One of the ongoing disputes surrounding health supplements is whether they’re truly great for you or not. It holds true, that many supplements do not have scientific proof backing up any genuine health benefits.
The current weight loss tablets are a wonderful example of that. But many dietary supplements do have scientific data backing up strong health benefits.
Omega 3 fish oil is one of them which is why it is possibly the most widely recommended supplement by health care specialists.
Recently, one study, completed by researchers at the Seattle based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and published in July 2013 in the “Journal of National Cancer Institute” concluded that greater omega 3 levels may cause a greater occurrence of prostate cancer and that supplementing with omega 3 could in fact be unhealthy.
This got significant play and many people got a scare since they were taking omega 3 supplements everyday.
This research study has proven to be extremely questionable, however it hasn’t triggered that much debate per say. In reality, essentially all professionals have shown serious concerns with the design of the research study and it’s conclusions.
Nobody in the scientific community (beyond possibly the analysts who created this) analysis accepts that it has any integrity at all.
Therefore, very little debate– just universal concern that such a flawed conclusion would be published in the way that it was.
The paper identified one population of males that had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and one population of males that had not been diagnosed.
One draw of blood plasma from each person was evaluated for omega 3 levels and it was observed that the group with prostate cancer had a slightly greater level of omega 3 essential fatty acids than the group that had not been diagnosed.
Based on this, analysts published their findings that greater levels of omega 3 could result in greater incidence or prostate cancer.
Here are the major reasons why this conclusion is not valid and why no reputable institution ought to even have published such a baseless conclusion:
• The research study was an observational study only and observation by itself can reveal an association, however does not establish a cause and effect.
This is one of the most standard of guidelines and concept in clinical analysis yet these analysts chose to indicate a cause and effect from a simple observation (which was flawed anyhow as we shall see).
• The population of males that had not been diagnosed were not actually tested for prostate cancer. There is no genuine data on whether any of them were cancer free or otherwise.
• Blood plasma was used for the analysis instead of red blood cells. Plasma analysis only indicates short-term readings and does not show long term levels.
Omega 3 levels would be elevated in blood plasma a number of hours after taking a supplement or eating fish however after 2 Days would indicate anything.
• Although the research study concluded omega 3 supplements could be unhealthy, no data was gathered to identify how or when it was ingested. No data to understand whether it was with supplements, or just eating fish.
• No data was used to identify various other danger factors such as obesity, race, or age. Of specific note, this data was readily available however analysts picked not to include it, recommending they were attempting to make a specific association that would not have been possible had this was taken into consideration.
• The analysts did not discuss why they would conclude that greater omega 3 levels could result in increased incidence of prostate cancer however yet in nations where oily fish (a main source of omega 3 in diet) is a staple, such as Japan, the incidence of prostate cancer has historically been amongst the lowest around the world.
Omega 3 fish oil has been and remains to be the topic of hundreds of scientific studies, tying to develop and measure its health benefits– or negate them. Many of these trials have been inconclusive so we truly do not understand all the health benefits they bring– or whether they bring as many as some would hope.
The scientific world does agree however, that overall omega 3 EFA’s are good for you and everyone requires sufficient levels for great health.
If you have any issues about using omega 3 fish oil for your health, speak with your health care provider. Don’t be alarmed by ungrounded and completely unprofessional research with no integrity.
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