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:
- Take your fish oil because for every “no good” headline there are often several “good studies”.
- 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”.
- 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.