Last month, Jørn Dyerberg, M.D., Dr. Med. Sc., and I discussed the false report that fish oil intake was shown to be a risk factor in prostate cancer. This month, I will continue discussing this issue with longtime omega-3 expert and co-inventor of the HS-Omega-3 Index test, William Harris, Ph.D. Dr. Harris presents several reasons why we should ignore the inappropriate report and continue eating a diet rich in fatty fish and consuming supplements rich in EPA and DHA for their many health benefits.
In our book, The Missing Wellness Factors—EPA and DHA, Jørn Dyerberg, M.D., Dr. Med. Sc., and I discuss how EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers having an inflammatory component (1). We discussed the 2010 review by Helena Gleissman, Ph.D., and coworkers of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden that associated the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids with decreased risk of cancers of the breast, prostate, colon and kidneys (2). We also described the supportive animal study by Kelavkar et al. (3). While we did not specifically discuss prostate cancer in detail, this cancer does seem to have an inflammatory component and early studies support the premise that EPA and DHA can be protective.
We had just finished chatting with Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., in our April column when a startling pronouncement was widely circulated in the media falsely claiming that L-carnitine, one of Dr. Sinatra’s pillars of heart health, was linked to heart disease. This theoretical “thinking out loud” report needs to be corrected, so we turn right back to Dr. Sinatra for clarification.
There is widespread agreement that most people will benefit from consuming more fruits and vegetables because they are not eating enough for one reason or another. I hope readers of this column do exceptionally well in vegetable and fruit consumption, but some may have room for improvement or friends and family who need some help.
In mid-April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “urged” the addition of selenium as a required nutrient in infant formulas. Selenium has been known to be an essential nutrient for humans since Dr. J.T. Rotruck et al., discovered in 1973 that it is a component of a key body compound. However, research into the roles of selenium in the body continues to grow. Nearly every week, a new study is published elucidating one or more biochemical pathways in which selenium compounds in the body are vital to human health.
Will the public ever realize that it has been misled about cholesterol? Many people in the health food arena and, hopefully, most of our readers are aware of the misleading information about cholesterol. It has been the subject of many interviews in this column over the years such as in the December 2009 issue of WholeFoods Magazine, where we discussed many of the errors in the flawed studies that are used to promote the cholesterol theory in “The Cholesterol Paradigm: The Greatest Health Scam of the Century,” with Sheldon Zerden.
Vitamin D slows the progression of cells from premalignant to malignant states, keeping their proliferation in check. A team of researchers at McGill University has discovered a molecular basis for the potential cancer-preventive effects of vitamin D (1). The team, led by McGill professors John White and David Goltzman, of the Faculty of Medicine’s department of physiology, discovered that the active form of vitamin D acts through several mechanisms to inhibit both the production and function of a protein that drives cell division and is active at elevated levels in more than half of all cancers.
During these trying economic times, more and more people have either chosen or been forced to become more involved with overseeing their own healthcare. As Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., says on his Web site (www.doctoryourself.com), “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This especially includes your health care.”
“The teachings of this book can save the lives of millions worldwide,” I stated on the cover of Frank Murray’s new book, Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene Are Miracle Workers. Since the early 1970s, I have had the greatest admiration for Mr. Murray, his books and his many contributions to the health industry. Murray has been a soldier in the battle to preserve the health industry and make people healthier.
Despite thousands of supportive studies spanning more than 40 years showing dietary omega-3 fats EPA and DHA protect against heart disease, the recent publication of a study on the effectiveness of fish oil in heart patients has confused many. One confounding factor was that most of the media sensationalized the story with totally incorrect headlines.