Fish Oil Causes Prostate Cancer: Study Overview
Well here we go again! Leave it to ratings hungry media outlets to blow something entirely out of proportion or should we say water?
If you haven’t already heard, News Outlets are saying a new ‘frightening’ study has come to light showing that supplementing with omega 3 fish oil can increase your chances of prostate cancer! Well if you wish to get the interpretation of scientific literature from a talking head on television then by all means go ahead; however we want to take this opportunity to show you what the news outlets are leaving out!
Fish Oil Causes Prostate Cancer Study Problems
First off, this is a retrospective study, which means the researchers did not set-out to find this hypothesis but ‘connected the dots’ so to speak after it was completed. A good rule to remember in Science is ‘Can You Repeat Your Findings’ meaning if they did the study again would the results be the same. The way this study is set-up there are far too many variables in play for it to repeated and accepted Which is why it is simply an observational study which are somewhat laughed at in the scientific community.
Secondly, this was a Case-Cohort Study, What the heck does that mean?
-A Case-Cohort Study is a type of observational study which is an analysis of risk factors and follows a group of people who do not have the disease; the study then looks for correlations to determine the risk of developing the disease.
This very roughly means that the researchers followed a group of subjects for a certain period of time, and then during that time took limited blood samples and then compared those samples to how many subjects ultimately developed prostate cancer.
Have you ever heard the term Correlation does not Equal Causation?
For Example: The bigger the fire the more fire fighters arrive, so using this studies logic; Firefighters Cause Fires to grow.
Thirdly, the researches admitted “Because of the high cost of phospholipid fatty acid assays, only the case subjects diagnosed through 2007 and their corresponding frequency-matched subcohort were planned for this analysis.”
So they only tested those who had developed prostate cancer and the subgroup that was likely too, but hadn’t yet developed it.
Now what is a commonly prescribed supplement for Cancer? You guessed it Omega-3 Fish Oil! So it would make since that those who had prostate cancer would have higher levels of Omega 3 Fish Oil when compared to those without cancer. With this quality of interpretation one could also argue ‘Prostate Cancer Causes Higher Levels of Omega 3 Fish Oil in Blood’.
What the study also failed to take into consideration were dietary and lifestyle habits. Someone who has a bad diet, and starts shoveling in Omega Fatty Acids, still has a bad diet and excess poly unsaturated fats could exacerbate things.
John also Did a Video Going into Deep Detail Regarding the Issues surrounding the study.
The Information Ignored by the Study.
Hope This Helps!