Omega-3 fatty acids are important dietary macronutrients that belong to the family of unsaturated fatty acids. We're all aware of their health benefits, however, their levels must be balanced with the level of omega-6 fatty acids in the body. An imbalance can lead to heart attacks, osteoporosis, inflammation, thrombotic stroke, etc.
To maintain this balance, we need to consume omega-3-rich foods like walnuts, flax seeds, wild caught salmon, albacore tuna, etc. Those with a deficiency of omega-3 essential fatty acids, are seen to resort to the supplement form. While the consumption of supplements are safe, we need to keep the appropriate dosage in mind.
Omega 3 Fish Oil Dosage
Omega 3 fatty acid supplements vary depending on the source from which they are obtained. They can be prepared from flax seed oil, fish oil, cod liver oil, etc. They comes in two forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). For adults, the recommended dose of one serving would include a capsule of 650 mg of DHA and 450 mg of EPA. The food and drugs administration (FDA) recommends three grams of omega-3 fish oil supplements every day. To be on the safe side, before consuming these supplements, consult your health care provider.
Side Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements
Consumption of the right dosage, as recommended by the doctor will not conduce to any side effects, however, consuming more than 12 grams a day can lead to certain side effects like nausea, bloating, abdominal gas, constipation, heartburn, diarrhea, and occasional nosebleeds. Moreover, consumption of omega 3 fish oil are seen to cause side effects like fishy burps, bad breath and fishy taste in the mouth.
Since omega-3 fish oil supplements can thin the blood, people taking other blood thinners like aspirin should refrain from consuming these supplements. Fish oil supplements become risky, when the fish from which the oil has been extracted was contaminated with toxins like mercury, etc. The best way to avoid such contaminated fish oil supplements is by purchasing superior quality pharmaceutical grade supplements like Pure EPA. This is not only pure, but also safe as it goes through a rigorous chilling, distillation, and filtration process.
If at all you experience easy bruising, bleeding, or black tarry stools, consult the doctor as soon as possible. Moreover, if you encounter any kind of allergic reaction like wheezing, itching, unexplained swelling, hives, or breathing and swallowing problems, quickly consult the doctor. Generally, the side effects will not occur if you stick to the recommended doses. If we look at omega-3 fatty acid supplements and weigh the pros and cons, their health benefits outweigh the side effects. Thus, as long as you stick to the right dosage, you're at no risk of any side effects.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.