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1 Bob Levin  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 3:30:37am

Now this is odd. My MD gave me instructions to double my intake of fish oil. What to do.

2 freetoken  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 4:57:43am

re: #1 Bob Levin

The problem with so many of these news stories about medical research is that they really don't tell the story, because the research in many cases is an adventure in statistics and the reporter/writer are way over their head.

Furthermore, the nature of so much research into medicine is quite compromised compared to most sciences. Given that testing is highly limited (due to ethical concerns) it is often hard to isolate variables.

The story as copied for example ignores the other reasons one might want to supplement their diet with the types of fats found in fish oil, for example for brain or nervous system health.

We are a system of many different chemical reactions happening in parallel, millions - beware of any news story that tries to take a very complicated topic and make it too simple.

3 Bob Levin  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 5:17:58am

re: #2 freetoken

In a sense I was kidding around, although I was told by my MD to double my intake of fish oil, but not for cardiovascular reasons.

This is another addendum to the ongoing debate about alternative health, specifically acupuncture. And it all revolves around who is telling the truth. Fish oil is definitely a supplement, and most people get theirs at the health food store, or health food section of the local grocery. Here, there is the paradox of the MD telling me to buy the supplements--which many feel are little more than placebos, and that I should listen to real, science-based doctors.

You are absolutely correct about the many ways medical studies are compromised. I'll add one more. They are astoundingly ethnocentric.

This becomes almost comical, because the antidote for ethnocentric bias is a simple literature review. And I do mean simple. Not only can you list articles published in English, but you can also call up any college of acupuncture and get a reading list. You can call a Chinese University and list studies done in Chinese. There is no need for such strong cultural bias.

The ultimate difficulty, once the cultural bias has been eliminated, is that there are tools with which to measure what fits into the Western model of treatment success, there aren't any tools to measure the diagnostic efficacy of acupuncture, or its success. The only bit of Western culture one can use to measure the success of alternatives is how much money people are willing to spend on these things. And the answer is quite a bit of money.

4 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 5:35:11am

re: #3 Bob Levin

The only bit of Western culture one can use to measure the success of alternatives is how much money people are willing to spend on these things. And the answer is quite a bit of money.

Business success, not actual worth for health, as people are known to pay lots of money for bullshit, so this tells us nothing about whether or not these treatments work.

5 Bob Levin  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 5:44:35am

re: #4 Johnny Derp

Yes, that is true. And that is how unprepared our labs are to really do an honest study between the two. Once again, the only icon, so to speak, in the Western Universe that can actually measure the efficacy of traditional (thousands of years) medicine, is money.

Marx could go to town on that point.

6 Bob Dillon  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 9:28:45am

re: #1 Bob Levin

My understanding is that its the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 in ones body that counts. If the ratio is so far over to the 6 side of the equation (as it seems to be in most of us based on what we eat - our bodies are, after all, bio-accumulators) then a couple of hundred mg of supplemental O'3 per day is not going to do much if anything. Getting the ratio back in appropriate levels for us as individuals are where the benefits kick in. There is no "one size fits all" answer. But looking at humans who naturally consume high 3 to 6 ratios in their diets proves interesting in comparison to the rest of us.

[Link: www.sciencedaily.com...]

[Link: www.okicent.org...]

7 KingKenrod  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 9:56:56am

This study only reviewed studies of persons who already have cardiovascular disease, which means it tells us nothing about the benefit of fish oil in healthy persons. I started taking fish oil a short time ago and my HDL (good) cholesterol is up over 10%.

8 Bob Levin  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 11:18:13am

re: #6 Bob Dillon

I've read that too. This raises another question in the health care discussion. What is the origin of many of our present diseases? You raise the point that the basic American diet will lead to disease. I tell my kids, if you see some food advertised on tv, it will probably make you sick. Researchok recently posted something about the enormous amount of iatrogenic disease that is created--and is expensive as all get out. Many doctors today say that the epidemic of diabetes-world diseases comes, in part, from their very dietary recommendations over the last 30 years.

The present health care crisis will not be remedied by anything related to finance. We need a cultural revolution.

9 Bob Levin  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 11:19:27am

re: #7 KingKenrod

Another issue is raised. Where does prevention fit into this?

10 Bob Dillon  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 9:19:51pm

re: #8 Bob Levin

I'd have to go with the cultivation of grain as one primary origin. I told my kids 30 years ago that if man made it (and its probably in a package) or messed with an animals natural food supply, don't eat it or eat very little of it.
i.e., chickens are not vegetarians. Cows do not naturally eat corn - and when you feed it to them their natural omega 3 to 6 ratios go upside down. We eat their flesh and fat overloaded with O'6 for 50 years and then wonder why we have heart disease.

Robb Wolf keeps it simple: [Link: robbwolf.com...]

11 Bob Dillon  Tue, Apr 10, 2012 10:08:19pm

[Link: thepaleodiet.com...]

7 page study with 86 references on the subject.

12 Bob Levin  Wed, Apr 11, 2012 1:21:00am

re: #10 Bob Dillon

I think we're being forced into a revolution, individuals making quiet, life changing decisions, on their own.

I haven't thought of this before, but this broken health system is going to change the way that we eat and our attitudes towards authority. The different diet is also going to change the way that we think, our actual biological process of thought.

I don't know how long this will take, but it's going to happen. And it will probably be a very good thing.


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 Frank says:

The concept of the rock-guitar solo in the eightees has pretty much been reduced to: Weedly-weedly-wee, make a face, hold your guitar like it's your weenie, point it heavenward, and look like you're really doing something. Then, you get a big ovation while the the smoke bombs go off, and the motorized lights in your truss twirl around!" -- The Real Frank Zappa Book.