One of the benefits of communicating directly with health experts is the light they can shed on health information from major media outlets. Midway Chiropractic’s doctors provide a resource for sorting through conflicting and confusing reporting.
For example, a study was published during the summer of 2013 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute looking at the association of prostate cancer with DHA omega-3 blood levels. Conventional media’s coverage of this report would probably cause someone to stop taking omega-3 supplements from fish sources, for fear it could increase cancer risk. However, a close look at the study itself is warranted, as the generalized reports about the findings can be misleading.
Dr. Craig‘s investigation leads him to disagree with a cursory acceptance of the study’s findings. He urges patients to read this excellent article summarizing the study’s problems before they stop taking their supplements. If you have further questions, Dr. Craig would be happy to answer them on your next visit, as well as any other supplement concerns you might have.
One of the issues with the study is that the participants’ diet and food intake was not assessed or taken into account. Even further, those studied were not given fish oil supplements at all. Heightened DHA levels could come from various sources, including a low-fat diet. Additionally, absolute levels of DHA were not utilized, but rather counted as a percentage of other fats. This type of analysis obscures the absolute levels of DHA, making an assessment of “higher” DHA to be a relative term without solid absolute numbers. Other risk factors among the study participants, such as smoking, weight, activity level, and alcohol consumption, were not taking into account in the findings at all. In short, correlation between heightened levels and cancer risk is not causation.
Dr. Mercola’s article, which Dr. Craig recommends patients read to gain a better understanding of the issue, outlines the study’s overarching claims, the methodology, and goes through various problems with the study that illuminate ways the findings may not be as stark as they seem at first blush. As always, at Midway Chiropractic we urge you to be inquisitive and ask questions about all aspects of your health. We are here to help.