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The easy answer is: Not really.

We heard the recent news stories, too. While we were mulling over the best way to address this issue for our patients and their families, we received the following press release from Thorne Research.This represents our position on this new information, as well, and does so with excellent clarity.

Greetings,

As you may be aware, an article published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests there is an association between elevated plasma omega-3 fatty acid levels and a heightened risk of prostate cancer.

This study must be interpreted with a significant degree of caution for a variety of reasons:

  • The data came from what is referred to as a retrospective, nested, case-control study. The data was extracted from another, much larger, previously conducted trial that was not originally intended to examine the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid levels and prostate cancer.  In other words, the original study was not designed to determine any of the conclusions reached in the analysis contained in the article.
  • The study’s results conflict with the results from other studies that do suggest that omega-3 fatty acids offer a protective benefit against prostate cancer; and these other studies were, in fact, designed to analyze that very outcome. (See link) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3629172/
  • Identifying one particular physiologic marker in a group of individuals with a given condition – in this case, an elevated omega-3 level in men with prostate cancer – does not prove causation, especially when that marker can be influenced by diet or behavior and is only measured at a single point in time.
  • It is also hugely important to realize that the authors of this study did not assess any of the participants’ dietary intake of fatty fish or omega-3 nutritional supplements – the study’s conclusions are based wholly on the results of a single blood test.
  • The omega-3 index, which measures both EPA and DHA within red blood cells, is a much more accurate indicator of long-term omega-3 intake and tissue status than is the plasma omega-3 level, which is subject to significant day-to-day variability.
  • A number of confounding risk factors might have influenced the purported outcomes in the study, despite attempts by the investigators to account for them:
  1. 53 percent of the subjects with prostate cancer were smokers.
  2. 64 percent of the cancer subjects regularly consumed alcohol.
  3. 30 percent of the cancer subjects had at least one first-degree relative with prostate cancer.
  4. 80 percent of the cancer subjects were overweight or obese.
  • Considering the extensive body of literature that supports the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids, there is no credible biological mechanism, nor is one suggested in the article, that would explain why these essential fatty acids might increase tumorigenesis.

Summary:  Given the inconsistent data attributable to omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer, and acknowledging the broad range of health benefits that are almost universally accorded to omega-3 fatty acid consumption, it would be premature to stop eating fish or to discontinue taking omega-3 nutritional supplements on the basis of this study.

In Health,

Robert Rountree, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Thorne Research, Inc.

 

We welcome you to contact your doctor with any reservations or concerns you have about your supplementation or health regimens – at any time! Call our office to schedule a consult to re-evaluate your current wellness plan with your doctor. And if you aren’t yet a patient at Tilia Natural Health, we welcome the opportunity to help you feel and live your best – give us a call.

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by Dr. Jamine Blesoff

 

Choose Organic berries for the most health benefits

Eating dark-skinned berries is important for maintaining health and preventing disease.  Regular dietary intake of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and grapes can improve cardiovascular health, immune health, and eye health.    They are excellent sources of phenolic compounds called anthocyanidins; important anti-oxidant compounds that work to decrease inflammation (in blood vessels), prevent tumor cell growth, stabilize cell membranes (in allergies), and improve brain function.

The high phenolic content in the skins has shown additional antioxidant action on lowering LDL cholesterol.  This is one reason why some studies have shown protective benefits in moderate consumption of red wine in people with high cholesterol or atherosclerosis.

The benefits of regularly eating dark berries have proven to be extensive.  So, how can you incorporate eating these tasty morsels into your life?

Eat at least ½ cup per day or 3-4 cups of organic berries per week.  Eat them raw as a snack, add frozen berries to your protein smoothie, layer it within yogurt topped with nuts, add it to any dessert, or try the recipe below:

Berry Hazelnut Salad (with Honey Poppy Seed Vinaigrette)

Adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook 2nd ed

Salad:

8 cups mixed greens

2 cups mixed fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or other local berries)

½ cup hazelnuts, roasted (can substitute almonds or walnuts)

3 to 4 green onions, sliced into rounds

incorporate a variety of organic berries into your life

Dressing:

¼ C extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1-2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp poppy seeds (can substitute flax or sesame seeds)

¼ tsp sea salt

  1. Rinse and dry the greens, place into a large salad bowl.  Rinse and dry the berries.  Place berries atop the greens.  Chop the nuts and add them to the salad along with the green onions.
  2. To make the dressing, place all ingredients into a glass jar, and shake well.  Pour over the salad just before serving

ENJOY!

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