“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Yesterday one of the news items was that it had been found in research that Omega-3 doesn’t help to prevent heart disease.
Three things popped my mind: “didn’t I hear about this already a few months ago?”, “wasn’t that research made on already ill people?”, and “I should write about this!”
So today I did some (re)searching and found:
- in the Israeli news they don’t say anything about who, when, why, and most important how the research was done
- it’s about the ORIGIN-study made on already heartsick diabetes patients (you can read about ORIGIN e.g. here), that was published in the beginning of the summer
- the omega-3 study was a part of another insulin treatment study
- they gave the participants 1 g of omega-3 a day while the daily recommendation is 3-4 g
- they used a food-frequency questionnaire
- and so on …
Now I have new questions popping in my mind! 😉
- Why did they give only 1 g? And what type of omega-3? (And what was the placebo?)
- This result is based on people who are diabetic or have pre-diabetes. Does it say anything about healthy people?
- What else did these people eat that could have affected the results? What was their omega-3/omega-6 balance?
- Why hasn’t it been reported that the triglycerides were lowered by the omega-3?
- Why was it reported in the (Israeli) news only yesterday and why was it reported at all? (considering that no information, see further up, was given …)
- And the “conspiracy” question: does Sanofi gain anything on these results? 😉
So, is all research bad? No. And I’m happy to announce that, just in time for the new year, a new nonprofit nutrition research organization has launched – NuSi Nutrition Science Initiative. Good luck to Dr. Peter Attia and Mr. Gary Taubes! 🙂
Do you want to learn more about science and nutrition research? Check these out:
Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science
Tom Naughton’s Science for Smart People