Tag Archives: Nutrition

Dr. Oz and his Omega 3 misdiagnosis

This time Dr. Oz almost got it right!

On the Dr. Oz show airing January 26th, 2011, celebrity doctors Mehmet Oz and Mark Hyman highlight the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids – specifically DHA and EPA.

They are correct in identifying salmon as one of the healthiest and richest sources of DHA and EPA. Well done boys.

Dr. Oz promoting Omega 3s

If it ended there, we could have given the boys an A+. But, it was during their subtle attempt to promote “wild” salmon over “farm-raised” salmon that the pair stumble.

Mark Hymen suggests that wild salmon has higher levels of DHA and EPA fats than farm-raised salmon.

Really Mark? Are you sure about that?

Well, salmon farmers have studied this closely, and fortunately for us, and unfortunately for Oz and Hymen, they are simply incorrect.

Here’s the proof, with a reference to the peer reviewed study to back it up.

The take home message is that all salmon, farmed or wild, is one of the best (if not, the best) sources of Omega 3/DHA/EPA.

So, Oz gets a B+ for now. But we have high hopes that he’ll study the subject next time before pretending to be the expert.

Dr. David Friedman is no “expert”

Marketing can be an ugly business. We live in a world where marketing a product can simply consist of an unknown television “news” program interviewing an “expert”. The script is read from a pad of paper and the cameras role. At its worst a campaign will rely on “de-marketing” – a product is promoted by attacking its competitors.

Enter Beth Troutman (the “host”) interviewing Dr. David Friedman (the “health expert”) on the Lifetime Television Network show ‘The Balancing Act’.

“What type of fish should we eat?” Ms. Troutman innocently asks the “expert” seated across from her. She’s funny too, “something fishy is going on here,” she says. That’s good stuff. They both giggle. It’s cute.

They both agree that fish is an important part of ones diet…but only if you get them in the “wild”. Then they quickly transition into the typical rant against fish farming – with a special focus on salmon. Surprise, surprise. Eating farmed fish can “lead to cancer” they say. Really?

• Dr. Friedman says farm-raised fish have high level of dangerous PCB’s (up to 10 times). Eating farmed fish, he says, can “increase your risk of cancer by 10 times” if you eat it more than twice a month. We (and many more credible scientists) busted that one back in 2004.

• He says farm-raised fish are fatty because they “are confined in smaller cages and don’t exercise” (he does a little dance here that apparently resembles a salmon exercising?). That’s just stupid. Fish swim 24/7 no matter where they live – that’s an exercise plan many Americans should follow. Species of fish have different fat levels because of their genetic make-up and diet, not their swimming regime.

• He says “a lot of fish farmers inject dyes into the fish” to give it color. Nonsense. No dyes are injected into salmon flesh. Farmed and wild salmon and trout receive their flesh pigmentation by eating carotenoids in their diet.

• He encourages listeners to only buy wild salmon. Marketing, pure marketing. Besides, good luck meeting the demand for salmon with only “wild”.

So who is Dr. David Friedman? Is he an expert toxicologist? Is he a biologist or nutritionist? Well, here it is….Dr. Friedman is a chiropractor. Yes, a chiropractor. But wait, it gets even better. In 2003 a company called Seasilver USA, of which David Friedman held a seat on its advisory board, was charged with deceptive marketing. 

Seasilver produced dietary supplements and was caught making outlandish and unsubstantiated claims about the product’s ability to prevent, treat and cure disease. Amongst the products false claims which David Friedman personally helped promote was “Seasilver could cure cancer” (Friedman DR. Interview on “The Jane Donigan Nutrition Hour” (radio infomercial), broadcast in 2003.).

Well, if David R. Friedman holds the cure for cancer, then can he needn’t worry about eating all the farmed fish he wants, right?

This “doctor” should stick to crackin’ backs.