Top 10 omega-3 studies of 2013

Herewith, a list of 2013's top 10 published research findings into omega-3s. But we're going to start you off with a summation of the study that defined the year - and has led to an estimated drop in fish-oil supplement sales of about 10 percent per month in the last few months of the year. That was the study alleging that fish oil supplements were responsible for elevated risk of prostate cancer.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle wanted to follow up on their earlier research concluding that trans fats (proposed to be banned by FDA in 2013) were good for prostate cancer prevention.

These researchers got right back into more controversy by re-looking at the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). They looked at data from a single blood draw taken at the outset of the SELECT study. Many irresponsible things were noted about this study, which concluded a 71 percent increased risk of prostate cancer.

Red flag #1: The study was designed to look at two nutrients: selenium and vitamin E. Red flag #2: Researcher admonishments to stop taking fish oil “in particular through supplementation” come when the 834 study participants never noted how they received their omega-3s – the researchers looked at blood data only, not whether the study participants ingested fish or supplements. Red flag #3: Population data shows countries with the highest fish consumption, such as Japan and Iceland, have the lowest incidences of prostate cancer.

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