High purity omega-3 oil doesn’t work if you don’t take enough

On Aug. 29, the New England Journal of Medicine published an electronic article stating that giving supplements of EPA and DHA to people with a prior heart attack had no benefits on preventing future cardiovascular events (1). Of course, this article states the reason is that current drugs the patients are receiving are so good that adding extra high purity omega-3 oil is worthless, which of course made the national press. It sounded pretty fishy to me. First of all, this study was actually much smaller than the previously published studies (2,3) that had demonstrated striking benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular outcomes. The GISSI study demonstrated a 20-percent reduction in heart attacks and a 45 percent reduction in sudden cardiac death (2). The even larger JELIS study demonstrated a 20 percent reduction in cardiovascular events, and all the patients were taking statins.

Nothing contained in this blog is intended to be instructional for medial diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern or issue, please consult your personal physician immediately.

New September beginnings

Even though it has been some time since I’ve been in school, September still signals the start of something new in my mind. The summer is officially over, we’ve enjoyed our last holiday for a while and work begins to pick up again. I feel this same renewed sense with my health. It’s been a nice three-month run with barbecues, get togethers with friends and vacations; but now it’s time to reestablish some type of routine in my life and to get back on track.

I almost look forward to this sense of normalcy again. I challenge you to embark on this fresh start with me. With the cooler temperatures starting to roll in, this is a great time of year to enjoy kayaking, canoeing, running or even going on a family bike ride. Take pleasure in the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available at your local farmers markets, which typically run until mid-October. If you live in the northern part of the country, soon you’ll be able to make an outing of going apple and pumpkin picking too.

So with three months to go before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season rolls in, use this time to focus on you and your health because what better time to start than now?

Mary Dinehart-Perry MS, RD, LDN
is clinical trials director for Zone Labs

Nothing contained in this blog is intended to be instructional for medial diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern or issue, please consult your personal physician immediately.

Biomarker shown to predict Alzheimer risk

The study of the human genome and the potential for routine genetic testing down the road has brought many hotly debated topics to the table. If your genetic make-up predisposed you for a certain disease whether it is cancer or Alzheimer’s, would you want to know? A study published in the August edition of the Archives of Neurology may bring us closer to having to ask ourselves these tough questions. The study measured a specific protein known to be present in those with Alzheimer’s and looked at the amounts of this protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of individuals with Alzheimer’s, those with mild cognitive impairment, and those having normal cognitive function. Without knowing the clinical diagnosis of the individuals being studied, the detection of this protein was accurately able to classify which individuals had Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment and was able to show the presence of this protein even in those who had normal cognitive function, suggesting that it could be detected prior to showing symptoms (1). The question becomes if you had the option to know you might have a disease despite having no symptoms and despite the fact that treatment options may only slow the disease versus curing it, would you want to know? Tell us what you think.
1. De Meyer G, Shapiro F, Vanderstichele H, Vanmechelen E, Engelborghs S, De Deyn PP, Coart E, Hansson O, Minthon L, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Shaw L, Trojanowski JQ; for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Diagnosis-Independent Alzheimer Disease Biomarker Signature in Cognitively Normal Elderly People. Arch Neurol. 2010 Aug;67(8):949-956.

Nothing contained in this blog is intended to be instructional for medial diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern or issue, please consult your personal physician immediately.