If you ask those fans of mackerel and salmon why they loved those fish so much and what is omega-3, they will probably give you a long lecture on how important or beneficial essential fatty acids are to your health. They will site a number of studies proving the positive effects of fatty acids on our bodies and how these can be used to treat a variety of conditions, ailments or diseases.
Some, and these are the really omega-3 fanatics, can go on and on and on. From the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids to the preparations and cooking of salmon. At the end you find yourself mumbling and probably cursing why you asked in the first place. However, despite the long lecture, you might notice your friend leaving behind an issue that is often disregarded but is equally important with the benefits of fish oils. And that can be addressed by answering the question: is fish oil harmful?
I am all for the various benefits of fish oils. I don’t discount it, I don’t question the studies nor do I criticize the testimonies from long time users. But personally, I don’t believe that fish oils are purely good. We have this saying that too much of anything is bad for you. The same should apply to fish oils. After researching the internet, reading a number of articles, and a couple of cups of coffee, I found out that fish oils do have some side effects, some even quite harmful.
Among the more minor side effects are diarrhea and that fishy after taste. 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.
Probably the major risk of overdosing on fish oil is the contamination, more specifically mercury contamination. It is a sad fact, but a lot of the world’s fishing grounds are contaminated or polluted. The fish you eat might have a good stock of omega-3 but you might not know it, the fish might only contain a considerable amount of heavy metal contaminants. 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.
Another major risk is when combined with other blood thinners. Fish oil acts as a blood thinner or anti-coagulant, which basically helps stop platelets or heavy cells from forming blood clots reducing the risks of having a heart attack. However, if you combine fish oil with other medicines such as aspirins, the result might be very harmful to your body and even 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.
So going back to our question, is fish oil harmful? Well, the above scenario is quite a frightening one but things like that could possibly happen to people who are extremely careless. That is why before you take any supplements, fish oil in this case, you should consult your doctors and make sure you provide them with a complete, honest and proper medical history.