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February 3, 1989

Fish Oil-Reply

Author Affiliations

San Carlos, Calif

San Carlos, Calif

JAMA. 1989;261(5):699. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420050046025

In Reply.—  Dr Fisher is correct in his assertion that I have "failed to solve the problem" of whether fish oil supplements should be taken by the general public. To "solve" this problem in the absence of adequate data is neither scientific nor does it do the public a service. It is precisely this kind of thinking—eg, the making of wholesale recommendations on the basis of limited data—that purveyors of food supplements have been accused of in the past and that I tried to avoid in my article. The purpose of my review was to suggest clinical indications for fish oil supplements that are supported by data currently available. I find it disconcerting that Dr Fisher would have me recommend fish oil supplements to more than 200 million healthy Americans on the basis of three epidemiologic studies,1-3 two of which were not even carried out in the United States.