Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Studies question fatty acids' heart benefits

Goldschmidt, Debra, and Elizabeth Landau. "Studies Question Fatty Acids' Heart Benefits."The Chart RSS., 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <>.

This article by Debra Goldschmidt and Elizabeth Landau, states that for a very long time health organizations such as American Heart Association have recommended polyunsaturated fatty acids, claiming that they helped reduce heart disease risk and have many heart benefits. However, new research reveals doubt on whether polyunsaturated fatty acids have any health benefits at all. The research directs toward omega-3s and omega-6s in specific.

The article then moves on to list fish and other products that are high in polyunsaturated fats, these included salmon, trout, herring, nuts, seeds, and specific vegetable oils. "The American Heart Association recommends that most fats you eat

The authors Debra Goldschmidt and Elizabeth Landau, then go on to give two studies, the first study was the meta-analysis published in Annals of Internal Medicine. This experiment included, "32 observational studies looking at fatty acids from dietary intake, 17 observational studies of fatty acid biomarkers, and 27 randomized, controlled trials examining fatty acid supplementation." This first experiment showed the omega-3&6 polyunsaturated fatty acids did not reduce the risk of heart disease.The same goes for monounsaturated fatty acid consumption. The second study by the JAMA Internal Medicine stated that supplementing long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids did not reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, this study was based off of analyzed data from 4,203 elderly people with macular degeneration because of age.

The article helped me takeaway that there are still a few uncertainty's about omega-3 supplements right now. Advice such as "regular dietary consumption of fish should be preferentially encouraged as a source of these fatty acids " instead of supplements. The article also quotes the American Heart Association spokeswoman who states guidelines that have no reason to change such as "avoid trans fats, reduce saturated fat, increase intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains".

I really like how Debra and Elizabeth were able to include the opinions of others in their article. They state that the senior vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs at the council for responsible nutrition, Duffy MacKay stated, in a few words that this viewpoint is interesting and potentially irresponsible. The authors wanted to show their readers that although this research maybe vaild or not it should not be taken to heart either way. By leaving Duffy's quote ""Unfortunately, their conclusions, if taken to heart, leave consumers to rely on genetics and fate to avoid coronary heart disease – an unacceptable situation given the fact that the scientific literature contains so many studies that point to benefit for omega-3 fatty acids," it keeps hope with the reader. However, I do not like the repetitive summary's given in the article. It felt like everything was repeated 2-3 in order to get the point across. Overall it was a great article, it attempted at giving the reader the acknowledgement of the uncertaintys polyunsaturated fatty acids.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, John, thinks is a really interesting article. This is a controversy that I didn't hear about. i personally think that Fatty Acids are an essential piece of any living beings diet, but I only thought that it was on a a back-up energy tank, and used for warmth. I didn't think it could be used for anything else. The thing that really interested me is that I didn't know that heart diseases were hereditary, I always thought that it was if someone ate too much fats and proteins. The only thing that I would change would be to not necessarily add and integrate so many quotes. It was an interesting article. Thank you for the share! :)