SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

July 11, 2013

NCI – Fish Oil results

Study: Fish oil might increase prostate-cancer risk


Men who take fish-oil supplements or eat a lot of fatty fish expecting health benefits might actually increase their risk for prostate cancer, including aggressive types that are harder to treat.

That news comes out of a study published online yesterday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and follows an analysis last year of 20 fish-oil studies that concluded that supplements offer no clear heart benefits.

The authors of the study, the second they’ve done that found an association, say men would be well-served to skip supplements.   Other experts say the new study is provocative but not definitive because the relationship between fatty acids and cancer is not well understood.

Americans spend about $1 billion a year on fish-oil supplements.

The study looked at 2,227 men, 834 of whom had prostate cancer. Of the cancer patients, 156 had high-grade, or more aggressive, cancer.

Men with higher levels of long-chain fatty acids in their bloodstream had a 43 percent increased risk for prostate cancer compared with those with lower levels.

And they had a 71 percent increased risk of more aggressive cancers, according to a statistical analysis by researchers including cancer epidemiologist Theodore Brasky, who now works at Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

He worked on the project at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Of the 176 men with prostate cancer who had the lowest fatty-acid levels, 26 had more-serious cases. Of the 245 with the highest levels, 43 had high-grade cancer.

Brasky’s co-author, Alan Kristal, an epidemiologist in Seattle, pointed to several studies debunking theories that vitamins and minerals ward off cancer and other disease.

  • “Why would you do it? Americans have been sold a complete bill of goods on supplements,” he said. “I think the message increasingly is that these are not good for you.”

The new study offers no recommendations on how much omega-3 fatty acid is reasonable, nor did the researchers recommend that men stop eating fish.

With their first study, “We made everyone a little nervous. The findings were opposite from what we expected initially,” Brasky said.

  • The notion that omega-3 fatty acids prevent disease because they reduce inflammation is an oversimplification of a complex process, he said.

There are several things to keep in mind about the research.

This study wasn’t a randomized, double-blind study designed specifically to test for any relationship between fish oil and prostate cancer. That’s the gold standard.

  • Instead, the researchers went back and looked at blood analysis in a group of men who were part of a major study looking at the effects of selenium and vitamin E in prostate cancer.

The study did not address the relationship between the fatty acids and outcomes for those men who had cancer.

  • It also did not include an analysis of what the men ate and what supplements they took. It only looked at the levels of fatty acids in their blood samples.

The study does not draw any link between plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer, only those typically found in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna and in supplements.

Many people take omega-3 fatty acids for their anti-inflammatory properties, believing they’ll help in a variety of ways, including as a protection against heart disease.

Dr. Andy Chapekis, a cardiologist at Riverside Methodist Hospital, said heart specialists don’t typically push patients to use the supplements, given the weakness of the research. He generally advised patients who wanted to take them that there was no harm in trying. That is, until this study.

Dr. Steven Clinton, who directs Ohio State’s molecular carcinogenesis and chemoprevention program, said he looks forward to seeing more research in this area that might confirm and better explain the connection.

Clinton said he expects nutritionists will continue to recommend fish as part of a healthy diet.

  • “No major organization is going to say that the public should go out and take omega-3 supplements,” Clinton said. “If you follow healthy dietary patterns, you should not need a supplement.”

(My Comment:

It is truly difficult to realize that people are actually reading this and citing it as “science’s latest determination.”  It is frankly – preposterous!  Most of those being cited in the article above come across as some kind of “Cretans,” but I suppose we must forgive them  for most of them have been raised in such a sheltered environment provided by  BIG PhRMA, which of course requires close adherence to the protocol ‘line’.  The mantra dictates that only accepted, therefore ‘legitimate’ pharmaceuticals are recognized as  proper for dealing with any disease state whatsoever.     If it weren’t so asinine and repugnant to intelligent thinking people, it could almost fall into the category of “laughable.” 

Thank heavens for the diversity which can still be found in America.  When we realize that the medical profession is also peopled with renowned, creative thinkers  who have made significant and worthy contributions for rather a long time now.  There always have been independent thinkers in this or any other field and there always will be.   I am thinking at the moment of Dr Jonathan Wright and Dr. Russell Blaylock, either of which have so enriched our lives.  Both of these doctors are committed to improving our lot and have reverence for the healing arts.  They deal in this mundane world, of course – – they too, make a living, but first is their love of what they “do”.  They not only respect us, but our planet and her endless bounty.  They seek natural botanicals with their diverse richness which has always been privy to the healers of the world.  For herein is found the  stuff of nature’s wisdom.  Those particles and elements which are recognized by the body – – the elegant creation in which we live and breathe and have our existence.  The natural world, not the mountain built by the PhRMA Gods.   

Now, tho, I shall really try to make this as brief as possible,  I do have a final thought or two.  Let me start with the couple of final, closing remarks above.   The one I am stunned by is no one will endorse buying Omega 3’s any longer.   Let us take just a tiny look at this picture, for surely, some thing is wrong here.  Cardiovascular disease kills more people yearly than the next 8 or so diseases combined.   Those numbers have tragically been rising  by the year.  Know when it began it’s most significant  increase?  When Statin drugs became heavily used!.. Of late,  the decision is being made to also prescribe it for our young people.  How does that grab ya? 

Though I have mentioned this before – probably recently, you recall what the heart uses for it’s energy production?  Sure you do. . . . it’s primarily Fatty Acids! (carbs are second)  If and when the heart fails, it is because fatty acids cannot enter the heart cells.  With a dead heart, you won’t have to worry about cancer any longer. I tried to touch on some of the top notes of this situation as it has been very useful for me in my own plight.  I was detailing why I was now taking L-Carnitine and Taurine and how impressed I was with Dr Blaylock and wishing you guys would get the message.  What Dr Blaylock doesn’t know about the cardiovascular system and it’s intricate workings, probably isn’t too relevant.  He gets it and has the words, legitimate, well-done trials with years and thousands of people to cite.  

I moved away from fish oil after learning about Dr Blaylock’s thinking .  Says it’s the DHA component of fish oil which  which has the beneficial effects – – not the EPA which is where the problems can arise from.  He says he prefers the pure or high DHA  oil, which is what I shall purchase next time.  You have no idea how I disliked taking those 8 fish oil tablets I used to ingest daily.   Doctors are not being deprived of all this modern language on inflammation.  It is here there and all around.  But one must have an open mind willing to see what is and not insist that it be the way one wants it.

Dr Blaylock’s 2-part  segment on how to Stop Heart Disease is dated from July and August 2009.  It’s working for me.  But maybe I should re-up my subscription.  Trouble is, one can only handle ‘so much fun’ – – I was up past 5:00 a.m. last night with Dr Wright.  This’ll do me in if I don’t watch it!  Sorry Jonny,   Jan)

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