-IT were published last year finally silencing the anti-fish oil lobby – hopefully for good. This is likely since now Big Pharma has its own patented modified fish oils – Vascepa and Amarin (not really modified at all just high potency via distillation similar to mine!). Now that they can cash in, they are not going to trash fish oil any more.
But prior to that there were other studies; JELIS in 2007 and CHERRY in 2017 that pointed to exactly the same thing – but this was prior to the introduction of fish oil drugs.
RE#2 Unfortunately for hard core Vegans and Vegetarians there is no substitute for marine based essential fatty acids. Attempts to fix this have led down 2 major paths. First, ignore EPA and produce DHA only products from Phyto planktons and algae. This creates the problem I mention above in 2. Next GMO – gene splicing into a non animal like the bacteria E. Coli or gene splice the algae to make more EPA and hope none of the conscious people making the choice to avoid consuming animals notice. GMO is not generally smiled upon in people who make conscious decisions about what they are consuming!
Or you can just bite the bullet or more specifically the capsule and chew gently to get out the amazing tasting oil Fish Oil and spit out the capsules avoiding that component of animal consumption.
People will continue to look for alternatives to marine lipids but our genetics and epigenetics do not support anything else.
PS I still swallow them whole- 6 a day!