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Ongoing Concern for Fish Oil Susainability

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fish oil sales have now reached more than $1.2 billion a year, without enough regard for environmental contaminates, bio-accumulate of toxins, industry paid for murky science, and sustainability issues.

We have developed a marketing-driven endless appetite for fish oil to help balance our nutrient-empty junk food diets, but our seas don't have an endless supply of fish.   

Aside from the questionable act of depleting natural resources that belong to the public for industry profits, the damage to the ecosystem should be cause for concern. Maintaining human cooperation in the context of common-pool resource management is extremely important, because otherwise, we risk overuse and fraudulent outcomes. 

The omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) corn- and grain-heavy standard American Diet (SAD)  contributes to excess inflammation in the human body, thereby creating the widely hyped need for omega-3 fatty acid-dependent prostaglandin building blocks, to offset the silent inflammation damage linked to a SAD diet. 

However, a systemic review of 20 studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded that overall, omega-3 supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke, based on relative and absolute measures of association. 

Another meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal  concluded there was a moderate, inverse association of fish consumption and long chain omega-3 fatty acids with cerebrovascular risk. The beneficial effect of fish intake on cerebrovascular risk is likely to be mediated through the interplay of a wide range of nutrients abundant in fish. 

An additional review of fish oil studies published on behalf of the Cochrane Collaboration, an independent, not-for-profit organization that promotes evidence-based decision-making, concluded that fish oil supplements fail to prevent or treat cognitive decline. 

And a 2015 Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies on omega-3 fatty acid intake with the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's disease concluded that there was no statistical evidence for inverse association between long-chain omega-3 fatty acids intake and risk of dementia or Alzheimer's, nor was there an inverse association between fish intake and risk of dementia. 

Finally, a 2014 Medical Science Monitor meta-analysis of randomized, controlled studies concluded that omega-3 fatty acid was associated with better tear-break-up-time (TBUT) and Schirmer's, but no significant differences were detected in the patient-directed ocular surface disease index test results. 

Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff



The meta-analyses above do not affect our passionately supporting eating as clean as possible, including limited dietary intake of essential fatty acid omega-3 EPA and DHA from sustainable fish and land-based microalgae, balanced with equally important plant-based omega-3s including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and stearidonic acid (SDA) from hemp, flax, walnuts, canola, perilla and black currant seed oil.  

It's the right thing to do, because it contributes to food and nutrition security, and healthier people and sustainable seas for present and future generations. 

Given ongoing inconsistent study results on omega-3 EPA and DHA intake, the 2017 National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements does not include omega-3 EPA and DHA in dietary intake recommended amounts. However, they continue to recommend specific daily amounts of omega-3 ALA, with 1.6 grams recommended for men and 1.1 grams recommended for women.   

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