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Good Fat, We Love You

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

We also love our Apples! Here’s the roundup, kids.

What’s the Big Omega?

This study [1] says Omega-3’s don’t help with depression or anxiety. This study [2] says they do, and that they help inflammation, too. What gives? Without requiring you to get a chemistry degree, here’s the basic gist of why these two studies differ:

1) Study 1 [1] is not a study, but a review. A review can be a helpful way to make sense of a lot of different information, but it is not, in itself, a scientific study. Just tell your friends this (they’ll think you’re a total genius):

Reviews are problematic because they tend to look at studies that are conducted under different circumstances – it’s sort of like comparing apples to oranges and asking if they’re like a banana.

A review can provide some insight, but that’s usually about all. You’ll notice that many of the more sensational health news items (vitamins kill you! tea is a magic cure!) often come from reviews. We like that Study 1 points out that low-quality fish oil supplements are a problem because they’re often contaminated with pollutants like mercury. Plus, they cause burping and fish breath – sexy! You do get what you pay for, so buy the best.

2) Study 2 [2] is an actual study, and though small, it’s a good one in a series of rigorous studies conducted by Ohio U. Unlike Denmark [3], we love these guys and gals from Ohio, because they are so methodical about their research (we are allowed to pick on Denmark because their studies are suspiciously pro-Pharma; also, we keep a Dane on staff). They found that it’s the balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats that is critical to good health. Interestingly, the healthiest, slimmest cultures around the world consistently reflect this – but, that’s a very good example of an empirical review! Helpful, but not scientific. Good science means backing it up – check out our Q&A on fish oil [4] for more info.

Mark’s been talking about this whole fat balance issue for a good long while, so if you want to learn more, definitely check out the Study 2 link. Or click this [5] for a selection of all the lovely good fat musings we provide on (frankly) an obsessive basis.

Oh Yeah, and the Rest of the News

Obesity: such a problem, dangerous drugs banned in Britain are being prescribed off-label [6]to kids! Our suggestion: cut out the snacks, turn off the TV, and get those munchkins into a sport!

Meditation: it’s scientifically proven to beat stress [7]. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to enjoy it. Here’s an enjoyable little read that tells you how to do it and why it helps.

Caffeine and soda: it’s no secret that we have a bit of a problem with soda ’round these parts. Rosie, Tami and the rest of the brilliant gang at the Los Angeles Times health desk [8] brought our attention to a must-read article [9] on caffeine, soda companies’ disclosure of said caffeine, and all that this entails…

See you tomorrow!