One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Cardiovascular Benefits Fish

artwork by Lauren Garfinkel

We've had a lot of heart stopping moments in the past week thanks to the SCOTUS fun, so let's chat about something GOOD for your heart! I am a huge skeptic of vitamins and supplements, but they make billions of dollars a year from consumers wanting to do healthy things for their bodies. At best, there is no evidence to show that they improve anything, other than maybe your peace of mind that taking some fish oil tablets will counteract those Krispy Kremes you feel guilty about. Well, nopety nope. A study back in 2013 showed zero benefit from taking n-3 fatty acid supplements (think fish oil) versus placebo. It was a big study with over 12,000 subjects enrolled and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The investigators compared rates of death, heart attacks and strokes in the two groups and found zero difference. Zilch. Nada, amigos. There are plenty of other studies also showing no benefits. But all that changed a week ago with Amarin's Vascepa phase III study.

More on that in a minute, but first a quick reminder of the kinds of lipids (fats) inside of you and why the levels in your blood matter.

Common wisdom tells us that there are three main types of lipids: triglycerides, steroids, and phospholipids. There are other ways to classify them and some other types (some antibiotics, for example), but this will suffice for us today and the healthy heart talk. Let's hit each one in reverse order.


"Phospo" for the phosphorous atom present in each molecule and what makes it the coolest fat around. Lipids, for, um, duh, the lipid part of the molecule. Why are these fat molecules the coolest? Glad you asked! The phosphorus "head" of the molecule gives it some charge, which is distinct from the fatty "tail." Because of that structure, in water, the molecules will self-organize into structures called liposomes. In your body, they are what form the membranes of your cells. Without our little microscopic sperm-like friends you couldn't have cells and therefore couldn't have life. Here is a diagram of the tiny guys and how they like to line up in water and to make your cell membranes:


You see steroid and think of this:

Ah, but that's just one side of the category. Hormones like testosterone are steroids, but so are the cholesterols. Cholesterol gets a bad rap, but that's because too much of it, mixed with some other molecules, causes plaque to build up in your arteries and well, you know why THAT'S bad. Still, our little amigo is important for cell repair and creating new cells. So, we know that lowering high levels of cholesterol, or LDL specifically, is a good thing for you. That's where the statins came and have increased life spans for millions of people. But what about…


This is the one where a doctor says, "Looks like your LDL is through the roof, your HDL is too low to do much good and your triglycerides REALLY need to come down, Mr. President." These fats are important for energy storage. Sugars and starches are great for quick energy, but triglycerides are more efficient molecules for storing energy you might need if you stay up late Tweeting about all the wisdom you saw earlier in the day on Fox News. You NEED triglycerides, but you don't want too many because they'll clog up the heart pipes and increase your chances for heart attacks, strokes and death. Also, you won't look too good on the golf course in your white polo shirt.

This brings us back to fish oil, and more specifically omega 3 fatty acids which some kinds of fish (salmon, etc.) are chock full of. One more thing that will become important at the end of this paragraph is that there are two main types of fatty acids in fish oil, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Like I said, all the studies on fish oil supplements have been negative for any kind of heart benefit. That changed last week! Vascepa is a drug that's already been approved to lower triglycerides in patients with very high levels. What they showed in the new study, though, is that the drug can actually lower the rate of death, heart attacks and strokes versus a placebo. Why did this drug work where other drugs and supplements based on fish oil extracts failed? All the failed ones to date have been a mix of fatty acids. Vascepa is made from only EPA. That is likely the differentiating factor, but we can't know for sure as the dose tested was also much higher than other competitive drugs and supplements have tried. Still, you can't argue with the highly statistically significant 25% decrease in cardiovascular events seen in the study. Whatever the specific reason, that's a solid effect and one that most stock analysts did NOT anticipate. After the announcement, Amarin stock skyrocketed higher than a Presidential LDL level after three 2 AM Big Macs.

Here's a pdf of the REDUCE-IT (cute name, right?) study design and here's a link to the high level results. The details will be presented November 10 at the American Heart Association meeting in Chicago. Stay tuned for now…and go eat some salmon, bitches!

You fucking love science, and you fucking love Wonkette. MONEY PLEASE.

Carlos Sagan

I am a biochemist MexiCAN. I also write screenplays, ever hoping to get one made.

email me at:

follow me at: @RealCarlosSagan

Donate with CC

Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

Keep reading... Show less
Donate with CC

'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

Donate with CC

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)


©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc