What if you are asked to fish but you do not have access to a fresh piece of salmon? Or if you just don’t like fish? Or if it’s not in your budget to eat halibut a few times a week?
You’re not alone. Despite dietary guidelines that recommend seafood as part of a healthy diet, “[seafood is] under-consumed in a typical American diet or excluded from certain diets such as vegetarian or vegan diets, “he says Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, Vice President, Scientific and Clinical Affairs, Ritual.
“Most people don’t consume enough fish every day to meet their omega-3 essential fatty acid needs, and many would prefer to take a supplement than eat fish daily or 3-4 times a week,” says Alicia Galvin, RD, a registered nutritionist for Sovereign Laboratories.
So if you can’t fish, nutritional supplements are your next best option – and a popular one.
Fish oil supplements are the most commonly ingested non-vitamin / non-mineral supplements in America, according to a National Health Interview Survey.
“Fish oil is known for its high levels of omega-3s. The body cannot make omega-3s, so we need to get them from the food we eat. For those who do not have optimal levels of omega-3s -Fatty acids maintain their diet, supplements can be useful and effective, “says Danielle Gaffen, MS, RDN, a registered nutritionist specializing in autoimmune diseases.
Gaffen tells us that fish oil supplements contain two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are naturally found in fish and seafood: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). “Both are types of essential omega-3 fatty acids that make a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the functioning of our body, such as the functioning of the entire brain and the nervous system and lower inflammation,” explains Gaffen.
There are many benefits to taking a fish oil supplement every day, but there are also some lesser-known negative side effects to be aware of. So we asked experts about the side effects to expect from taking a fish oil supplement. Read on and don’t miss the 7 Healthiest Foods You Should Eat Now to learn about healthy eating.
“When it comes to making a list of foods that will boost brain performance, omega-3 foods [like fish oil] are usually at the top. This is because roughly 60% of the brain is made up of fat, and half that amount is made up of omega-3-type fats, “he says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered nutritionist with Balance One Supplements. “Foods rich in omega-3s have been found to help prevent cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and slow mental decline. The brain needs omega-3 fat to make nerve cells, which are critical to memory and learning Meaning are. “
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“Fish oil can also help reduce inflammation. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oils. This leads to a reduction in joint pain and stiffness,” says Allison Gregg, RDN, LD / N., a registered nutritionist and nutritionist with Mom Loves Best. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) finds that omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints – to alleviate. However, more research is needed to confirm this.
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“Having enough omega-3s is also important for skin and hair health, which can suffer when omega-3s are lacking,” says Galvin.
“If you take fish oil every day, you may experience fishy breath for a few hours after ingestion. This is uncomfortable for many people, but it can be avoided if you switch to a flaxseed oil supplement,” he says Megan Byrd, RD, a registered nutritionist with a food blog called The Oregon Dietitian.
Galvin explains that this aftertaste is more common with a malfunctioning gallbladder, as “a fishy aftertaste can be a side effect as the ability to properly digest fats is impaired.”
“Men who take fish oil supplements daily may see improved fertility. In a study recently published on JAMA Network Open, researchers found that fish oil supplements resulted in improved sperm count and fertility hormone levels,” he says Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, Registered Nutritionist and Author of Fueling Male Fertility.
“Omega-3s are essential for pregnant women because they are so important to the cognitive development of a growing fetus,” says Byrd.
As with any supplement that you take every day, it is possible that you are consuming too much fish oil. Experts say you should be wary of the blood-thinning effects of fish oil:
“More than 3,000 milligrams of EPA / DHA a day can increase the risk of bleeding, bruising and blood sugar spikes. Also, people who take blood-thinning medications and people with diabetes need to be very careful,” said Gaffen.
If you experience similar side effects, talk to your doctor or dietitian.
Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. Excessive triglyceride levels can increase your risk of heart disease, but omega-3 supplements made from fish oil can help.
“Fish oil can help lower high blood pressure, lower high levels of triglycerides in the blood, and improve HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol,” says Gregg.
The NIH reports that high doses of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower triglyceride levels. To help control high triglyceride levels, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that 4,000 milligrams of prescription omega-3 fatty acids (which only contain EPA plus DHA or EPA) per day can help lower triglyceride levels when taken alone or be used as a supplement to other lipid lowering drugs.
Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t the only thing you’ll find in some fish oil pills. “Many omega-3 supplements contain vitamin A, which in high doses can lead to overdose and toxicity of vitamin A. Some symptoms include joint pain, nausea, and rash or skin irritation. It can even cause liver damage over time. It is important to be careful about how much vitamin A is in your omega-3 supplement, as well as in all other supplements, to make sure you don’t overdo it, “says Byrd. For example, some cod liver oil supplements can contain up to 90% DV vitamin A.
If you talk about overdoing it, why not take a look at these ugly side effects of drinking too much coffee, according to science.