Omega 3s, Prostate Cancer, and Atrial Fibrillation

Omega 3s, Prostate Cancer, and Atrial Fibrillation


“Omega 3’s, Prostate Cancer,
and Atrial Fibrillation” 2013 was a bad year for fish oil. Claims were crushed that
the long chain omega 3’s in fish oil, EPA, and DHA would stop
the progression of heart disease. And then DHA was associated with
increased risk of prostate cancer, and monumentally failed
to treat macular degeneration. This over-the-top rhetoric
sounded a little suspicious and indeed the paper was retracted
because the author sells some rival supplement that he failed to
disclose, but he does have a point. I covered the fish oil
failure for heart disease. What about the
increased cancer risk? Men with the highest
circulating levels in their blood of the long chain
omega 3 fat DHA were found to be at higher
risk for prostate cancer, though a subsequent compilation
of all such studies suggested EPA, the other major long chain
omega 3 in fish and fish oil may be more closely associated
with increased cancer risk. Either way, these long chain
omega 3’s have been promoted for prevention of heart
disease and cancer, but now that we know that not
only does there appear to be no benefit for death,
heart attack, or stroke, but that there may be an
elevation in cancer risk, the general recommendation to
increase the intake of these fats should consider
its potential risks. How could eating more fish
or fish oil increase cancer risk? Well, there are some industrial
pollutants like PCBs linked to increased prostate cancer risk,
and the primary source of exposure in the general population is
believed to be through diet from fish, meat, and
dairy products. If you do a supermarket survey,
the PCBs, shown in white here, are highest in freshwater fish, and
lowest in vegans — cannibals take note. No, that’s just how they label the
market basket of plant foods, though vegans have been tested and
were found to be significantly less polluted, including the PCB
specifically linked to prostate cancer. But this study here was
done in North American where people don’t
eat a lot of fish, and indeed even the group with the
highest DHA levels weren’t that high. And so maybe the confounding factor
was meat consumption in general, not just fish, and that lower meat
consumption may be a reason for the lower rates of prostate
cancer in the lower DHA group, as the consumption of well-done meat
is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and
intake should be restricted. We also used to think omega 3’s
could protect us from arrhythmias — abnormal heart rhythms
like atrial fibrillation. Millions suffer from the condition,
which causes an irregular heartbeat and a higher risk
of stroke and death, but fish and fish oil consumption
does not appear effective for preventing it
or treating it. Other arrhythmias can be life
threatening and cause sudden death. Despite initial encouraging
results, more recent studies have not only failed to reduce sudden
cardiac death with omega 3’s, but actually increased
mortality in cardiac patients. For example, men with heart disease
advised to eat more oily fish or supplied with fish oil capsules
were found to have a higher risk of cardiac death, maybe because of the
contaminants in fish such as mercury? In either case, given the inconsistent
benefits and the potential adverse effects, omega 3’s
must be prescribed with caution and generalized
recommendations to increase fish intake or to take fish oil capsules
need to be reconsidered.

63 comments

  1. If you are having heart arrhythmia's take a Potassium and Magnesium supplement and stop taking any kind of beta blocker …this made mine go away 100% !! Now that I am vegan they went away anyways since i get those from plants now .

  2. you don't even have a full head of hair=D!) ahaha in the blue zones videos they had a dude who had fish in his lifestyle and I seen a video on you tube of the Mediterranean lifestyle Healped people live the longest palease show some long living examples of Vegans for inspiration thanks Be Super Awesome) A'$) and my great grandma is 97 and eats meat faith us Super important first a healthy mind comes first our minds and bodies are Miraculous:)

  3. 3 dislikes?., I'll guess +future10video his other account and the guy who finds his replies accurate… That's 3 accounts who will never be tired of giving free medical advice without the proper knowledge. I wonder why…

  4. Let's see how the meater trolls spin this one; I foresee mentions of Hong Kong and the Inuit . . . thanks for posting, NF.o!

  5. We eat ocean fish from the birth to all the way of of our lives in far east Asia.
    Sea foods is our staple food.
    We can't live without it.
    I can't find a single data that says far east Asians live shorter due to eating fish or other seafoods.
    My grandma who wasn't vegan but ate very small amout of food all the time lived for 106 years without any degenerative disease.
    My fater who has same diet as my grandma is now close to 90 and doesn't have heart disease neither prostate problems.
    I am a vegetarian not vegan and feel more relaxed and contented.
    Peace!

  6. Does anyone have insight on whether the "mercury-free" claims on some Omega 3 fish oil products is valid? I take an algae-based Omega 3 supplement but I have loved ones taking fish oil on a regular basis.

  7. Dr. Greger, there's a troll in here called futurevideo10 spewing blatant misinformation and you'd be wise to block/ban/delete him, or at the very least correct each of his lies. I've no time for that, does anyone really? That's why they should be blocked/banned/deleted. They can use their own pages to spread their animal ag agenda.

  8. A little confused right now. Dr Greger should have pointed out more clearly that it's probably the pollutants that are causing all the bad effects and not EPA, DHA and others themselves. I use "Rx Omega-3" and thought this product was high quality and pretty pure, at least cleaner than all the cheap fish oil stuff you can buy. I should probably focus on getting my Omega-3s from organic high quality flaxseed oil though and just take one fish oil capsule daily for the EPA/DHA. Won't leave it out completely though. I'm avoiding so much other stuff that is definitely bad for us, should be alright.

  9. Hmm I wonder why Japanese have such a high life expectancy then?? A lot of the earlier pro fish oil studies were based on populations that have a lot of fish in their diet??

  10. Michael Gregor completely took that study linking prostate cancer and fish oil out of context. He has alot of good information though at times his personal bias toward veganism is reflected in his videos. Gregor if your reading this, contact me so I can help shed some light on why the researchers in that study you looked at were entirely incorrect in publishing it. Dr. A

  11. What about getting omega-3's through Chia seeds and flax seeds
    is this the same risk?
    Or how about liquid DHA EPA oil that is vegan?

  12. So the take-home message is that omega-3's in and of themselves are putting you at risk for cancer or not?
    This video can cause some serious confusion for people who are dealing with cancer right now!!!

  13. Now I'm confused, Dr Greger it's not clear if you are saying that all long chain Omega 3 DHA EPA supplements are a bad idea?
    so should we stop taking the Algae derived DHA EPA supplement?

  14. I like the video, but this seems to implicate that dr. Greger is against the omega 3 fats altogether. As much as I like dr. Greger, I will say he tends to cherry-pick some of his studies. And this is not uncommon, its inherent human bias. Because the majority of research in omega 3 fats has been favorable. Many other studies have recommended vegans consume more omega-3 fats but from plant-based sources such as flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds ext. But also algae omega-3 fats. I understand dr. Gregers position on algae and the potential neurotoxins, but I also believe these neurotoxins are a product of contamination and poor quality control and sourcing. More research needs to be done, but there have been many studies to refute the neurotoxin aspect in regards to spirulina and other algaes. In fact many studies have found benefits and others have done safety evaluations and found no sort of toxins. Which lends some evidence to the fact that it could be contaminated by what's in the water. But I understand dr. Greger taking a conservative stance on this. However, he has not mentioned any neurotoxins being in chlorella, just that it's more expensive then most greens we can get a grocery stores. I will look at all of his other videos on omega-3 fats, but I must say that this is potentially dangerous advice regarding avoidance. The conversion of LA from flaxseed and other sources is very inefficient even with the addition of turmeric. That said, it may be advisable to take a low-level supplement occasionally of algae omega-3 fats, the research certainly has supported it. But more importantly, low levels of these two omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA have been linked with health problems particular cognitive decline and other issues. So yes there needs to be more research, but this needs to speed up a little because this is definitely an important nutritional matter.

  15. low quality video! you missed the part in the prostate cancer paper where omega 3s were from the diet not supplementation! this is key because purity can be found in fish oil supplements

  16. the researchers who first concluded that fish oil is good for you because of omega-3s must be a bunch of nuts. the source is always important and fish is pretty far connected as far as homo sapiens is concerned. I mean we are originally a tropical being and should explore our physiological source for omega-3s which would come from greens and nuts. also the best way to imbibe these healthy fats is to consume the WHOLE food and not a highly processed source like fish oil which could definitely be carcinogenic given its tendency to rancidity like a whole bunch of market promoted unsaturated refined oils which have also been knocked off the health pedestal in recent years. go back a few years and weren't sunflower, soy, corn oil et al supposed to be very healthy because of their being highly unsaturated? well fish oil just joined their ranks of discredited, over hyped, slickly marketed SNAKE OILS.

  17. Look around!
    Under the name of religion, what human have been doing against each other. Acceptance, rather than rigidity is the key to peace but our ego and arrogance hinder to grow.

  18. Then Dr. Gregor please explain how these thousands of people in this massive study that are Pescatarians (Fish and vegetarian) are living far longer than even Vegans? http://www.livescience.com/37102-vegetarians-live-longer.html And your chart focused on fresh water fish. Who the hell is still eating catfish, bass, and trout? I'd like to see this correlation found with eating fresh wild atlantic salmon and tuna. lol

  19. we Vegans are less polluted…lol….. Ha, its a fact that my body sparkles with vegan cleanliness…

  20. here goes dr greger grasping at straws again to spin the vegan narrative this time that fish aren't unhealthy despite mountains of evidence suggesting otherwise that he conveniently omits.

  21. i think the trick is always to take of little of everything and not to much of 1 thing.Evertday I consume 1 tbsp of ground flax, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 fish oils capsule (they recommend 3 on tub i have) and when i'm a millionaire i start consuming 1 algae based dha/epa oil a day. mix it up. little of each #variety

  22. Someone I know was prescribed fish oil for depression, and it has probably been effective – now takes molecularly distilled fish oil to minimize pollutants.

  23. When buying fish oil, make sure it is 'molecularly distilled', which is a process that minimizes contaminants like mercury.

  24. On a video you made I saw one of the sources you linked talking about prostate cancer and there is a line saying that men who ate salmon had no assoication with prostate cancer.

  25. "I know of no reason why you shouldn’t resume taking your fish oil supplements. The study in question, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash., made headlines and snagged lots of sound bites, but much of the news coverage – including that in medical publications – did not accurately reflect the findings. Aside from the sensationalist way it was reported, the study itself has serious shortcomings." __ https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/health-centers/men/does-fish-oil-cause-prostate-cancer/

  26. The Truth About Fish Oil – CHTV 197
    https://youtu.be/JoL9bkqFwFg
    A 2014 Seminar with Dr Rowen Q&A
    https://youtu.be/r_lz5xX2zMQ

  27. THERE ARE COMMMENTS ABOUT CENSORSHIP ON YOUTUBE. I WOULD LIKE TO DO A LITTLE TEST. IS ANYONE HAVING PROBLEMS WATCHING "THE GREATER GOOD – REAL STORIES OF VACCINE INJURY" ?IT IS ABOUT GARDASIL AND THE HOW SOME GIRLS HAVE HAD HORRIBLE DEBILITATING PROBLEMS AFTER GETTING THE VACCINE. by the way amazing video by you Dr. Greger. I stopped eating meat after learning so much with your videos. very scary all the cover up an lies with junk science to confuse the public by certain entities to keep us fat, sick and anxious/depressed. great video by other creator is "transform your mind, change your brain" by dr. Richard j. Davidson. also "mingyur rinpoche~ calming the mind: the practice of awareness meditation". These two videos helped me get off Xanax and feel better than ever.

  28. Taking omega-3 fish oil capsules reduced my PSA from 3.2 to 2.8. Omega-3 is a must for good health, especially as we age. This video is b.s.

  29. it's not omega -3 which causes cancer ,it's PCB which found in fish oil causes cancer . so take vegan omega-3, like flax seed and it's really reduce the risk of heart stroke if you have taken it for very long period like more than a year.

  30. Trouble is there are other studies – what to believe? The DART study, published in 1989, was the first randomized trial to show the efficacy of fish oil on CAD. In the trial, 2033 post-MI patients were randomized to receive 3 types of diets: a diet that was either high in cereal fiber, polyunsaturated fat, or fish oil. The fish oil group consumed 200 to 400 g/wk of fatty fish (2 portions of fish per week) or 0.5 g/d of Maxepa fish oil supplement. At 2 years, the primary end point of all-cause mortality was reduced by 29% in the fish oil group, whereas no improvement was seen in the other dietary advice groups.

    The Lyon Diet Heart Study, performed shortly after the DART study, was a prospective trial of 607 survivors of MI who were randomized to either a Mediterranean diet or a regular Western diet. At a mean follow-up of 27 months, the primary end point of death from cardiovascular causes and nonfatal deaths had a 73% relative risk reduction—a positive effect that continued at follow up assessment at a mean of 46 months.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217043/

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