A good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, the use of fish oil supplements is on the surge, especially among those who are trying to shed some weight. While the side effects of fish oil do exist, just like any other supplements, the benefits outweigh the negative impacts.
If you ever find anyone suffering from the adverse reaction of fish oil, the reason will be unarguably because of the excessive consumption of fish oil; or use of poor quality fish oil; or the combination both.
Recommended Daily Dose Of Fish Oil:
Before knowing about the different fish oil side effects, you must be aware of using Omega 3 supplement. Before you read on about the grey side of fish oil, let us take a look at how much is too much when it comes to fish oil.
According to the US FDA, the maximum dose of this supplement should not exceed 3 grams per day. This means a max of 3 soft gels of 1000 mg each!
Top 16 Side Effects Of Fish Oil:
So, what are the side effects of fish oil? Read on to find out more:
1. Fish Burps:
This is, perhaps, one of the most common side effects associated with this supplement. And the reason – your digestive system reacts to fish oil in an unfriendly fashion, disallowing it to be absorbed the way it should be. This triggers unwanted gas in the tummy, forcing you to expel it in the form of burps that smell intensely fishy.
One of the most common reasons behind this condition is taking the capsule on empty stomach. You can avoid it by ingesting the supplement along with your meals.
2. Risk Of Metal Poisoning:
Mercury – it is a serious organ damaging element! Mercurial poisoning, if not taken care of immediately, can leave you with a damaged heart and liver. Fish oil, mostly low quality ones, may contain high amount of mercury. Do not hesitate to shell out an extra rupee for a good quality supplement; it could be a liver saver.
3. Triggers Heartburns:
Consuming fish oil in excessive quantity can upset the digestive system, leaving you with heartburns and acid reflux. Allow your body to get used to this supplement. Increase the dose gradually over time to prevent upsetting your digestive system.
4. Loose Stools:
An upset stomach might trigger loose stools to ward off flatulence and bloating. If you are using too much of fish oil, then you might end up visiting the restroom more than usual. So, restrict the consumption and stay safe.
Also, make sure the supplement you are buying is a good quality one. Certain cheap supplements use rotten fish oil in the manufacturing process. This could hamper your digestive tract, leaving you with diarrhea like symptoms.
5. Weight Gain:
If you are on a weight loss track, then please check with your doctor before you start taking fish oil supplement. Certain people experience weight gain after using this supplement, which actually is a surprising side effect of fish oil.
Again, this could be because you are using a low quality supplement. If you are experiencing weight gain, immediately withdraw from using the supplement and visit your doctor.
6. Abdominal Cramps:
Many a time, people have experienced terrible abdominal cramps after using these supplements. Studies conducted on this negative impact suggest that our digestive system does not possess the potential to digest fish oil in excess. Undigested oil, in turn, triggers gas, leaving the tummy bloated. Bloating, many a time, leads to intense cramps and pain in the abdominal region.
If you are experiencing such a condition, then you can reduce the dose. Watch for a few days! If your cramps have vanished, then continue with the lowered dose. If the cramps still persist, stop using the supplement and visit your doctor.
7. Risk Of Hemorrhage:
Intake of fish oil supplements, in excess, could leave you at the risk of hemorrhaging yourself. The risk spirals up even more if the quality of fish oil is bad. As mentioned above, anything above 3 grams will have a harmful impact. You might experience a blood-tinted urine, nose bleeding, and even worse, hemorrhagic stroke.
8. Excessive Levels Of Vitamins Is Not Good:
Fish oils are a good source of Vitamin D as well as Vitamin A. Studies suggest that while these elements play an important role in aiding your body to function the right way, excessive consumption could prove to be costly. You can actually incorporate Vitamin E in your diet along with these supplements to allow your body to synthesize the Omega 3 content of these supplements.
9. High Blood Glucose Levels:
Extremely high level of blood glucose is definitely not a good thing for anyone. And, if you are overweight or obese, then you ought to be worried. If you are diabetic, then please stay safe from this sugar level rising property of fish oil. While there are no evidences to substantiate this point, you should definitely err on the side of caution!
Hypotension alias low blood pressure is one of the perils of using these dietary supplements. While people suffering from hypertension can take the help of these natural anti-hypertensive agents, be cautious in terms of dosage. Please check with your doctor if you are already on anti-hypertensive medication as a combined effect of both could leave you at the risk of extremely low blood pressure.
11. Shoots Cholesterol Level:
Made up of triglycerides, fish oil is nothing but fat, and a whole lot of it. Even though this has a large bouquet of benefits for your physical and mental health, studies suggest that people who are already on a high fat diet are bound to experience a higher level of cholesterol by including fish oil in their diet regimen. To shield yourself from the claws of LDL, you can actually modify your diet to include this supplement. In simple words – cut down on the net fat intake!
12. Difficulty In Breathing:
While this is rare, studies suggest that people might experience difficulty in breathing as an effect of ingesting fish oil. The actual reason behind this is not known. If theories are to be believed, an allergy to fish oil could leave your upper respiratory tract inflamed, blocking the air passages and clogging them. This, in turn, prevents the person from inhaling and exhaling the way he wants to.
13. Allergic Reactions:
Fish oil, like other supplements, can also trigger allergy. Extremely sensitive people are bound to experience some kind of allergic reactions to this dietary supplement. Some of the allergic reactions to fish oil include:
- Skin itching and rashes.
- Hives and redness on the skin.
- Swelling in the throat.
- Difficulty in breathing.
14. Not Safe For Kids:
It is advisable to keep your kids – toddlers, infants, as well as kids under 15 – away from these supplements. Studies suggest that while DHA present in the supplement is essential for child growth, the EPA could prove to be harmful as children the bodies of the children do not know how to interact with this element. As there are alternative sources of DHA, it is advisable to avoid these supplements to render them the required DHA levels. You will be doing more damage than good.
15. Negative Impact On Mental Disorders:
Studies suggest that the use of fish oil supplements by people suffering from mental conditions, such as bipolar disorder and depression can put them at the risk of turning maniacs. Such people are bound to experience formication – a crawling like experience on the skin, extreme levels of antsy and restlessness, and even worse – they might become violent.
As a precautionary measure, check with your consulting physician if you could actually administer these drugs to such people.
16. Not Safe For Pregnant Or Lactating Women:
Doctors across the world strictly prohibit the use of fish oils, in unrefined forms, by pregnant or lactating women. The reason –the heavy metals along with other contaminants present in this supplement could prove to be harmful for both the mother and the baby. There is an increased risk of uterine bleeding in women who use fish oil due to the blood clot delaying nature of Omega 3.
The aforementioned side effects of fish oil mostly arise when you bypass the instructions of your physician. Or you are miserly to shell out that extra money for a good quality product. Remember, it is always better to stay safe than regret later. Use supplements strictly under medical supervision and follow their instructions to avoid side effects.
Do you use fish oil, as such or in the form of supplements? Have you ever experienced any side effects after using the same? How did you handle such incidents?
Share with us in the comments section below.