Is fish eating good for you

Epub: Jelinek et al. Association
of fish consumption and omega 3 supplementation with quality of life,
disability and disease activity in an international cohort of people
with multiple sclerosis.
Int J Neurosci. 2013.

Background: The
role of fish consumption and omega 3 supplementation in multiple
sclerosis is controversial, although there is some evidence to support a
beneficial effect. 

Methods: We surveyed a large cohort of people with MS
recruited via Web 2.0 platforms, requesting information on type of MS,
relapse rates, disability, health-related quality of life, frequency of
fish consumption and omega 3 supplementation, including type and dose,
using validated tools where possible. 

Objective: We aimed to determine whether
there was an association between fish consumption and omega 3
supplementation and quality of life, disability and disease activity for
people with MS. 

Results: Univariate and multivariate analyses were undertaken.
Of 2265 respondents, 1500 (66.2%) had relapsing-remitting MS; up to 1368
(91.2%) answered relevant questions. Those consuming fish more
frequently and those taking omega 3 supplements had significantly better
quality of life, in all domains, and less disability. For fish
consumption, there was a clear dose-response relationship for these
associations. There were also trends towards lower relapse rates and
reduced disease activity, significant only for flaxseed oil
supplementation, which was associated with over 50% lower relapse rate
over the previous 12 months. 

Conclusions: Further dietary studies and randomised
controlled trials of omega 3 supplementation for people with MS are
required, preferably using flaxseed oil.

The survey says….eating fish is good for you.

However this is a bit of the same old same old….study done and they report a trend and further studies are needed. 

Whilst listening to some student presentations about their work there was a trend here and a trend there so this language is learned at medical school and follows on into a working life. A trend means there was NO EFFECT and the study was a dud. I wish studies were done to get a definitive answer and so things can be put to bed rather than dribble on and on and on not really telling us much.

About the author



  • Dementia seems to be a problem in the case of Dr. Jelinek, after all he's had MS for over 15 years now. I wonder how he gets his studies published in scientific journals. He does talk about significant (and not just trend) results in his last paragraph, though.

  • Fifteen years relapse free for Professor Jelinek. Name a DMD that can proclaim such effectiveness. It is bordering on trite for 'academic neurologists' to say 'show me the randomised controlled trial please'. You are aware of the funding difficulties- which fish food company would you suggest? Compliance? Type of fish? Randomisation… I could go on. Perhaps you might put your concerns in person to Professor Jelinek when he visits your country to speak to his program in the next couple of months.

    • Our concerns still stand re controlled studies but as fish consumption and Omega 3 supplementation isn't likely to do anyone any harm then no biggie. Just as long as Msers aren't tempted to abandon effective therapy in favour of dietary modification alone.

  • Mouse, obviously respect that view re RCT. Surely no-one would be naive enough to abandon therapy for fish food! Easy enough to combine the two I would have thought. The issue is probably about EPA/DHA levels, and whether supplementation could supply larger and possibly more effective doses. Some alternatively argue that eating the real item, in particular oily fish is what the body prefers…. but then back to the same problem, need an RCT to settle the question.

  • Surely no-one would be naive enough to abandon therapy for fish food! If we talk about CCSVI it seems there are people who do abandon

By MouseDoctor



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