So said the brilliant PhD whose talk preceeded mine at a recent public anti-aging conference.
While I am not 100% sure if this was a deliberate snipe at me I didn’t care because it played right into my hands. I destroyed the arguments that were advanced in favor of “natural triglyceride fish oil” also known as “parent oil” type. I am sure it hit this guy where it hurt and ultimately he shot himself in the foot and damaged himself, not me. This was also the same guy who told me he knew more about telomeres than the guy who discovered the human telomerase gene and the Nobel laureates, so I wasn’t too worried about anything else he might have said.
What I did not know was this might not have been his fault. He may have merely been parroting back the current doctrine d’jour with regards to fish oil. It makes for clever marketing speak and for someone who does not intimately know about Omega3/Omega 6 biochemistry in HUMANS it is a perfect chance to pitch a product that is inferior in every way or some other attached agenda.
Here is the short version and then, for those of you who want to learn the reasoning, it follows after another email I got.
ERROR NUMBER 1: Fish is better than fish oil because it contains natural proportions of oils. Natural Triglyceride fish oil is closer to natural fish oil making it a “parent oil”. Populations that eat fish do better than populations that take fish oil for this reason.
The fact: EPA and DHA are the ultimate and most highly active and needed fish oils. There is little or nothing other than these in fish or fish oil that is responsible for health benefits in humans. The body will create these essential fatty acids to a minor extent from shorter chain precursors (like alpha linolenic acid in plants) but it cannot do a good job of this, especially in the omega 6 rich food environment we live in. The Omega 3/6 intake of the best populations is never mirrored in ANY study using fish oil (see part 2 of this blog for why). Much of the oil in fish and natural triglyceride fish oil is used for one major purpose: calories, and fatty fish have a major component of Omega 6 fat as well, although nowhere near their Omega 3 content. In the context of trying to achieve balance in a society that does not reduce its Omega 6 intake, which is most of us, a pure highly concentrated EPA/DHA fish oil remains the simplest way to obtain a healthy ratio. The most common way to create that ultra concentrated potency is molecular distillation, which always yields an Ethyl Ester fish oil. The next two books I am currently writing will, however, have two dozen or more Omega 3 heavy recipes for those who want to use diet as the major tool.
ERROR NUMBER 2: ‘A little mercury and other toxins are OK for you.’ Fish and natural triglyceride fish oils contain the exact toxin make up of the waters they are obtained from. There is absolutely no study showing the effect of low level long term toxin exposure over decades or a lifetime to determine what real level of toxicity we should be concerned with since we are going to need our Omega 3’s as long as we are alive. We do know this: unless you drastically reduce your Omega 6 intake to a level far lower than most Westerners will tolerate, you need a large amount of Omega 3 (in terms of fish, we are talking far more than Eskimo level) to balance the ratio of 6 to 3 omegas. In point of fact, populations where there are serious reductions in the diseases we accept as “normal aging” achieve a ratio of about 0.75, which means there is significantly more Omega 3 in their tissues than Omega 6. This puts you at risk for many different toxins and xenoestrogens, especially mercury, lead, cadmium and various plastic derivatives. Two specific famous examples of people who tried to correct their levels with large amounts of fish ingestion are Jeremy Piven and Daphne Zuniga, both actors and both mercury toxic as a result of their efforts. There are studies that show an Alaskan subsistence fishermen consuming one cod per week will achieve mercury levels considered accutely toxic by the end of that week, DO YOU want that? I don’t!
ERROR NUMBER 3: Ethyl Esters are not naturally occuring in nature, making them “Frankenfishoil equivalent to GMO’s!” I gotta hand it to the marketers who came up with that one! Wow, that will convince a lot of people because most people are anti-GMO. Very clever, but also very disingenuous.
Ethyl Esters are not found in fish or seafood; that is true. But they ARE A NATURALLY OCCURING AND BIOACTIVE INTERMEDIATE IN HUMAN BEINGS. We create them from triglycerides and Phospholipid (non-fish seafood sources) as a normal everyday part of our biology. That makes them about as natural as you can get.
I go on to address more of this nonsense in the next blog but if you understand these 3 points you will understand what you are being fed by the internet gurus. Don’t swallow it!