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Healthy Heart Reports

Fda Allows Ads That Fish Oils Prevent Heart Attacks?

The American Heart Association released its new guidelines this month and for the first time ever, they recommend that everyone eat two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week. Now the Food and Drug Administration is considering a petition from alternative medicine advocates who want to advertise that their fish oil pills help to prevent heart attacks.

This is ridiculous. There is no evidence in the world that fish oils prevent heart attacks. The data clearly shows that lack of omega-3 fish oils causes heart attacks, clotting, swelling and pain. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your body to make prostaglandins that prevent clotting, swelling and pain. Lack of Omega-3 fatty acids raises blood levels of Lp(a), a clotting factor that causes heart attacks. Lack of Omega-3s also raise blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol that causes heart attacks. Lack of omega-3s lowers blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol that prevents heart attacks.

Why then should you think that it is ridiculous to allow people to sell fish oil pills with the claim that they prevent heart attacks. It is absurd for a person to load himself with fish two times a day to prevent heart attacks because eating fish does not prevent heart attacks. First, you can get omega-3s from whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Only a person who does not eat whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts needs to eat fish. You cannot find omega-3s in flour because the miller removes the omega-3s in the germ of a whole grains before he grinds it into flour. The germ contains the omega-3s. Wheat berries, soybeans, flaxseeds, and other seeds and whole grains are particularly rich sources of omega-3s and your body converts the omega-3s in seeds, nuts, beans and whole grains into exactly the same omega-3s that are found in fish oils.

Because of nonsense that may allow the supplement industry to advertise that omega-3s prevent heart attacks, some people will fill themselves full of fish oil pills or eat fish three times a day and they will be poisoned by mercury overload in the fish oil. They will unbalance their diet and raise their triglycerides to frightening levels and then get heart attacks.

A recent study from Denmark (1) shows that people who eat lots of sea animals had very high blood levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs, People who also smoked as well as ate a lot of fish had double the blood levels of people who did not smoke. Cadmium in tobacco smoke increases the body's uptake of PCBs from food. The key here is to eat lots of different nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans and fish. Do not load up on any one item. Certainly good nutrition does not involve taking pills. It means that you know how to eat good food. Do not believe for a minute that eating fish and fish oil pills prevent heart attacks.

Danish Medical Bulletin April 2000;47:132-7.


Copyright 2000
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

For more recipes, refer to the The Healthy Heart Miracle book.