Fish oil — long encouraged by doctors as a supplement to support heart and joint health, among other benefits — induced severe colitis and colon cancer in mice in research led by Michigan State University and published October 2010 in the journal Cancer Research.
Don’t take this the wrong way though, this study seems to serve more as a reminder too much of anything can be bad for you. It’s also nice to contrast the information we hear, which is usually positive related to fish oil — omega-3 fatty acids. The fact of the matter is that the amount of omega-3 fatty acids we need for optimal functioning is still not known, so don’t go crazy with the supplements.
Fenton cautions people may not need to avoid fish oil; what the research shows is needed are guidelines on dosing. With any nutrient, there is a “bell curve” effect. On the left of the curve are those deficient in a nutrient; on the right are those in excess.
She said people already receiving enough omega-3 fatty acids through their normal diet and foods have no need for added supplementation.
A study published on the British Medical Journal website suggest that following public health recommendation could reduce risk of bowel cancer by up to 23%. The study is not very specific as to causality, but at least supports the effectiveness of the public health goals.
The researchers created a healthy lifestyle index using internationally accepted public health recommendations from the World Health Organization, World Cancer Research Fund and the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations.
These included being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, having no more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 drinks a week for men, being non-smoker, having a waist circumference below 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men and consuming a healthy diet
If all participants had followed all five recommendations, then 23% of the bowel cancer cases could have been avoided.
The researchers conclude: “Our study reveals the useful public health message that even modest differences in lifestyle might have a substantial impact on colorectal cancer risk and emphasises the importance of continuing vigorous efforts to convince people to follow the lifestyle recommendations.”
We all know the arguments that being vegetarian is better for the environment, for the animals and our own health — but in a carnivorous culture, it can be hard to make the change. Graham Hill has a powerful, pragmatic suggestion: Be a weekday veggie. Watch his 4 minute talk to get some inspiration for some healthier living!
I think it’s a great idea which can get you started of on a healthier pattern. Even if you don’t do it every day of the week, try at least a Meatless Monday. Everything helps; for your own health, the environment and the animals.
Calorie-restriction diets include very little food
Progress has been made in understanding the physiological effects of calorie-restriction diets, known to increase longevity. Scientists have discovered proteins in fat cells which change according to weight loss in subjects. This could be useful for monitoring the effects of calorie-restriction diets and possibly also increase the effectiveness.