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Posts tagged ‘fish oil’

Do Supplements Really Help?

Here is yet another article informing us that taking pills will not solve our problems. Even the highly touted fish oil, the one that to my knowledge no one has ever said anything negative about, appears to be ineffective against preventing heart disease if it is already established, or if you are at really high risk. Here is the money quote, in my opinion:

The results do show that people can’t rely on a pill to make up for a bad diet, she said.

“It is sort of like breaking a fish oil capsule over a hot fudge sundae and expecting the effect of the calories and saturated fat to go away,” she said.

We’ve gone through this in the past, with vitamin c and e, where when people eat diets high in these vitamins, they have less disease and greater health, but the same health benefits don’t apply to taking those vitamins in pill form. You can’t eat a poor diet and expect pills to make up the difference, and as far as we can tell, pills don’t have the same effect as the substance does in food.

Having said all this, I do take some supplements. Some I think do help, although it could be the placebo effect. I also eat a very healthy diet. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a strong genetic predisposition to heart disease, so I am doing an experiment of 1 to see if I can counteract that with diet and exercise. I experiment with supplements on three criteria- Is there any scientific evidence supporting their claims? Is it expensive? Is there any possibility of harm? Most I’ve dropped, as I see no difference. The joint supplements do seem to help, so those I continue. And yes, I do fish oil, along with my healthy diet, as it does no harm and is inexpensive.

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Wh-Wh-What? Is This True?

I was reading an article by by Eric E Noreen, MS, PhD Candidate“on the benefit of fish oil for losing weight, and ran across this paragraph:

“Determined to find a way of dealing with my asthma, I started doing a lot of reading on exactly what happens when you have an asthma attack. I found out that there‚Äôs a family of chemicals called eicosanoids that are produced in response to the stimuli that causes the attack. These eicosanoids are produced from fats found in your cell membranes. The eicosanoids that are formed have different chemical properties depending on what type of fat is incorporated into them. To make a long story slightly shorter, omega-6 fatty acids are very pro-inflammatory (asthma and allergies are mainly a disease of inflammation), whereas omega 3 fatty acids (those found in fish oils) are not. Well, I quickly switched my diet. I tried to completely eliminate omega-6 fatty acids and eat as much omega-3 fatty acids as I could.”

Now if anyone lives with someone with asthma, other breathing problems, or allergies, you know what a big deal this is, if it is true. I read the titles of his references, and it was all on fat loss or insulin effects, as that was the main point of his article. Because of the rise in breathing problems and allergies, I find that one paragraph more intriguing than the rest.

What do you think? Has anyone heard of this before?

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