January 27, 2006


RAND Study Finds No Link Between Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Lower Incidence of Cancer: Consuming food or dietary supplements such as fish oil that contain omega-3 fatty acids provides no protection against developing cancer, according to a RAND Corporation study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The omega point: The Economist reports on how omega-3 fatty acids are a crucial component of a healthy diet—particularly, it seems, for pregnant women wanting bright, sociable children. The article also notes how omega-3's may also help men who have a difficult time controlling their anger.

And Wikipedia says that: Many studies have supported the health benefits of increasing omega-3 fatty acids in diets deficient in this nutrient; these studies have also provided information as to the detrimental effects of an omega-3 deficient diet. Many studies have shown that high doses of omega-3 can treat bipolar disorder and depression, while other research has shown a better benefit at a lower doses and no benefit, and even worsening of the symptoms at higher doses. Some have explained those surprising results by the hypothesis that higher doses deplete and create a deficiency of Omega 6, which is also essential for the conditions which are believed to be treated with Omega 3. In those same studies, doses between 1 to 2 grams for psychiatric conditions were optimal. The researchers believe that omega-3 fatty acids have shown great results in treating those disorders, and if approved, it could be a better drug (fewer side effects) than others such as lithium carbonate. Limited research also suggests that omega-3 is useful for treatment of borderline personality disorder and migraine. Non-topical use of certain omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to be useful for treating and healing distressed skin (eczema, psoriasis).

On September 8, 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave "qualified health claim" status to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids, stating that "supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."

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