The Side Effects of Fish Oil
First, you need to understand that fish oil has a lot of benefits. The omega-3 fish oil belongs to the essential fatty acids which your body needs.
Your body does not have any capabilities of producing the omega-3 so we rely on external sources, mainly fish rich in oil, as your main source.
The fact that it is labeled essential fatty acid means that your body really needs it and the lack of which could result to a variety of health consequences.
Among the known benefits of taking omega-3, includes reducing the risks of having heart disease, can reduce the development of cancer cells, prevents pregnancy complications, improves eyesight, and helps prevent depression.
There could have a longer list but it can be skipped for now and needless to say the benefits of fish oil are real.
But unknown to quite few, the fish oil supplements that all think of as friends has the dark side too, has side effects which when left uncheck can be quite harmful and can even prove to be fatal.
If the list of benefits is quite long, the side effects are not as many but it is good for you to be aware of them as well. The side effects only manifests when one overdoses with the intake and can even disappear after a few days.
Sometimes, the body just needs to get used to the fish oil and once it has adjusted, the side effects would disappear. Some of the minor and immediate side effects include a fishy after taste and diarrhea.
You will experience these side effects if you too much dosage of fish oils. Commonly, doctors would prescribe or recommend a 2 gram intake of fish oil daily at the minimum.
These two often appears during the first few days of taking the fish oil. These symptoms should disappear after a couple of days but in case they don’t changing brands of fish oil supplements might help. But setting up a meeting with your doctor would be the best idea.
After a couple of weeks of taking fish oil capsules, you might notice some fishy burping before and after each meal. This can just be because your body is still adjusting. Give it a couple of days and the burping might stop.
Although, you should check the expiry dates of your of your supplements. You might also want to consider that what you have been taking are bad quality produce.
Changing brands might help. Some suggest keeping the supplements in a freezer to prevent the various gastrointestinal side effects.
On the other hand, blood thinning is something that you cannot eliminate by just simply changing brands.
You see, omega-3 from fish oils is great for the heart because it is a natural blood thinner. They help coagulate the blood which helps prevent blood clots which helps prevent heart diseases.
But because omega-3 is already a blood thinner, people who are already taking blood thinning medications should avoid the intake of either the fish oil or the blood thinning drug.
If you combine fish oil with other medicines such as aspirins, the result might be very harmful to your body and even fatal.
The possible problem with this, people will get too much blood thinners resulting to patients bleeding out. The bleeding could be internal which can damage organs and could result to something fatal.
Too much blood thinners can cause you to bleed out. And bleeding does not mean just bleeding out externally, but there are cases where patients actually bled to their brains.
Some would report nose bleeding as a side effect of fish oil intake.
Watch out for signs of internal bleeding like black stools or the presence of blood in the stool or vomiting of blood which are all signs of gastrointestinal bleeding.
When one bleeds in the brain, the signs could be changes in their vision or speech, numbness of an arm or leg, and severe headache.
Recent studies show that too much fish on one’s diet may do more harm than good. High-levels of mercury are present in many store-bought fish that appear to be fresh, gleaming, and healthy-looking.
Though the usual side effects of fish oil are moderate, the ones caused by mercury contamination can be very hazardous.
In particular, mercury exposure is dangerous to children and pregnant women. Birth defects, learning disabilities, and hair loss are some of the effects of mercury poisoning.
According to studies, traces of mercury are found in fish because of a process called biomethylation. Biomethylation is a process wherein elemental mercury present in water is converted by bacteria into methylmercury.
Methylmercury is absorbed by fish through their gills as they eat aquatic organisms. Toxins are then spread up the food chain, affecting other parts of the ecosystem.
Normally, large fish like tuna will have higher levels of toxins compared with small fish like tilapia and salmon.
Cooking does not remove the toxins from fish. However, toxicologists are careful in saying that fish per se does not cause toxicity, but the traces of mercury present in the fish.
People should not be scared to eat fish. In moderate amounts, fish is still good for consumption since it is an excellent source of protein and other nutrients.
The dark side of fish oil is just that, one part of a fairly good supplement. There are ways to prevent the side effects and most of them through proper consultations before you even start taking those fish oil supplements.
Other Fish Oil Effects That You Can Avoid
If you have fish oil capsules or liquid at home, then you would have to make sure that it would not be exposed to heat, light, and oxygen.
When exposed for too long, the fish oil would get oxidized and would get bad. Once the fish oil gets bad, it would lose its nutritional value.
Aside from that, bad fish oil and fatty acids are said to contribute to the development of cancer and other diseases.
You would have to be conscious with Vitamin A, E, and D. Accumulated or large doses of these vitamins can eventually lead to poisoning.
There are also serious side effects of fish oil. If these side effects happen to you, it is best to consult a health care professional. You would have to stop taking fish oil supplements or it could mean other serious ailments.
If you have diabetes, then it would also be better to check with your doctor if taking fish oil supplements is safe. Taking fish oil supplements can sometimes result to hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Be watchful or conscious of allergic reactions.
Symptoms that you are allergic with fish oil supplement include rashes, itching, swelling, wheezing and difficulty in breathing or swallowing.
To avoid the minor side effects, you can take the fish oil supplement along with your meal. This would get rid of the aftertaste and make it easier to digest. It is less likely for you to experience abdominal or stomach pain.
There are few who keep their supplements refrigerated. It is said that keeping them frozen or cold would help lessen gastrointestinal problems or side-effects.
Too much is always not good. The problem is we do not how much is too much. There is maximum amount that an individual should take.
But there is a recommended amount, for male it is 1,600 mg. while women are recommended to have 1,100 mg.
As mentioned, we should be cautious with Vitamin A, E, and D overdose. How do we deal with this?
Read the labels. Know what kind of supplement you are taking. You have to know if the fish oil supplements you are taking exceed the recommended level. To avoid an overdose of Vitamin A and D, avoid using fish oil that includes the internal organs like liver.
Fish oil is something that can very essential in improving our physical and mental health as long as it is taken in recommended doses and amounts.
Let us remember that fish oil is not a magic pill that would immediately remove us of any ailments and pains. Its effects can be gradually noticed over time.
Customer Knowledge: Buying Fish Oil Supplements
Not all fish contains Omega-3 oil or the essential fatty acids. Fishes that have the highest number of fatty acids are salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
There are things that you would have to consider when buying fish oil. Actually, health professionals would say that eating too much fish that contains fish oil and Omega-3 can cause mercury contamination.
This can happen if you do not exactly know where the fish are caught. If the fish is caught in polluted waters, one can ingest mercury and other heavy metals.
To avoid toxins entering the body, make sure that the fish oil is molecularly distilled and pharmaceutical grade supplements. These kinds of fish oil are removed of all toxins.
You would have to check at the label to make sure that they come from clean waters and properly refined.
When checking the label of a particular fish oil supplement, you check their websites and look for the “Certificate of Analysis.” This COA is an analysis performed by an independent laboratory to identify the freshness of the product.
Aside from checking the source of the fish and the freshness of the fish oil, you would also need to know what kind of fish the oil is from.
And aside from being free of heavy metals, it should always contain at least 60 % of EPA and DHA.
When it comes to pill or capsule supplements, the process of creating those fish oil capsules might not be safe. The safest would be through a distillation process.
How would you know that you are buying the safe fish oil supplement? Only buy from companies that use fresh and high qualify fish and inform the public where they get their fish. You can check their websites or labels to be informed properly.
Fish oil supplements can be either liquid or tablet. Liquid fish oil costs more than oil capsules.
But when compared with capsules based on the cost-per-gram it is actually less expensive. Capsules are tamper-proof and keep the oil from getting bad.
Most people find fish oil to be expensive or overpriced. Some experts would say that there are two ways to compare prices. You can compare the total amount of DHA in the supplement and the cost for each gram of DHA.
You would feel that you have low quality fish oil if you suffer from any ache or pain. We would have to be cautious when buying low-cost fish oil.
They may not be the same as the high-quality fish oil. You would have to be cautious when buying cheap fish oil.
When buying fish oil, or any kind of product, read the label or the product information first. Getting informed will relieve you of any kind of health risk in the future.
Reading the label or getting to know the product would not be more than a couple of minutes, anyway. So, spare the time.