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Comment & Response
September 2015

Let Them Eat Fish

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(6):840-841. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.2059

To the Editor Daenen et al “advise patients to temporarily avoid fish oil” and also to “avoid herring and mackerel in the 48 hours surrounding chemotherapy exposure.”1(p357) Dietary recommendations, standards, and regulations are in the purview of regulatory agencies (eg, Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada). These organizations define nutrition-related health policies for the specific nutrients that are essential for the maintenance of growth, development, and health; they also define the upper safe limits of foods, nutrients, and food contaminants (eg, mercury in wild fish). There are high standards of evidence for the evaluation of health claims related to diet and for setting recommendations that form nutrition-related health policy. Regulatory authorities convene expert panels and base their decisions on the entire body of evidence relevant to the question or claim, and the quality and rigor of the methods used to obtain said evidence are critically reviewed.