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Are omega-3's as pro-longevity as people say they are?


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There is already a rather extensive discussion here, see the link above.

There is a deluge of Omega-3s papers from industry-related or financed sources, but generally poor replication. This paper is no exception, coming from InsideTracker. They sell tests and offer subscriptions to a "personalized" guidance platform based on tests that they resell for Quest, and then you get "personalized" nutrition recommendations, and of course supplement recommendations, with Omega-3s prominently featured.

Edited by Ron Put
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exa.ai [just proof-of-concept, still not the most useful]

"""

Great. Now that we've decided the optimal search type for our use case, let's craft 3 Exa queries to help understand what we can use Exa for. Here are some nicely formed Exa queries:
1. "If you're interested in digging deep into the science of omega-3 fatty acids and their impacts on longevity, this comprehensive review of studies is a must-read before making any conclusions:"

2. "Looking for a balanced perspective on omega-3 fatty acids and longevity? Check out this TED Talk by a renowned scientist who's conducted years of research on this very topic:"

3. "Want an easy-to-understand, layman's breakdown of whether omega-3 fatty acids are overrated for longevity? This article from a trustworthy health and wellness website does a great job of explaining the pros and cons:"
Awesome. Now that we have our queries, let's use Exa to search. Here are the search results:
1. "If you're interested in digging deep into the science of omega-3 fatty acids and their impacts on longevity, this comprehensive review of studies is a must-read before making any conclusions:"
2. "Looking for a balanced perspective on omega-3 fatty acids and longevity? Check out this TED Talk by a renowned scientist who's conducted years of research on this very topic:"
Epic. Now we are going to generate a report from the content of the results:
Several studies have explored the potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular health and longevity, with varying results. Some studies and meta-analyses have found considerable benefits, while others have reported inconclusive or even discordant results[1]. As such, it has been suggested that the effect of omega-3s might be dependent on the dosage used[1]. Nonetheless, it's important to note that omega-3s have several roles within the body, including in brain function, and exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties[1][2].

On the educational front, a renowned scientist delivered a TED Talk that explored the importance of diet in impacting how we age and how long we live[3]. While the talk doesn't focus exclusively on omega-3s, it is a useful resource for gaining a better understanding of how different factors influence longevity. Additionally, an article from a health-focused website provides a balanced perspective, emphasizing that while fish oil (which contains omega-3s) could theoretically increase oxidative stress in certain situations, most studies find that it has the opposite effect[4].

##### References:
[1] "Interest in the potential benefits of omega-3", MDPI (https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/1/204)
[2] "Given the current state of things, you’re far better off", About to Learn (https://abouttolearn.substack.com/p/omega-3s-are-brain-boosting-effects)
[3] "Do you know what will really keep you living", YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SvkaK2Al0o&feature=youtu.be)
[4] "While fish oil may increase oxidative stress in some circumstances", University Health News (https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/is-fish-oil-bad-for-you-lets-settle-this-controversy-for-good/)
"""
Edited by InquilineKea
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Thanks for the AI perspective, maybe we can chose to consider it unbiased or nearly so (bereft of human likes and dislikes if well-trained), if so the conclusions provide us with a scenario perhaps even more uncertain than the initial scenario.

But that's good to know, spending money on omega 3s supplements would seem a little like an innocuous gambling game, according to the above results. 

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1 hour ago, mccoy said:

Thanks for the AI perspective, maybe we can chose to consider it unbiased or nearly so (bereft of human likes and dislikes if well-trained), if so the conclusions provide us with a scenario perhaps even more uncertain than the initial scenario.

But that's good to know, spending money on omega 3s supplements would seem a little like an innocuous gambling game, according to the above results. 

Surely you're joking! AI unbiased? "Well trained"? At best AI might not *introduce* bias, and as we know even that is not an easy feat. But as what passes for AI atm does nothing more than assemble and rehash the source materials; it's dumb as rocks. If the underlying materials are flawed, the those flaws will be reflected, AI here doesn't correct for any "bias" in these materials. The old principle of analysis applies: GIGA - Garbage In Garbage Out. There is absolutely nothing to be gleaned from this AI exercise beyond the source materials. It is a form of Cliff Notes, which at best can simply accurately summerize the texts and says nothing about the merits of the texts. 

This current wave of hype over AI is a cultural moment, but sadly us humans still have to do the heavy lifting of novel insight. Big data analysis is surely useful, but the text scanning and assembly brings nothing informationally novel to the table.

Wrt. the above distillation of omega-3 links, I honestly don't understand what the point of using AI is (other than it's trendy) - you can just read the links yourself.

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I am with Tom on this. Currently, AI is basically a search engine that summarizes the "top" sources it finds. If these sources are biased, the result is equally biased.

The above cut-and-paste is largely useless, as it's similar to posting the top search results from Google, but with summaries. It often is a good start if one is researching a topic, but it's definitely not unbiased and often is not entirely accurate.

AI will get better, but I am not sure that it will be unbiased in the near future.

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On 2/12/2024 at 9:20 AM, TomBAvoider said:

Surely you're joking!

Only half joking, at least in this case. The first publication reported by the AI was from authors with a conflict of interest (working in the omega-3s industry). The latest was from Dean Ornish, who is at the opposite end of the spectrum, against all oils, regardless of the preponderance of evidence on the beneficial effects of specific plant-derived oils. In this respect, the outcome was probably unbiased. Although I agree that reporting links is a disappointment from an AI and that the best thing to do would have been a short list of seminal papers and review articles.

 

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