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Jeff Sutherland

Twice the Energy with Half the Stress

Fish Oil: Why Doing Your Own Research is the Best Prescription

Recently the FDA authorized the following claim to appear on the labels of fish oil supplements:

Supportive but not conclusive evidence shows that the consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

This occurred only because the FDA was repeatedly sued for violating the First Amendment. The court repeatedly found the FDA guilty and ordered them to allow evidence based medicine results to be mentioned on labels of dietary supplements, at least in the case of fish oil.

Even more dangerous than FDA suppression of medical evidence is your physician’s ignorance of the medical literature. For example, in 1994, the Lancet published the Lyon Diet Heart Study which showed that a mediterranean diet reduced mortality by 70%. In 1999, one of the leading cardiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital reported in an editorial in Circulation that almost no cardiologists were familiar with the Lyon Heart Study. Circulation. 1999;99:733-735

Recently, a physician with many decades of experience in medicine commented to me that he hated to send his family members to be treated by other physicians. I asked him why, thinking he probably disagreed with treatment modalities. He surprised me when he said, “They are so ignorant!”

Once again, this demonstrates that you cannot expect the FDA or your physician to always act in your best interest. They may be ignorant, too busy, or in the worst case, actively suppressing information that only a federal court could force them to release. Each individual must take active responsibility for their own health and well being and do their own research. Failure to do this will increase your risk of morbidity and mortality, sometimes by more than an order of magnitude.