Q: I hear that taking an omega-3 supplement and consuming salmon increases my risk of prostate cancer. That doesn’t sound right. What is the problem? – Greg S., Houston
A: Those fishy reports from a new study failed the odor test, right? We’ll explain.
The Study: The study you are referring to looked at the levels of omega-3s in men’s blood plasma and found that those with the highest levels had a 43 to 71 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. That sounds pretty amazing. But …
The blood test they used only shows recent consumption of omega-3 rich foods or supplements. The researchers didn’t know which people in the study recently ate fish or took a supplement! In addition, other studies suggest that men diagnosed with prostate cancer may consume more omega-3 fatty acids (much previous data shows this is beneficial). Values this high can come from men diagnosed with prostate cancer, not the other way around. In addition, nobody in the study (with or without prostate cancer) had a very high level of omega-3 fatty acids!
One more thing: The Japanese eat a lot more fish (salmon and sea trout can recommend more to them than just their omega-3 fatty acids) and consume more fatty acids than North Americans. They also have a lower risk of prostate cancer.
What We Know About Omega-3 Benefits: Diets rich in walnuts (a very potent source of omega-3 fatty acids) appear to inhibit prostate cancer growth, according to a new study in mice. And omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit breast cancer growth. In our humble opinion, there is a lot of research to suggest that DHA-omega-3 protects you from diabetes. reduces joint pain and inflammation; helps prevent dry macular degeneration; and makes your brain work like it was six years younger! We believe the benefits for men and women far outweigh the risks and suggest that, like us, you take 900 milligrams of seaweed DHA omega-3s per day.
Q: My son is a high school freshman and is going to soccer this year. He’s a big, strong, healthy kid, but many of his teammates outweigh him. When I was his age there were big kids on the team, but that’s different. What’s happening? – Tom T., Indianapolis
A: This may not come as a surprise given the obesity epidemic in North America, but the US has a record number of obese athletes. Some sources say that 45 percent of high school linebackers are overweight. And in college teams, an estimated 16 percent of offensive linemen weigh an extra high body mass index, waist circumference, and an estimated body fat percentage. BTW, it’s a problem in the NFL too: the website has a page titled “Taking Your Diabetes Positive Over”.
Why is the obesity crisis rolling over our strongest groups of teenage boys and young adults? Well, they gobble up processed and fatty foods just as quickly as anyone else, and in the off-season, when their calorie consumption drops, they often eat the same unhealthy calories as they do in the off-season. This leads to a sharp increase in weight, which puts additional strain on the heart and kidneys and causes joint pain and depression.
If you want to help your son not pack on fat pounds, point out what a good player the Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin is at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. And help him create a nutrition plan that builds muscle, strength and flexibility.
• Don’t rely on red meat for protein; Think skinless chicken, fish, legumes, and whole grains.
• Avoid all drinks with added sugar and sugar syrup (he must read the food labels).
• Develop a taste for a variety of vegetables and be sure to eat them every day.
If he turns into a really big man in the next few years and wants to play the line, convince him that it’s better to emulate players like Michael Strahan (so big, so fast), not players like William “Refrigerator” Perry .
Dr. Mehmet Oz is the host of the “Dr. Oz Show “and Dr. Michael Roizen is the Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. More information is available at www.sharecare.com.
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