2003/01/28
 
06:56

Eat More Fat!

I've long been afflicted by the "winter blahs"— perhaps more so than most people. Moving to Toronto helped, since they have a shorter winter than Montreal, but I was still pretty bummed out at times. By February, I would actually be kicking snow drifts, though they remained unimpressed.

A friend recommended that I try something called "Omega-3 Fish Oil". Well, I'm skeptical, but after doing some reading online I figured, "Can't hurt". After all, when I was growing up my sisters and I were given a daily dose of Cod Liver Oil, and we survived that. In fact, we were very healthy as kids, so maybe the Cod Liver Oil had a beneficial effect. (An alternative theory is that scrunching up your face and whining "Ewwww, this tastes gross" stimulates the metabolism.)

Anyway, I tried the Omega-3 stuff. It does appear to help. But is this merely a placebo effect? Or does my innate skepticism protect me from that?

Nah. I think it's difficult for a person to say that a benefit isn't due to a placebo effect. That kind of information only comes out statistically, in studies conducted by squadrons of doctors with real degrees. A survey of one person (or one person and seventeen friends) isn't very helpful. I'm also not impressed by an investigation by an "expert" with a diploma he banged out on his ink-jet printer, even if he did use the expensive paper.

Still, since I felt it was helping quite a bit— even to the point where I found the strength to stop smoking!— I figured I should read more about these large and ungainly gel-caps I'm choking down each day.

Well, looking up health information via Google can be a nightmare. There are a bazillion sites out there that are only too eager to tell you that their wondrous elixir will put bounce in your step and make you more likely to win the lottery. Outlandish medical claims abound on the web!

Omega-3 fish oil... Snake oil... I couldn't help but wonder. Would taking a pill really help, or would I be better off chewing on a mackeral?

Still, with a bit (okay, a lot) of careful filtering, I managed to weed out most of the purveyors of magical potions. This left me with a shorter list of sites which are either objective or are much better at hiding their agenda.

And thus I discovered a site with a surprising name: Fats for Health.

Yup, you read that right.

I found a good article about the Omega-3 stuff, with references to science papers and everything. This is much better than, "9 out of 10 physicians say..." or "John Smith, a leading health practitioner, tells us..."

So if you're lying awake at night, wondering what eicosanoids are, now you know where to find out more.

This blog entry was sponsored by ... nobody.

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