Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fish Oil: Is it What The Doctor Ordered?

news you may not know

...When in Rome.

If you have a heart attack in Tucson, you'll likely be placed on medications to treat high blood pressure, lower cholesterol and, in more serious circumstances, may be advised to have a defibrillator implanted. If you have the same setback in Tuscany, the first recommendation may be a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Sound a little fishy?

Patients in Italy are routinely prescribed fish oil following a heart attack. Not so in the United States. The disconnect in medical practices appears to stem from the lack of double-blind clinical trials to prove the efficacy of treatment with omega-3 fatty acids. While both anecdotal evidence and basic sentiment within the medical community support its use, the Food and Drug Administration is unlikely to act without more definitive studies. In Italy, however, where their history is "soaked" in a Mediterranean diet rich in fish oils, there is little resistance to its use in medical treatments.

If a move to Tuscany is not in the offing, you still have some good options available. Fish oil supplements are readily available and, of course, the grill on the patio is always eager for a workout. When selecting fish, or oil, pay attention to issues of purity and mercury.

For more, see the International Herald Tribune article: Fish oil: A heart drug in Europe...

See the American Heart Association's recommendations at: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.


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