Those fun spring snows and the increasing run-off from the mountains bring with them special friends to our water supply. Every spring we have parasites in our water supply so I recommend only filtered or bottled water until summer arrives. The pitcher-style filters don’t seem to remove the parasites as well as the faucet, refrigerator or multi-stage filters.
This goes for the kids at school and drinking fountains, too. It is better for them to bring enough clean water from home than it is for them to drink from the water fountains. Also, most restaurants don’t filter the water that they put in your water glass or use to make tea and coffee. You would be smart to always take 1-2 GI Synergy packs per day when you eat in restaurants here or while traveling to help protect you from parasites and bacteria you might ingest. Bon Appétit!
Like many supplements these days, there have been articles about the benefits of fish oil and the dangers of fish oil. A study recently stated that fish oils increased the likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer. They based this conclusion after a review of the SELECT study which did NOT use any fish oils in the study but did test the starting levels of fatty acids in the participants blood. The SELECT study was a study testing whether taking vitamin E and selenium would help reduce the risk of prostate cancer:
The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) randomized 35,533 healthy men, >55 yr old (>50 yr if African American), with normal digital rectal exams and prostate specific antigens <4 ng/ml to 1) 200 μg/day l-selenomethionine, 2) 400 IU/day all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), 3) both supplements, or 4) placebo for 7 to 12 years.
Statistically nonsignificant increased risks of prostate cancer with vitamin E alone [relative risk (RR) = 1.13, P = 0.06) and newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes mellitus with selenium alone (RR = 1.07, P = 0.16) were observed. SELECT data show that neither selenium nor vitamin E, alone or together, in the doses and formulations used, prevented prostate cancer in this heterogeneous population of healthy men.
First thing to note is that they used a synthetic form of vitamin E in this study which no one should take (DL alpha tocopherol is the common name for all-rac-alpha-tocopherol). The fatty acids measure at the beginning of the study and never tested again. They also didn’t monitor if any of the men took any fatty acids supplements during the trial.
A few years after the initial study, they went back and put the men into 4 groups based on their initial fatty acid levels: “This 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… 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. “
So I wonder why they only looked at less than 10% of the original study’s participants unless they were “cherry-picking” the men they wanted? Can you imagine a cholesterol study where they measured it once in the beginning and not again for 7-12 years and then made conclusions based on this old data? Only someone who was trying to manipulate the outcome would do such a thing.
Help or Hurt?
So should we be taking fish oils and other fatty acids? Yes and no. Good fish oil can help: lower inflammation in your body, improve brain function and memory, fetal eye and brain development, helps skin and hair, etc. Bad fish oil can cause more damage than good because it is rancid. Fish oil is very susceptible to damage from light, heat and oxygen. Because of that, most fish oils do best being kept in a refrigerator after they are opened. If fish oils make you burp, it could be your gallbladder not working properly or they are rancid.
If you close your eyes and someone puts fresh fish under your nose, you would know its fish but it wouldn’t be offensive. Open a fish oil perle and smell it and you will notice:
Standard Process’s Tuna Omega 3 oil took 15 years to develop because they had to invent a perle that could sit on a shelf for two years and not go rancid and they had to find a clean source of fish oil. They finally got a supplier from the South Pacific that could guarantee quality after the Norwegian supplier admitted that he couldn’t meet their purity standards. They still have all of their fish oil tested by a 3rd party lab to make sure they are free of mercury, PCB’s and other contaminants as do other suppliers of professional grade supplements. Don’t let the news headlines scare you away from taking high quality fish oil that has many benefits for your brain and body.
Not everyone needs fish oil but we all need Omega 3’s. Some people feel better with flax or other plant based oils than they do with fish. Others don’t have the proper enzymes to convert the Omega 3 oil in flax into EPA and DHA found in fish oil. I can test you to see which type of oil your body likes.
The office will be closed and we will be off working on our tans from April 28th-May 4th. Brittany is heading to Hawaii and I will be exploring Costa Rica. The office will re-open on Monday May 5th.