The Imploded Omega-3 Hype
After decades of nutritionists and government officials strongly urging consumers to eat oily fish containing Omega-3 fats or take one of the best-selling fatty acids pills, there is now serious doubt about the scientific value of these recommendations.
British scientists, who conducted a study measuring the effect of Omega-3 fatty acids on heart attack, death, cancer, and stroke, have thrown the purported health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids into question. The research stated: "When data on long chain Omega-3 fats were analyzed... total mortality and cardiovascular events were not reduced."
The researchers even found that men with existing angina who consumed large amounts of oily fish increased their risk of heart attack, leading to a word of warning from Dr Lee Hooper, lead author of the report. She said that high-quality trials were now needed to assess the associated harms of taking high levels of Omega-3 fats.
Considering the latest doubts about the advantages of oily fish consumption and Omega-3 supplements and the well-documented risks of mercury-tainted fish, especially for women who may become pregnant, are already pregnant or breastfeeding, and children, a safe way forward is to cover the need for Omega-3 through natural means. Suitable foods without any negative side effects are wild fruit, berries, leafy vegetables, flaxseed, rapeseed, hempseed and walnuts and nut oils.
This careful approach brings the added advantage of also protecting the environment and the animals of the sea after the world's fish stocks have already been depleted by some 90 percent since 1950.
Source: Risks and benefits of Omega-3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review, BMJ, 24.3.2006 http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/rapidpdf/bmj.38755.366331.2Fv1.pdf
The European Vegetarian Union and its members from more than 30 countries work in the interest of vegetarians everywhere who all share one common goal: a world without slaughter but with good health for people and respect for life in all its forms.
Quote: "Feeding fish, whale and seal to children is a form of child abuse", Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson