Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, and Omega-3s

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Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 12.33.39 PMAmerican Council on Science and Health advisor, Dr. David Seres, who is the is director of medical nutrition and associate professor of medicine at the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University Medical Center in New York, is the first to admit that much of nutritional science is unreliable.

This is because many dietary studies are retrospective based on analysis of multiple past studies that were not designed to answer whatever question is being asked which makes accurate conclusions about what is "good" or "bad" to eat are very hard to come by.

Dr. Seres and I have written about omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil in the past, with regard to cardiovascular health (no benefit).

Now the supplements are in the news again, this time for treatment of depression. The results were, a let down. Not unlike the equivalent of Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak, omega 3s' streak continues. Except, this is 56 games without a hit.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Seres is less than sanguine when it comes down to whether there is any benefit whatsoever to adding fish oil to your diet, with one notable exception:

"We have seen some positive outcomes in rheumatic diseases. A derivative omega 3s called Lovazza works at pharmacological doses for treatment of hypertriglyceridemia (high levels of fat in the blood), but I am not sure if there's any solid data on outcomes in prevention of cardiovascular disease. Otherwise, it's not much more than an expensive source of calories. Nine grams per day of fish oil, which is the usual amount required to get enough omega 3 for any effect, is 81 calories. That's 8 pounds of weight gain every year."

With such a foul stench around this product, it might be time to throw this one back?