Talk-radio host Michael Savage, who has a Ph.D. in epidemiology and nutrition from Cal Berkeley, says the continued confusion and negative reporting about fish oil supplements is part of a “war” carried out by “Big Pharma.”
The major drug companies, Savage told WND, are going after fish oils to peddle cholesterol-reducing drugs such as Lipitor.
“They are on a warpath against all non-prescription supplements that work better than drugs,” Savage said.
The supplements are “safer and cheaper than drugs and bad for their business.”
The Washington Post reported Wednesday the National Health Institute’s mixed message on its website. On one page, the NIH endorsed taking fish oil supplements, saying they are likely effective for heart disease. But on another it suggested the supplements are useless: “Omega-3s in supplement form have not been shown to protect against heart disease.”
In July 2013, Savage condemned on his show a highly publicized study linking prostate cancer to fish-oil supplements.
Savage, who read the study, said the research presented in what he called a “very, very dangerous report” does not support the conclusion that there is a higher risk of prostate cancer among men who consume omega-3 fatty acids.
Savage interviewed an expert on prostate cancer, Anthony Victor D’Amico, M.D., who has a doctorate from MIT.
D’Amico agreed that the study “really cannot make the conclusion that it’s trying to, because these types of studies are not cause and effect; that is, if you take the fish oil you’re going to get an aggressive or some kind of prostate cancer.”
The study, reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found a 71-percent higher risk for dangerous high-grade prostate cancer among men who ate fatty fish or took fish-oil supplements.
D’Amico explained to “The Savage Nation” audience that the conclusions in studies of this kind are simply associations.
“And when you have an association-type study, the way you strengthen it – which is not what they did – is you try to adjust for that association for all the things you know can cause prostate cancer,” he said.
D’Amico said that while the study accounted for family history and diabetes, it left out some important risk factors for prostate cancer, such as ethnicity, PSA level, age and body-mass index.
“What you’re left with at the end of the day is an association that, at best, is very weak and further weakened by the fact that they didn’t account for the known predictors of prostate cancer when they were making the calculation,” D’Amico said.
Hear the interview with D’Amico: