AREDS study, unbiased?

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The AREDS study was run over a period of 10 years, involving 3,640 patents. After that followed the AREDS2 study for another 5 year period.

The results of these studies were regarded as the holy grail as far as nutritional supplements for our eyes were concerned.

However, there are more and more claims being made about the validity of many of the results, since many of the funders, patent holders and researchers might not have been as un-biased as we perceived them to be. The problem is that so much of science and research, is backed by undeclared conflicts of interest. Which, up to a point is acceptable, because someone has to fund the research. The warning flags go up when it becomes known that patents and certain conclusions were put in place long before the study was concluded and in some instances even before the study had started. Many academics raised their concerns about the validity of claims made by some manufacturers of supplements based on the outcome of the AREDS study.

The companies manufacturing the supplements are all aggressively marketing their supplement products to the not-so well informed, trusting, gullible public, because most vitamins and nutrients are not only ubiquitous in nature, they are also easily obtained from well balanced diets.  The AREDS study also showed that patients with certain genetic dispositions were harmed by some of the ingredients in the commercial formulas, such as Zinc. There is also evidence that the supplemental drinking of Vitamin E and even Vitamin C, over and above a balanced diet can be harmfull to many individuals. It seems that the AREDS research might have been poorly conducted and reported in an even worse, low scientific standard.

The herbal supplement market world-wide is huge and to a large extent un-regulated. To market herbal products, the manufacturer doesn’t have to provide proof, as with registered medicines, that the product works. Most of them get away with statements like “as used by indigenous populations” or “historically is has been said” that their product works. Then, the next big question arises. How do we know what the ingredients of the capsule or tablet is and does it contain the correct herbal species at the correct concentration? As in food products, many might not even contain any of the correct ingredients. The AREDS study was not about herbal products, but, in many instances vitamins, minerals and herbs are all grouped in the same semi- to un- regulated multi billion dollar market, in which there are many unscrupulous manufacturers.

As for eye patients, those burdened with the diagnosis of AMD, tend to clutch to every straw of hope. Many end up spending vast amounts of money on supplements, in the false hope and in some cases even the worsening of their vision as a result of over enthusiastic marketing campaigns. In many instances they could have had similar or even better results by eating well balanced meals. Or, in the least, not caused or aggravated any conditions by adhering to a healthy, well balanced diet.

 

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Out Of Stock

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This is a reprint of an article by: Ellen  Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, and the Biosyntrx staff.

This is such an important topic, I decided to copy it as it is from the original Biosyntrx site.

Ask any fish where they get their omega-3s. They will tell you that they metabolize omega-3 fatty acids from the algae they consume. The good news is that algae-based omega-3 EPA and DHA are now directly obtainable without the fish middleman and without further endangering delicate marine ecosystems.

Marine-based omega-3 sustainability is becoming a social, health care and corporate responsibility issue.

Overfishing and overuse are creating a negative impact  on our planet, and this serious sustainability issue will impact investment stability and profits of those who continue to ignore the inevitable.

A newly published special issue from SupplySide INSIGHTS titled Omega-3 Sustainability suggests, “consumers, activists and responsible investors increasingly reward companies that act ethically and actively manage environmental impacts.

“Companies known for sustainable sourcing, low carbon footprints and limited environmental damage benefit way beyond sales and reputation. They reduce corporate risks related to resource scarcity and boycotts from informed consumers and activists.”

This information further reinforces the need for industry to increase their focus on impact.

“Genuine corporate concern for sustainable procurement where all products are concerned makes good business sense.”

Both large and small medical practices recommending large amounts of daily fish oil don’t want to be tagged as lacking concern for our environment, our seas and future generations.

It’s easy to understand why fishery scientists are completely dismayed about the 90 percent decline in sardine stock—from almost 1.4 million tons in 2007 to less than 100,000 tons today, as reported in YALE environment 360 in July of this year.

Sardines and anchovies are the two most common fish used to produce quality fish oil. “Sardine populations rise and fall naturally, cycling as ocean temperatures shift, but we’ve failed to respond quickly, and that’s pushed these fish to much lower levels,” says Tim Essington, PhD, a University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery sciences.

Dr. Essington’s research group published a paper in the May 2015 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that shows overfishing worsens the magnitude and frequency of cyclical declines of sardines.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports, “There are not enough new small fish to replenish a population dependent on large population growth to sustain future generations of sardines, anchovies, tuna and salmon. It has been recently reported that off the coast of Peru, where more than half the world’s anchovies are caught, populations declined nearly 70 percent in the past year.”

We want to make it clear that in no way are we blaming the total fish decline on overfishing and marketing-driven demand for higher concentrations of omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids in fish oil products.

Both natural ocean water temperature fluctuations and the changes caused by ever-growing carbon dioxide emissions are both also contributing to unprecedented warming of our seas and declining fish populations.

However, another interesting issue rarely being discussed is that the industry standard 18:12  EPA / DHA ratio found in over-the-counter big box store natural unadulterated TG fish oil supplements seems to be dwindling because the amount of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish is also reported to be dwindling.

More important, does this information suggest even more fish may be required to produce higher omega-3 EPA / DHA amounts currently included in most concentrated fish oil marketed today?

Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, and the Biosyntrx staff

PEARL: The information above suggests it’s time to become more responsible and use our buying power to demand the food industry produce higher-quality, nutrient-dense foods. This can help stop depleting our seas of fish to prevent diseases linked to disruptive fatty acid ratios.

etroyer@biosyntrx.com
Biosyntrx, Inc, 4740 Farthing Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 US
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Litchi time again

lychee

 

It is Lychee time again. Aren’t we fortunate, that they are so healthy.

Lychees are rich in fibre, vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Copper. It’s like eating candy that is healthy. Not something that normally happens.

But, bear in mind that it is the whole fruit, obviously without the pip, and not the refined juices or processed leechee  products that you need to eat.

 

 

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