By Nurse Mark
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that medical doctors actually had to go to school for all those years and then pass big exams in order to get a license to practice medicine. Maybe they get credit for nap-time –what else can explain it when it looks like they slept through some of their most basic classes?
Here’s an example that we see over and over again – that makes it look like classes in basic nutrition must be optional in some medical schools…
Cathy wrote recently to ask:
Question for you. My doc is telling me now that taking vitamins have no health effect since they don’t contains lignens. Also recent reports have shown krill oil is worthless. Would like your comments on this.
Wow – there is so much wrong with this doctor’s statement that Dr. Myatt and I just looked at each other in amazement when we read it. My first thoughts were “where would a doctor get such silly notions?”, but Dr. Myatt had a more rational explanation – “this doc probably attended a weekend conference and was pitched on the wonders of lignans by some slick sales rep…” and so now any product that doesn’t shout about containing lignans for health benefits must surely be of no value.
Never mind that Big Pharma profit-darlings like statins for cholesterol and z-drugs for sleep and acid blockers for GERD don’t contain lignans – they’re drugs after all, so that’s a whole different thing… they must be good!
I was tempted to send out a snappy, smarty-pants answer to this doctors silly statement – but Cathy deserves better than that
Here is what we did write for her:
I think your doctor might do well to review his biochemistry and nutrition textbooks. This sounds like a new spin on the old “Vitamins are useless – you’ll just pee ‘em out and have expensive urine!” line that is still used by a lot of doctors. Lignans are a very important and valuable form of fiber. Vitamins are, well, vitamins – not fiber. Your doctors statement makes no sense.
Here is one of many articles we have written about the worth of vitamins: Do Vitamins Really Make Any Difference?
And here is an excerpt from another article we wrote, discussing lignans.
Lignans are a special type of fiber found in certain plants including flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds, whole grains (rye, oats, barley), fruits (especially berries) and vegetables. Flax seed is one of the highest sources of lignans.
Lignans inhibits estrogen production, blocks estrogen receptors in a manner similar to tamoxifen, increases 2-OH estrone (considered a “good” kind of estrogen because it does not stimulate the growth of breast cancer), and lowers the risk of metastasis.(1,2)
An easy way to get high lignans in the diet is to consume ground flax seeds (flax seed meal). Try Dr. Myatt’s Bread recipe or Dr. Myatt’s Blueberry muffins for a quick, delicious way to get a big dose of nutrients, including flax seed meal, into your diet.
Regarding Krill Oil: Krill Oil is far from “worthless”! While in many cases “Krill Oil” is hyped or marketed as being somehow better or more pure or “more powerful” and it’s true, krill oil may contain more of an important antioxidant called astaxanthin than other marine oils, these numbers are often inflated for marketing purposes. The magic in marine oils is the Omega 3 fatty acid content. Eskimo oil, Arctic oil, krill oil, etc.: Can you say “fish oil”? Be sure to get the good stuff – molecularly (cold process) distilled and free of heavy metal contamination… Try Dr. Myatt’s Maxi Marine for a good product at a good value. Omega 3 fatty acids, as found in marine (fish) oils, are called essential fatty acids – meaning that we must consume them in order to stay healthy and even alive since our bodies cannot make them. Looking at the labels of marine oils can be confusing – because it is the amount of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that is important – not just the mg amount of “lipid concentrate” or “marine oils” or whatever other way they call them. For example, Maxi Marine contains Marine Lipid Concentrate of 1000 mg, which contains EPA 420mg and DHA 280mg.
Hope this helps!
1.) Marina S. Touillaud, Anne C. M. Thiébaut, Agnès Fournier, Maryvonne Niravong, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault and Françoise Clavel-Chapelon. Dietary Lignan Intake and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk by Estrogen and Progesterone Receptor Status. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2007) 99 (6): 475-486.
2.) American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2008 Annual Meeting: Abstract 4162. Presented April 15, 2008.
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