Too Much Omega 3 Fatty Acids? - Discussion

Is it possible to take too much omega 3 fatty acids?

Omega 3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA, which are richly found in fish, are important for many aspects of health. But it is certainly possible to take too much of it; in fact, too much of anything which is good and healthful, even water, can potentially become harmful to health.

There are some suggestions that fish oil may increase levels of blood sugar as well as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This information is actually contrary to much evidence stating that fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids in fact help to lower blood sugar as well as LDL cholesterol. In any case, to play it safe, diabetics and those suffering from heart disease may want to consult a natural health care practitioner before taking therapeutic doses of omega 3 fatty acids.

Certainly, persons who are on drugs like aspirin and warfarin, which are blood-thinners, should be very wary of taking too much omega 3 fatty acids. This is because omega 3's also have blood-thinning properties, and combining these drugs and nutrients could increase one's risk of abnormal bleeding and even hemorrhagic strokes.

There is one more problem with taking too much fish or fish oil - you could be increasing your risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins like mercury, PCBs, etc. This is because most fish nowadays are quite badly contaminated with these poisons. A good way to avert this risk is to make sure you are taking a high quality, purified and certified toxin-free omega 3 supplement.

It is unwise to take too much omega 3 in the form of cod liver oil, as this oil has high amounts of vitamin A. This vitamin is actually very critical for optimal health, but overdose through supplements can in fact be extremely dangerous. Consuming too much vitamin A also has a negative effect on the body's ability to use vitamin D. So, do be careful.

On a more minor scale, fish oil supplements may cause minor reactions like bloating, bad breaching, belching and nausea; taking too much fish oil may thus exacerbate these possible symptoms.

There is no clear indication of how much omega 3 fatty acids are needed for good health, or how much becomes dangerous to the body. Many studies use daily omega 3 dosages of at least 3 grams (combined DHA and EPA). There are studies, however, which use a lot more.

A good idea to prevent taking too much omega 3 or fish oil is too start with low dosages and slowly work your way up, taking notice of how your body reacts to this new intake. This commonsensical approach allows your body time to adjust and can also be applied to the use of most herbs and supplements.

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