Life Extension Magazine October 2013
Lethal Risks Posed By News Media
By William Faloon, Luke Huber, ND, MBA, Kira Schmid, ND, Blake Gossard, Scott Fogle, ND
Will this Flawed Report Prompt an Epidemic of Prostate Cancer?
Regrettably, the public is poorly served by relying on a sound-bite frenzied news media for health data, which often involves parading a provocative medical headline without a deep, thorough evaluation of the study’s validity.
This “science by ambush” denies an opportunity for meaningful rebuttal, since the media never wants to admit last week’s headline news story was bogus.
The average percentage difference (0.18%) of plasma long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from a single baseline test renders the study questioning the safety of omega-3s meaningless. The authors don’t even know if their study subjects were eating fish or taking fish oil supplements. We at Life Extension have criticized certain studies that solely rely on food questionnaires, but this attack on omega-3s didn’t even attempt to ascertain if study subjects were ingesting the nutrient (omega-3s) in question. Yet its authors presumptuously warn of potential risks in consuming supplemental omega-3s!
The lack of rigor, as well as multiple layers of methodological problems and errors, notwithstanding the complete lack of consistency with the known, well-established biology and biochemistry of prostate cancer, should prompt outrage in the scientific and medical community.
The danger of this deeply flawed, compromised analysis is that aging men obtaining health information through the mainstream media will cease omega-3 fatty acid ingestion.
The consequences may be profound if men shun omega-3s a result of this flawed study and follow its implied recommendations to consume more omega-6 fats, which enhance inflammation and create a better environment for prostate cancer, as well as cardio- vascular disease to flourish.
Although the researchers attempted to statistically model (through multivariate analysis) and control for some (but not all) critical, confounding risk factors like family history, the higher baseline PSA readings (implying more preexisting cancers) and positive family history (1st degree male relative with prostate cancer) in men who went on to develop prostate cancer raise concerns for the integrity of the analysis results. Along with these confounding factors, the marginal difference in baseline plasma omega-3 levels of men who later developed prostate cancer cannot rationally implicate omega-3s as having a causal or causative effect. The plasma omega-3 levels of the entire study group showed consumption of omega-3 from food was inadequate and intake of meaningful fish oil supplementation non-existent.
Educated consumers should continue daily consumption of omega-3 fish oil.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
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