Fish Oil Safety
There are some questions as to the safety of fish oil that have been circulating in the media as of late. Before you succumb to fear tactics take a look at this response letter to one of the main detractors of fish oil. This response was written by an expert in health and wellness, feel free to look him up and enjoy his down to earth explanations of the benefits of not only fish oil, but a healthy lifestyle in general.
Exposing the Pseudoscience, False Claims, and Misrepresentations of the Fish Oil Detractors
We have been getting an increasing amount of enquiries regarding unfounded, unsubstantiated, and unscientific statements questioning the benefits and safety of fish oil supplementation. Most of these stem from one source, a self proclaimed “nutrition and health expert” and self proclaimed “professor” named Peskin – and from a few of his blind faith followers. I had a small number of emails about this a few years ago but when I looked into Peskin himself and his outrageous claims both were so absurd that I did not waste my time to formally critique or respond.
As soon as you get past Peskin’s own grandiose claims about himself it becomes immediately obvious that he is neither a professor nor an expert. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering, no formal education or credentials in healthcare, nutrition, physiology, chemistry, or biochemistry, he is not a professor at any accredited post-secondary institution, and his claims of his self attained nutritional expertise are backed by nothing more than his own claims that he visited a library with a lot of books in it and that he is a nutritional consultant for a flag football team.
The sad truth is that despite no actual data to back up any of his claims this man has gained a bit of an audience and his unscientific and misleading claims have the potential to cause a great deal of harm.
Most of Peskin’s absurd claims can be found summed up in his poorly written essay “FISH OIL STINKS: Omega-3 Derivative Oils from Fish Extract Finally Put in their “Proper” Place”. Peskin is just sly enough to use emotionally charged and outrageous language to get people’s attention and then he uses the standard operating procedure of claiming to be scientific and to have exemplary expertise. He even cites a few articles to impress the gullible reader who he knows will not read them.
Well I read them. In fact I read them from cover to cover. In fact I had already read them years ago (the ones that were actually valid research papers) and was dumbfounded as to why Peskin would cite these papers because they DON’T CONTAIN A SINGLE STATEMENT THAT EVEN SLIGHTLY SUPPORT THE CLAIMS HE MAKES IN THE VERY PAPER IN WHICH HE CITES THEM! You read that correctly. The references he cites are not only devoid of any evidence to support his dogmatic essay and the cultish sermon videos he posts, they actually support the importance of supplementation with fish oil!
You will see that there are only two possible conclusions to arrive at. One, Peskin did not read these articles at all but rather just cited them hoping that nobody else would either or, two, Peskin did read these papers but due to complete lack of ability to understand the science was unable to properly interpret them. Either way his claims are unsubstantiated, dogmatic, and dangerous.
Please click here to read my full critique:
Yours in evidence-based supplementation and healthcare,
Dr. James L. Chestnut B.Ed., M.Sc., D.C., C.C.W.P.