One Supplement That Works
Matthew Herper, 08.19.09, 06:00 PM EDT
Forbes Magazine dated September 07, 2009
A lot of nutritional supplements are quack medicines. Not fish oil.
In the late 1960s Danish physician Hans Olaf Bang became fixated on an epidemiological anomaly: Why did Greenland's Inuit rarely get heart disease in spite of a high-fat diet consisting mostly of whale blubber and seal meat?
"We have to go up there and solve this riddle," Bang told his prot??g??, J??rn Dyerberg, then 33 years old. In 1970 the two doctors cobbled together $6,000, flew to Greenland and collected blood samples from 130 Inuit. The cholesterol numbers were good but not enough to explain the healthy hearts. Back in the lab they used an old gas chromatograph to analyze Inuit blood. They found two chemicals they had never heard of before. The same chemicals didn't appear in the blood of Inuit who had moved to mainland Denmark and switched to a Western diet.
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