DHA Is Due For a Comeuppance
I was considered a weirdo back in the early 1980s when I told people that saturated fats and cholesterol prevented heart disease.
I argued, “Just because the cops show up every time there’s a mugging in Central Park doesn’t mean the cops CAUSED the mugging. Having fewer cops on patrol increases the number of muggings. In like manner, having less cholesterol increases the number of heart attacks.”
I’m a weirdo again when it comes to EPA and DHA, but time is on my side.
You can lead a horse away from fish and algae, but you can’t make him stay away.
Ray Peat (“Regeneration and degeneration: Types of inflammation change with aging,” 2006-2016) wrote …
“In a study of prenatal learning (habituation rate), the experimenters found that the relative absence of the supposedly essential fatty acids improved the short term and long term memory of the fetus (Dirix, et al., 2009). The size of the baby was found to be negatively associated with the highly unsaturated fatty acids DHA and AA (Dirix, et al., 2009), showing a general growth-retarding effect of these environmentally derived fats.”
According to the same source …
“As the consumption of PUFA has increased in the US and many other countries, the incidence of birth defects has increased.”
It’s easy to find warnings scattered among all the advertising hype about EPA and DHA being “essential” to human health.
Narayan Bhaskar & K. Miyashita (“Physiological Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)—A Review,” Anti-Angiogenic Functional and Medicinal Foods, 2007) wrote …
“Less Desirable Effects Attributed to EPA and DHA
“Reduced platelet count and long bleeding times
“Increased production and accumulation of erucic acid (C22:1) that may lead to heart lesions
“Higher vitamin E requirements to counter possible oxidation problems
“Higher intake of vitamin A and D there by manifesting in problems of hypervitaminosis
“Higher chances for consuming oxidation products (peroxides and aldehydes).”
So marine erucic acid is OK even though the FDA banned rapeseed oil erucic acid in 1956?
According to the same source …
“These long-chain n-3 PUFA can alter gene expression by down-regulating proteoglycan degrading enzymes, inflammation inducible cytokines, and fatty acid synthase.”
It’s even worse if you’re crazy enough to eat farmed fish.
Salmon and other fish are being fed very-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VL-PUFAs) manufactured from transgenic algae and/or oilseed crops.
Tara Duggan (“A new way to feed farmed salmon could take pressure off wild fish,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 13, 2016) wrote …
“AlgaPrime DHA replaces that fish oil and fish meal. To make it, TerraVia — a former biofuel company that was previously called Solazyme — has partnered with agribusiness company Bunge Limited to produce microalgae in huge fermentation tanks in Brazil. While other companies have produced algae oil with similar methods, it’s the scale and competitive price of the product that sets it apart.
“Set in the middle of a sugarcane farm and facility, the microalgae are fed sugar and reproduce rapidly, then dried and pressed into oil. ”
According to “TerraVia Announces New Head of Global Food Sales,” BiotechFinances, Apr. 29, 2016 …
“TerraVia™ (formerly Solazyme, Inc.) (NASDAQ:SZYM), a pioneer in algae innovation, focused on food and nutrition and specialty ingredients, has announced that Charlie Ross, former Vice President of DuPont’s Proteins Business Unit, has joined TerraVia as Vice President of Global Sales.”
Better Living Through DuPont Biotechnology?
Not in my book.