Bellevue >Fitness > Destiny Management
15531 SE 37th St, Bellevue, WA | Directions 9800647.577403 -122.132779
Neighborhoods: Sammamish/ East Lake Hills
Regarding the research article published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Advance Access, entitled "Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial". Many of you have expressed concern over the media attention this has received and have had to deal with clients suddenly being anxious about continuing to take their Omega-3's. I wanted to take the time to assure you this is a flawed article on several levels.
Keep in mind the original research was designed to explore whether or not selenium and vitamin E may prevent prostate cancer, titled "Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT)", not to explore Omega-3 fatty acid relationships with prostate cancer.
According to Time Magazine: "The study measured Omega-3 blood levels in the participating men, and did not include information on the volunteers' eating habits, so researchers could not differentiate between the effects of fatty acids from fish from those of supplements. However, the overwhelming majority of the participants did not take fish oil supplements."
Normally, in a study the authors would document the users of fish oil supplements versus dietary fish oil and the % cancer increase. They did not report how many fish oil supplement users there were versus dietary fish oil source users, most Americans are consuming fried fish as their major source of dietary fish oil.
The results are also based on a one-time assessment of plasma level of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DPA, and DHA). Plasma levels of Omega-3 fatty acids vary markedly within a 48-hour window based on the timing of a meal or fish oil supplementation. Therefore, this measurement does not give a good idea of Omega-3 fatty acid levels over time.
I don't know how, based on the flaws in this article, educated researchers are coming to this conclusion and am appalled by the fact the media is completely exploiting this misinformation. We all know there has been study after study supporting the benefits for fish oil in the diet in relationship to cardiovascular health, decreasing inflammation, and even in reducing prostate cancer.
We need to always consider balance when looking at health, just as we can have too many Omega-6's, we certainly can create imbalances by taking too much EPA, DHA, and ALA over time. In fact, the study looked specifically at DHA and did not consider the balance.
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