Omega 3 fatty acids are known as healthy fats found in fish like salmon, for example. The human body is capable of producing many of the facts necessary to it, however, this is not the case with omega 3, which needs to be ingested through food or supplements.
Increased dietary intake of the substance may be indicated to help deal with a number of conditions such as: –
high cholesterol, depression, inflammation, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, arthritis, infertility, inflammatory bowel disease of Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration and skin problems like psoriasis and eczema.
Support for weight loss, a healthy pregnancy, athletic recovery and thickening of the nails and hair have also been linked to omega 3.
On the other hand, omega-3 deficiency, common in industrialized countries and people who consume many processed foods and hydrogenated oils or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, causes problems such as poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood changes, joint pain and autoimmune disease.
Not to mention that a survey conducted at Harvard University pointed to the deficiency in the substance officially as one of the top 10 causes of deaths in the United States.
But is too much omega 3 bad?
There is no recommended daily value for omega 3 intake, however, the appropriate intake rate of the substance for men is 1.6 g per day and for women, it is 1.1 g daily. We are talking about grams of omega 3 in fact, active principle, not the grams of oil that contains omega 3.
But is it that overcoming this limit and ingesting, through food and / or supplements, too much omega 3 does it harm.
Fish oil is a concentrated form of omega 3, which has been linked to cancer by a research in the year 2013.
The study in question was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and showed that men who consumed the largest amount of fish oil had 71% more chance of having prostate cancer and a 43 percent increase in the chances of developing all types of prostate cancer, the site said.
It is also worth noting that, according to the publication, the survey was conducted with 2,227 men, of whom 38% already had prostate cancer.
The researcher at the Ohio State University Medical Center in the United States, Theodore Brasky considers the cases of men who consume mega doses of fish oil supplements a bit dangerous, that is, he believes that, in excess, omega 3 does bad.
Most physicians believe that more than 2g per day of omega-3s is a mega dose, while the American Heart Association. It says that consuming up to 3g of fish oil per day is safe but advises that patients should only take more than 3 g of omega 3 by means of capsules if they are counting on the doctor’s accompaniment.
You should not stop taking fish oil because of the study, however, it is necessary to be careful with the daily dosage of the supplement and the brand that produces it.
While omega 3 suppresses inflammation, omega 6 promotes inflammation, which, strangely enough, assists the body’s natural defense system with regard to the activation of white blood cells.
White blood cells are important to our body because they help fight infections by attacking bacteria, viruses, and germs that invade the body.
Thus, it is understood that the consumption of too much omega 3 can weaken the immune system and favor the appearance of cancer. It is advisable to take care not to exaggerate the consumption of any type of supplement, including that of fish oil.
Risk of bleeding
Another case where omega-3s are too bad is in relation to bleeding, since high doses of the substance may increase the risk of bleeding. Thus, people who suffer from hemorrhagic disorders, have bruising easily or take blood thinning medications should be careful when using omega 3 supplements.
However, it is worth noting that this risk also affects people who have no history of bleeding disorders or do not use the remedy listed above.
People diagnosed with diabetes should only use fish oil supplements counting on their doctor’s supervision because they may suffer from elevated fasting blood sugar levels when they use the product.
Is omega 3 bad for the liver?
A 2009 study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has identified that omega 3 has two substances – called resolvins and protectins – which can decrease inflammation in the fatty liver.
Obviously, for those who have been diagnosed with the disease, it is crucial to consult the doctor before consuming more omega 3 to help the condition and follow all the recommendations passed by the professional regarding the treatment.
The same holds true for anyone who has any liver problem – check with your doctor before taking the omega 3 supplement or any other supplement.
Side effects of Fish Oil / Omega 3
Fish oil can cause side effects like belching, bad breath, heartburn, nausea, loose stools, rash, and nose bleed. However, taking a good quality fish oil supplement decreases the likelihood that these reactions will be experienced.
A daily dose of 4 g of fish oil may cause reactions such as palpitation, disturbance or stomach pain, chest discomfort and swelling. It is essential to inform the doctor if you suffer from the side effects of the supplement to know the safest way to proceed.
In an article published on the health blog of Harvard University’s website, Dr. Howard LeWine warned that in May 2013 Italian researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that omega-3 supplements did nothing to reduce problems such as heart attack, stroke or heart disease in people who had risk factors for heart disease.
With this, it becomes evident the need to always consult the doctor before deciding to take the omega 3 supplement to make sure that it is really good for your case.
In addition, the doctor also explained that the consumption of higher doses of omega 3 does not mean that the body gains greater protection against diseases. Still, LeWine finalized his article recommending that readers consider eating fish and seafood as part of a healthy diet.
He argued that we need not only the omega 3 fish present, but also other fats, vitamins, minerals and molecules they carry, which can not be found in the omega 3 supplements that provide only the substance.
Beware of supplements
Another advice is to talk to the doctor before taking the Omega 3 supplement if the person has any type of problem or concern about health or is taking any medicine or another supplement.
The same can be done for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, the elderly, children, adolescents and those who have some type of illness diagnosed. However, anyone, even adults in perfect health, should consult their physician before taking supplements to find out the safest way to use the product.
Thus, the doctor can determine, for example, whether the omega-3 supplement is wrong in interacting with another medicine or supplement being taken and that its use is not contraindicated and will not cause health problems.
It is especially important for anyone who knows that you have allergies to fish or clams and molluscs, talk to your doctor before using the fish oil supplement.
Do not buy fish oils that have antioxidants like Astaxanthin in its composition, which helps prevent it from becoming rancid (spoiled).
It is also important to avoid products that have mercury or other contaminants, preferring brands that clearly test to see if their supplements are not infected with these substances.
First, choose a good source of omega 3 if you are going to use it in the form of supplements. Choosing inexpensive cheap products can be risky as it may not have the desired amount of omega 3, it may contain too much mercury and other contaminants, and the omega 3 itself may be of poor quality.
Regarding quantity, look at the label of the supplement which equates to the portion of capsules in terms of omega 3. For this, you may have to add up the amounts of EPA and DHA listed. Generally, in a serving of 2 capsules (of 1g of fish oil each), there is 600 mg of omega 3.
Many professionals who are quite pro-omega 3 recommend from 3 to 6 capsules per day. This gives less than 2 grams per day, and within the limits shown above.