There’s been an awful lot of discussion about fish oil supplements in the news lately. Fish oils are becoming quite the fad for Internal Medicine Doctors, Cardiologists, Rheumatologists and a host of Alternative and Nutritionally minded practitioners. You may have heard about the wondrous benefits of taking fish oil. Now there are even prescription fish oils available.
Let’s put this fishy nonsense to rest, shall we?
The supposed easy fix of fish oil supplements is a ubiquitously misunderstood distortion of reality.
A large number of the doctors, nutritionists and other holistic practitioners recommend the use of Fish Oil to help treat a variety of symptoms, however the vast majority of these practitioners are no better than “snake oil salesmen” as they are unaware of the full metabolic effects of snake/fish oil.
Yes, the omega-3 fish oils may temporarily reduce symptoms of inflammation by counteracting the effects of excessive omega 6 (proinflammatory) oils.
And yes, the omega -3 fish oils may temporarily lower blood pressure or serum triglycerides or slow down your heart rate or reduce abnormal heart rhythms.
However, the use of fish oil is merely a symptomatic treatment and it doesn’t help find and treat the underlying CAUSE of those symptoms.
What the majority omega -3 fish oil proponents fail to understand is that these oils are extremely fragile and will cause depletion of vital anti-oxidants. In fact, in the long term use of high doses of omega -3 fish oils will weaken and break down the very organ systems and tissues they are being taken to protect.
The ugly truth is that the active ingredient in fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) are the exact active ingredients in snake oil!
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We call the peddlers of this form of “natural” therapy “Snake Oil Salesmen,” because their wares are as fake as they are. The term dates back to the late 19th century, when Chinese railroad laborers and miners used snake oil to ease their aching joints. American traveling salesmen took up the claim and peddled what they called a “cure all” for pain. Since then, the term has come to mean anyone who promotes a product that A) doesn’t live up to its expectations, or B) doesn’t perform its function at all. In our case, fish oil supplements have become the new snake oil: they neither live up to their potential, nor truly help us maintain our well-being.