Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very good for health. These supplements are a good substitute for people who do not eat fish.
What are fish oil supplements? They are the source of fish oil, which is the oil obtained from fish. It is a rich source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids. The omega-3s present in fish oil are EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). These are the only portions of fish oil which can provide nutritional benefits. The fish which are commonly used for deriving fish oil are menhaden, herring, pilchard, and sardine. Fish oil finds its use in the form of an ingredient of detergents, margarine, resins, and even food products.
Fish oil is known to have numerous health benefits. It supports the cardiovascular system, promotes the function of the brain, eyes, and the endocrine system. It also backs the role of hormones. Fish oil is also known to improve skin health and boost immunity. Due to all these benefits to human health, the demand for fish oil supplements is high. They are available in the form of capsules containing soft gel.
Many people, however, start consuming these without consulting a doctor, which is not recommended. A medical professional’s consultation is always recommended before taking these supplements. They need to be consumed only in amounts prescribed by a doctor. Or else, the consumer may end up with numerous side effects caused by too much intake.
According to most medical professionals, the safe Omega 3 fish oil dosage is 3 grams per day. A higher intake amount may lead to numerous health issues. Some people develop side effects even from the given safe intake amount. To begin with, frequent consumption gives the user a ‘fishy’ body odor, which could be embarrassing at times, like in public. Apart from this, there are some other serious risks involved.
First of all, the exact source of the supplements is never revealed on its pack. The fish may have swum in waters which are contaminated with PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyl) and mercury. PCBs are environmental toxins known to cause cancer. Even farmed fish may have high amounts of PCBs in them. It depends upon the components of the foods which have been fed to them. Other negative effects may include upsetting of normal functioning of the digestive and excretory systems. When taken in high doses, they cause diarrhea, and also aggravate burping, heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion.
They may induce bloating and pain in the abdomen. Regular consumption may lead to infections in the upper respiratory tract or may even cause the nasal passages to swell. They may also lower sugar and triglyceride levels in the blood. They may raise the level of LDL (low density cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol) in women. They may cause vitamin A and vitamin D toxicity in the consumer’s body and increase the risk of nosebleeds and hematuria.
It is always a good idea to consult a physician before beginning to consume fish oil supplements. The pack usually mentions the presence of EPA and DHA. Do check for it before buying the same. If the pack only mentions the amount of fish oil present and does not give information on the presence of EPA and DHA, do not purchase it.