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Fish oil is Dangerous?

Are fish-oils and/or fish oil supplements dangerous or cause cancer?

A new study published claimed that men who took fish oil supplements were at higher risk for an aggressive type of Prostate cancer.  Yes this is very scary indeed, but a further look, fact finding and some common sense I felt was needed to add clarity to these claims.

For decades now eating fish and taking fish oil supplements has been touted as very beneficial to your health.   For example, there are many studies on how Omega 3 oils, particularly EPA and DHA, can help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, reduce insulin resistance and alter gene expression which reduces the chance a cell will become cancerous.

So how in one fail swoop is this now bad for us?

Digging deeper in to the study we find out what “leaps” the author is making.  Their basis is that for a specific type of prostate cancer there is an increase in Omega-3 fats and they suggest this aids in the tumorigeneis (tumor forming process).  This is a bold and not so profound statement because every cell in our body relies on Omega-3 fats for formation.  Our brain is 25% Omega-3 fatty acids.

So the problem other than their leap to this conclusion is how they performed the study.  They did no history of Fish or supplement consumption to any participant.  NONE.  They did not account for any other risk factor for cancer either.  Very poor scientific method and worthy of some scrutiny.

At best the study it is a very weak account for correlation of utilization increase for the body to use more omega-3 to grow tumors.  Also when testing the Omega-3 levels the participants ad a mere 0.2% difference in their blood Omega-3 levels and the samples were from a 24-48 period not over a long course to see any fluctuations regarding diet or supplementation.  Not very significant at all because a single serving of high Omega-# fish (ex: salmon) could double your levels.

Omega-3’s can also come from walnuts, flax seed, and grass fed beef and eggs which could have come from there as well.

 So why beat up the fish?

Answer:  The study was funded by a drug company who makes very expensive caner treating drugs.  So if you don’t protect yourself with known, proven health diet/supplements you may have cancer and help the CEO pay for bigger boat or 3rd house at the beach/mountains.

I may be seen as going out on a limb saying this but, I don’t care about that.  I care about the truth and you living a healthy productive life.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Philip A. Mahan, D.C., C.C.E.P

P.S.  I am definitely eating Salmon tonight for dinner!

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