I recently ran across “Why Fish Oil Fails: A Comprehensive 21st Century Lipids-Based Physiologic Analysis,” a review by B. S. Peskin which claims to debunk previous claims about the health benefits of marine oil supplements. Abstract (emphasis added):
The medical community suffered three significant fish oil failures/setbacks in 2013. Claims that fish oil's EPA/DHA would stop the progression of heart disease were crushed when The Risk and Prevention Study Collaborative Group (Italy) released a conclusive negative finding regarding fish oil for those patients with high risk factors but no previous myocardial infarction. Fish oil failed in all measures of CVD prevention—both primary and secondary. Another major 2013 setback occurred when fish oil's DHA was shown to significantly increase prostate cancer in men, in particular, high-grade prostate cancer, in the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) analysis by Brasky et al. Another monumental failure occurred in 2013 whereby fish oil's EPA/DHA failed to improve macular degeneration. In 2010, fish oil's EPA/DHA failed to help Alzheimer's victims, even those with low DHA levels. These are by no means isolated failures. The promise of fish oil and its so-called active ingredients EPA / DHA fails time and time again in clinical trials. This lipids-based physiologic review will explain precisely why there should have never been expectation for success. This review will focus on underpublicized lipid science with a focus on physiology.
The review sounds legit on the surface, but other sources question the author’s credentials and good faith. For example, Quackwatch has a brief describing Peskin’s legal troubles in Texas, which “charged Peskin and the company with making false claims that he held a Ph.D degree, was a research scientist, and was a professor at Texas Southern University.” That case ultimately resulted in a permanent injunction barring Peskin and company from making false claims about their products and credentials.
I’m reluctant to dismiss good science based on the reputation of the scientist, but in this case the scientist’s background suggests that he may not be working in good faith. What does the independent evidence say in this case? Does marine oil “fail” as alleged in the review? Can the review be trusted? Can the author be trusted?