Me and Omega 3


I have never liked fish. In fact, other then Tuna, mixed with mayo and chopped onions, I would say I am afraid of fish. I was once a lifeguard at a lake and every time I had to go in the water, I would move my arms and legs around like I was having a seizure just to keep the little fish in the lake away. I am in fact afraid of all sea life from Trout to Goldfish, so you can imagine my response when my doctor suggested taking fish oil. He gave me a copy of an article about the value of Omega 3 fish oil pills in reducing the risk of heart attacks. I was unimpressed and when evaluating taking the fish pills verses the heart attack, I chose the heart attack.
At my next visit, my doctor asked if I had tried the fish pills and when I wrinkled my nose and shook my head, he produced another article suggesting that there was a link between a reduction in cancer and the fish pills. Still I chose cancer.

He then suggested that flax seed oil was a worthy alternative to the fish pills and would provide me with the same omega 3 fatty acids, that he so desperately thought I needed. I had recently seen my mother munching on some flax seed chips, which pretty much closed the door on the flax seed option.

You can then imagine my joy when I recently read that there was little to suggest that Omega 3 fatty acids reduced the risk of any single type of cancer.

While it was true that the Eskimos of Greenland had a very low occurrence of coronary heart disease (I assume they ate a lot of fish), I was overjoyed to hear that high levels of mercury were discovered in fish. Swordfish, shark and mackerel had particularly large amounts of mercury, however fish sticks did not. Regardless I had found the evidence I needed and in future doctor visits whenever the issue was raised, I would invoke the findings from an ambiguous EPA study that supported my growing concern of getting mercury poisoning. In truth, I still don’t actually know why mercury is bad for you but as sited in the Fishing Regulations Booklet, if I need more information, I can always contact my local health department.

Robyn Segal is a free lance writer and Director of Marketing for a New England Health Care System.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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