Recent Fish Oil Research Flawed

Med Page Today had the sensational headline which read “Fish Oil Claims May be Snake Oil“. This is a journal whoes main audiance is physicians.  Click here to see the article


If you take a look at much of the medical research aimed at nutritional supplements they attempt to treat supplements like a drug. In this particular they took 900 70+ year olds and measured their cognitive status. Then gave half the group fish oil and the other half a placebo for two years then measured the improvement, if any, in their cognitive abilities.  This sounds good, but Fish Oil helps to prevent cognitive decline, it doesn’t restore it once it is gone. 


Numerous other studies have taken the same approach of taking a group of people who are/have suffered a disease or degenerative condition then give supplements to see if they reverse it, which it usually doesn’t.  Closest analogy I can think of is changing the oil in your car. You could easily prove that changing the oil ever 3,000 miles will prevent engine wear and add years to your car’s engines life. But what these studies attempt to do is take an engine where the oil is seldom changed and has seized up and has suffered extensive damage. Then they give the car a fresh oil change and expect the damage to be reversed. Fresh oil wont repair the damage, it may slow further damage, but the damage which has been done is done.


There is extensive research which has proved that fish oil can prevent or delay many conditions, but this study is an attempt to discredit all the positive research. 


So in summary, take your fish oil and preserve your heart and mental health. One caution though is to make sure you take a pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement. There are a good number of fish oil supplements which have measurable or dangerous levels of PCB, mercury, lead, and other contaminants.