Here we go again!
The mainstream has launched yet another lame-brained attack on healthy habits — one that completely IGNORES the real problem, while highlighting one that barely exists.
A major report in the New York Times starts out promisingly enough, warning that too many seniors are on too many drugs, with some older folks on 15 meds or more.
But then it flies off the rails… because the biggest example of an extra “drug” the Times can find is fish oil!
Does that make Charlie Tuna a drug kingpin now?
The Times says 1 in 5 seniors take an omega-3 supplement — something they should be CELEBRATING, since these safe and natural capsules can protect the heart, boost the brain and even cut the risk of vision loss.
Those are three areas of health of critical importance to seniors, protected for pennies a day.
Instead, they found someone to complain about it, bringing in Dima Qato of the University of Chicago for some nutritional character assassination.
Sorry, Charlie… but the Times says:
“Users probably believe fish oil helps their hearts. But Dr. Qato pointed out that fish oil capsules lacked regulation and evidence of effectiveness, and can cause bleeding in patients taking blood thinners like warfarin (brand name Coumadin).”
What complete and utter fish-pish! You know what else causes bleeding in patients taking blood thinners like warfarin?
If you want to compare the safety profile of fish oil to warfarin, the fish oil will win every single time, and that’s a fact — and while some folks who truly need a blood thinner might be wise to avoid fish oil, others can use the fish oil to get off the drug (just be sure to work closely with a naturopathic doctor).
The Times eventually points out some common drug combinations also pack risks, specifically mentioning how a statin and a certain BP med don’t play nice together.
But when it gets to the case of a 67-year-old man who is on both drugs, the article manages go right back into supplement-bashing:
“Moreover, though her patient wasn’t experiencing problems, he was also taking garlic and omega-3 supplements, which can interact with prescription medications.”
This is too ridiculous for words. This patient is on a combo of two drugs KNOWN to pack serious risks, including a risk of falls. Yet the Times is more concerned about a little garlic and fish oil, despite that fact that the patient “wasn’t experiencing problems.”
What if he had garlic salmon for dinner? Would the Times throw a fit over that, too?
But these are the games the media plays. Even an article that pretends to be critical of drugs ultimately drives home the anti-supplement agenda pushed by Big Pharma (which, by the way, keeps newspapers, magazines and TV stations afloat with billions on ad dollars).
Don’t let them scare you off. Work closely with a naturopathic doc and you’ll know what you need and what you don’t.