1. Omega-3s under attack in fishy study

    Don’t ditch the fish oil – here’s the real story

    Quit your fish oil? Not yet!

    A major new study making headlines claims that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil WON’T protect your heart.

    But before you send your fish oil out to sea, there’s something you need to know about this study.

    It hasn’t proven anything beyond all doubt.

    It was a SET UP!

    On the surface, it certainly looks like bad news for fish oil. The study put 1,000 mg up against in a placebo in some 15,000 people with diabetes.

    Over the course of seven years, it found no differences in either group.

    At least, that’s what most of the news reports are saying.

    Now, let me share with you the REST of the story.

    Over those seven-plus years, just 8.9 percent of those given the fish oil and 9.2 percent of those on the placebo suffered a serious vascular event, including heart attack or stroke.

    That’s a very slight edge for fish oil, although the difference isn’t significant.

    What really stands out, however, is how more than 90 percent of these folks in BOTH GROUPS – people with diabetes – never suffered a single cardiovascular problem over the course of that many years.

    How is that even possible?

    One analysis found that the folks in the study had significantly higher than normal levels of omega-3s before they even started, which would certainly explain the low rate of heart problems in both groups.

    But even if that weren’t true, there’s something else: The placebo WASN’T a placebo!

    The study used olive oil, which is a potent natural therapy on its own – one so effective that I’ve sung its praises many times right here in House Calls.

    A high-quality olive oil can protect blood vessels and improve the flow of blood. In people with diabetes, it can also help with blood sugar control.

    That’s not a placebo. That’s a powerful health-booster!

    There are some other problems with the study as well. The 1,000 mg of fish oil was actually a little low… and lower still when you break it down into the essential omega-3s at 460 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 380 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

    Generally, you need higher levels than those to get a real benefit.

    The study also flies in the face of other research that shows how both fish-eaters and people who take fish oil supplements DO have a much lower risk of serious heart problems.

    One study last year found that fish oil supplements cut the risk of cardiac death by 8 percent -- enough to save 1,000 lives every week in the United States alone.

    Throw in the fact that fish oil can protect the eyes, thin the blood, improve your mood, and enhance your memory with virtually NO RISK, and you’d have to question the TRUE motives of anyone trying to get you to quit it.

  2. Fish oil helps seniors beat the blues

    Depressed? Skip the doc and head straight to the docks--as in your favorite dockside seafood restaurant.

    If the maritime atmosphere doesn't lift your spirits, the menu sure will--because the omega-3s found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna are the ultimate blues busters.

    And a new study finds that seniors in particular could have the most to gain.

    Iranian researchers recruited 66 seniors and gave them either a placebo or an omega-3 fatty acid supplement that contained 300mg of both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

    Six months later, and the catch of the day was a genuine mood boost: The Seniors who took the supplement did significantly better on a 15-question depression assessment, according to the study in the European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience.

    This wasn't a fluke, either--in fact, we've seen these results before.

    Back in 2008, researchers put 1,000 mg of fish oil a day up against a standard 20 mg dose of fluoxetine, better known as Prozac.

    And if more depression patients knew about the results of this one, maybe they'd finally cut the line on Prozac for good--because the researchers found the fish oil to be every bit as effective, with none of the drug's notorious side effects.

    But you don't have to be depressed to start taking fish oil --other studies have found that a daily omega-3 supplement now will lower your risk of even coming down with the condition later.

    Daily fish oil can also help your heart, brain, eyes, and gums, raise levels of HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides and prevent blood clots.

    Don't be left adrift on this one: If you're not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids from a diet rich in salmon, tuna, trout, herring and anchovies, make sure you add some fish oil capsules to your regimen.

    You won't be alone--fish oil was the number one supplement last year.

    It even beat out multivitamins, although it probably got a big assist from the fact that Big Pharma fish oil, Lovaza, did about $1 billion in business.

    I've got mixed feelings on that: It shows Big Pharma that you can make money and help people by selling a natural supplement instead of risky drugs, and that can't be all bad... right?

    On the other hand, it's badly overpriced--so unless you've got the world's best prescription drug plan, skip the Lovaza and stick to a high-quality fish oil supplement from a trusted brand.

    You'll get all the benefits for a fraction of the price.

    I'm not done with senior health yet--keep reading for some fun and easy ways to avoid physical and mental decline.

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