August 2018 has been a bad month for those who embrace lifestyle habits embedded in their misinterpretation of the origins issue.
In August 2018, the Lancet journal published its findings related to the long-term impact of carbohydrate-restricted diets, better known as paleolithic or the caveman diets, on the mortality of over 1,500 adults. The results show that there was an increase in mortality among those who consumed less than 50 percent of their total calories from carbohydrates, which is quite understandable for the reasons I discussed in "Why do Christians follow evolution-based diets?" one year ago this month on WND. I will not, therefore, focus on the paleolithic issue again. However, fish oil supplements, which are also based upon an evolutionary approach to dietary habits, were not discussed at that time and are also in the news this month. Yet another study illustrates how the time and money people spend consuming them are a waste.
In May 2018, the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology (JAMA) published, "Another Nail in the Coffin for Fish Oil Supplements." The researchers reviewed 10 randomized trials, involving over 77,000 individuals, on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the prevention of fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular events. The results: Those individuals who consumed omega-3 fatty acid supplements failed to show any significant benefit of the supplements. This is consistent with a 2012 JAMA report as well as a 2012 Archives of Internal Medicine report concluding the same.
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In 2016, the PBS "Frontline" investigative report "When It Comes to Supplements, What's Really in the Bottle?" questioned Adam Ismail, the spokesperson for GOED, a fish oil supplement trade association. "Frontline" simply asked him to produce the studies the fish oil supplement industry felt supported the benefits of fish oil supplements in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke or heart attack. He was unable to provide any evidence. In fact, the evidence he did provide, when reviewed by "Frontline," illustrated that fish oil supplements were of no benefit. Frontline also illustrated, with lab analysis of fish oil supplements, that many fish oil products contained oxidized lipids, which trigger inflammatory responses rather than prevent them.
Both dietary practices, paleolithic diets as well as fish oil supplements, are very good examples why one's worldview is important in these matters. The wrong worldview brings with it some misleading or a priori assumptions that will lead researchers, as well as consumers who embrace the same misguided worldview, down the wrong path. A priori simply means one's reasoning will be based upon a theoretical deduction, in this case evolution, rather than from observation. As an example, the whole reasoning for the omega-3 fatty acids supplementation is based upon the purported early human (evolution) ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of 1/1. Consider the following comments from peer-review science journals:
- Food and Nutrition Science, 2013: "A balance between omega-6/omega-3 of 1/1 existed in the food of all the wild animals and human beings for millions of years."
- Molecular Neurobiology, 2011. "Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet that had a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of about 1/1; whereas today, Western diets have a ratio of 10/1 to 20-25/1, indicating that Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids compared with the diet on which humans evolved and their genetic patters were established."
Let's examine the evidence, without the presupposition of evolution, and see if we cannot resolve this issue without the decimation of the fish population to supply misguided consumers with worthless fish oil supplements.
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First, it is certainly true that both fatty acids are essential to your health for a wide variety of metabolic functions, and those whose diets are higher in omega-3 fatty acids from fish, nuts, vegetables, etc. (a good diet) appear less likely to experience strokes, heart attacks, cardiovascular deaths, etc. Common sense so far.
Second, it is also true that the lower ratio of 3/1 to 1/1 of these essential oils, compared to the 10:1 ratio or higher in most American diets, appear to be beneficial. But why? Is it evolution-related? Do we need to eat like our theoretical Neanderthal ancestors who purportedly had a 1/1 ratio of these fatty acids in their diets? Or, is it simply related to the obvious – poor lifestyle choices?
Answer: It is lifestyle-related and has nothing to do with evolution. Western diets are high in fast foods, French fries, chips, baked items, cookies, desserts of all kinds, etc., which contain vegetable oils loaded with – guess what? Yes, omega-6 fatty acids. On the other hand, this same population group consumes very little omega-3 rich foods such as nuts, fish, vegetables, etc. So, you have a population group with what I have referred to in past articles consuming the obvious LSD (Lousy Stinking Diet), which will naturally be reflected with the undesirable ratio of omega-6 to 3 fatty acids ratios. The higher ratio of omega-6 fatty acids simply illustrates poor dietary habits, which is why the omega-3 fatty acids supplements are of no benefit, as demonstrated by the research. Only an improved lifestyle will provide the desired outcome, and not some misguided belief in evolutionary dietary habits.
So, if you wish to "optimize" your omega-6 to omega-3 ratios and avoid the numerous diseases associated with it, simply make better food choices. Evolution has nothing to do with it. Don't eat like your theoretical ancestors; eat like your mother told you to.