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Author Topic: Fish Oil Boosts Brain Power  (Read 1695 times)
Princess L
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« on: July 17, 2014, 07:18:35 AM »

Fish oil is touted as a magical potion that boosts fertility, heart health, and weight loss and promotes a clear complexion, while lessening the effects of depression, ulcers, diabetes and many more conditions. But there’s another benefit to these glossy little capsules: They may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study of 819 people published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia found that taking fish oil supplements on a daily basis is associated with a significant decrease in cognitive decline (as measured by the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale and the Mini Mental State Exam) and brain atrophy — important findings in light of statistics that show that one person per minute is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“We found that fish oil use was associated with better performance on standard tests of memory and thinking abilities over time, compared to those who didn’t take supplements,” lead study author Lori Daiello, a research scientist at the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital, tells Yahoo Health. “They also experienced less brain shrinkage in areas of the brain important for healthy cognitive aging — the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, the portion of the brain responsible for forming and retaining memories.”

For this study, researchers analyzed information from neuropsychological tests and MRI brain imaging performed at regular intervals for up to four years during the Alzheimer’s disease Neuroimaging Initiative, a longitudinal study of brain aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. The population consisted of a group of older adults with varying degrees of cognitive capability: normal cognitive function, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. The benefit of fish oil appeared strongest in the group with normal cognitive functioning. “Retrospective studies cannot establish cause and effect, so we can’t make a global recommendation that everyone should start taking fish oil supplements. But the findings highlight the need for additional research on the effects of longterm fish oil use on brain health in later life,” says Daiello. 

The main ingredient in fish oil is DHA, omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, swordfish, trout, yellowfin tuna, mackerel, and more. (Non fish-lovers can find it in eggs, milk, and algae-derived supplements). According to Daiello, there is no definitive evidence that eating fish daily is better than taking fish-oil supplements. But some people dislike the fishy breath that lingers after taking the supplements. “In that case, you could always store the capsules in the freezer, which seems to diminish the scent,” suggests Daiello. (Though the study did not address the dosage of daily fish oil to take, the World Health Organization recommends a daily EPA and DHA intake of 0.3 to 0.5 grams and a daily ALA intake of 0.8 to 1.1 grams.)

And while the effects of fish oil have been well-documented, they also carry a “buyer beware” element. One study, conducted by a testing company called LabDoor, found that what’s advertised on the label of many supplements may not live up to their promise of what’s advertised on the labels. When the company analyzed 30 top-selling brands, they found that six products exaggerated the amount of omega-3 on their labels by 30 percent. And at least a dozen products contained DHA levels that were 14 percent less than advertised. “Mislabeling is a big problem because the FDA considers fish oil supplements food, not drugs, so they aren’t regulated,” says Daiello. “So it’s tough to verify the purity of what you buy.”

To select the best supplement, talk to your doctor, who may be able to recommend a pill that’s right for your needs. Or join a subscription-based website such as Consumer Lab, which regularly tests vitamins and supplements.

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https://www.yahoo.com/health/fish-oil-boosts-brain-power-says-science-91965585587.html
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2014, 10:31:42 PM »

Fish oils may raise prostate cancer risks, study confirms
By Maggie Fox, Senior Writer

Everyone knows that fish oil is good for you, right? It’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are marketed to reduce the risk of just about everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s.

But a startling study shows men who have the highest levels of these compounds – the kinds found in fish but not in vegetable sources -- have a higher risk of prostate cancer. Men with the very highest levels had a 71 percent higher risk of high-grade prostate cancer – the kind most likely to spread and kill, they report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

It might be a sign that popping a pill is not only possibly a waste of money – it might be downright dangerous. And eating fish too often might be, also.

“These fish oil supplements in which some men getting mega, mega doses…in our opinion that is probably a little bit dangerous,” said Theodore Brasky of Ohio State University Medical Center, who worked on the study with a team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

The same team published a study in 2011 that showed men with the highest levels of one omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid, DHA for short, had double the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Other studies have had similar findings.

To try to confirm their work, the team looked at data from a different prostate cancer trial called SELECT, for Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial. That study showed 17 more cases of prostate cancer among men who took vitamin E alone for about five years compared to men taking placebos.

The effect was even stronger when they looked at omega-3 fatty acids – specifically, the kinds found in fish oil as compared to those found in vegetable oils.

Brasky’s team looked at 834 of the men in the SELECT trial who developed prostate cancer, and 1,393 randomly chosen others from the trial who didn’t have cancer. They divided the men into four groups based on their blood levels of three omega-3 fatty acids – EPA, DPA and DHA.

Those with the highest blood levels had a 71 percent higher risk of high-grade prostate cancer, compared to those with the lowest levels. Overall, their risk of any kind of prostate cancer was 44 percent higher.

The difference between the group with the highest levels of omega-3s in their blood and those with the lowest works out to about what someone would get by eating salmon twice a week, the researchers said.

Fatty acids found in vegetable oils, flaxseeds and other vegetable sources – including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – did not affect prostate cancer risk, the researchers found.

“A 70 percent increased risk in high-grade prostate cancer, given it’s the No. 1 cancer in men and fish is a commonly consumed thing and is thought to be a healthy food, I think it’d be a concern for people,” Brasky said in a telephone interview.

The American Cancer Society projects that 240,000 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, and about 30,000 will die from it.

"We've shown once again that use of nutritional supplements may be harmful," said Alan Kristal of Fred Hutchinson, who also worked on the study.

Brasky, who says he still eats fish “but in moderation”, says the study cannot answer the question of how fish oil might cause cancer. They took into account other factors that might be associated with eating fish and Brasky notes that mercury, which can be found in fatty fish, doesn’t cause prostate cancer.

The study also doesn’t say anything about the effects of fish oil on men who already have cancer. “This study is not about men with prostate cancer,” Brasky said, noting that some studies have suggested fish oil might be beneficial in men who already have cancer.

Men might be at a loss for what to do, as omega-3 fatty acids were also believed to lower the risk of heart disease, which is far more common than prostate cancer. The American Heart Association recommends that people with heart disease eat fish twice a week and people with heart disease might need fish oil capsules.

But the researchers point out that recent studies have shown taking extra omega-3 has little effect on heart disease – including a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May.
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2014, 06:52:33 AM »

Quote
The study also doesn’t say anything about the effects of fish oil on men who already have cancer. “This study is not about men with prostate cancer,” Brasky said, noting that some studies have suggested fish oil might be beneficial in men who already have cancer.


So, after fish oil gives me prostate cancer, it will help me treat it?

I wonder what kind of research funding I could get.
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Princess L
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2014, 07:17:31 AM »


So, after fish oil gives me prostate cancer, it will help me treat it?

I wonder what kind of research funding I could get.

I'm more worries about Alzheimers  Grin than prostate cancer  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2014, 11:22:52 AM »

I'm more worries about Alzheimers  Grin than prostate cancer  Grin


"Hey, look - A CASTLE!!"

 Grin
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2014, 01:02:14 PM »

Maybe it's something more suitable for women just like more than 1 glass of milk per day would be.
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 11:28:35 AM »

David Mendosa
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April 01, 2014

Of the four major types of fat that we eat, polyunsaturated fat is the strangest. But it’s the type that those of us who have diabetes most need to take time to understand.

Last week I reviewed a huge -- and hugely important -- new study that vindicated saturated fat. That study, “Saturated Fat is Back for People with Diabetes,” analyzed data from 72 cohort studies and randomized trials with more than 600,000 participants from 18 countries and concluded that total saturated fat was not connected to the risk of heart disease.

That study also included polyunsaturated fats. But while the findings were straightforward about saturated fat, those concerning polyunsaturated fat were nuanced.

Saturated and polyunsaturated fats are the two types that we have misunderstood the most in this country. We now seem to know about the other two types, monounsaturated and trans fats. We have general agreement that monounsaturated fats, which we find in many foods including olive oil and avocados, promote good health. And during the previous decade we have generally grown to understand that those artificially created trans fats made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are about the worst “food” we can put in our mouths.

Polyunsaturated fats are more complex. But we have begun to understand that the two main sub-types, omega-3 and omega-6, compete to get into the cells of our bodies and have quite different effects.

Omega-6 fats are the ones that our doctors have been telling us to eat. Soybean oil is the dominant oil, followed by corn oil, canola oil, and cottonseed oil. These four make up 96 percent of all the vegetable oil sold in this country, according to Evelyn Tribole in her book The Ultimate Omega-3 Diet (McGraw Hill, 2007, pp. 28-29). In addition to cooking with them, they are in most margarine, shortening, and salad dressings.

The new study suggests that the two main types of long-chain omega-3 fats are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. These fats are eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, which almost nobody can pronounce, so we usually call them EPA and DHA. We get them almost exclusively from fatty fish like salmon and sardines.

This was no surprise. I’ve reported here on several earlier studies that extol the benefits to our hearts of eating fatty fish. What was a surprise was that one omega-6 fat, arachidonic acid, also seems to be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. We get most of this fat from animal sources -- meat, eggs, dairy.

But the biggest surprise is that supplements of any of these polyunsaturated fats “do not statistically significantly reduce the risk for coronary outcomes.” In plain English it doesn't seem that taking fish oil or krill oil will do us any of the good that we thought we were getting from them. Only by eating fatty fish, meat, eggs, and dairy will polyunsaturated fat help us to stave off heart disease. This is so important because heart disease is the single leading cause of death and disability for people with diabetes and in fact for all humans beings.

These findings about taking fish oil or krill oil supplements are tentative. The researchers write that “the available evidence in generally limited.” More studies are needed to make a firm conclusion, and fortunately two large randomized trials to see if taking long-chain omega-3 supplements can help prevent heart disease are underway. As soon as these studies get published, you can count on me to report on them here.

http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/168446/managing-diabetes-strange-fat
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