Just like in life, when it comes to supplements, there can be too much of a good thing. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for bodily functions, such as fighting off inflammation, keeping the brain healthy, and preventing cancer, but taking fish oil may not be a one-stop-shop for giving your body what it needs (via Healthline).
With highly-publicized benefits, fish oil may be less effective than many originally believed. According to Everyday Health, a recent study showed that taking omega-3 supplements didn’t reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or death from heart-related disease. Another study found the same result — reporting no cardiovascular benefit from taking these supplements.
Since omega-3 deficiency is rare in the United States, it appears that many people get their full servings of the fatty acid from common sources, like fish, nuts, seeds, and fortified foods like eggs and yogurt, per Everyday Health. Basically, taking fish oil may have little to no impact on the state of your heart health and you can likely get your full supply of omega-3 from other common sources.
Too much fish oil may have damaging results
As health professionals have touted the benefits of fish oil for years, it’s no surprise that many people have added it to their daily routines. However, too much can raise your fatty-acid count to detrimental levels.
According to Healthline, high doses of fish oil may lead to an increase in blood sugar, because the fatty acid stimulates glucose production — thereby raising these levels. Furthermore, excess fish oil could also lead to decreased blood clotting, meaning that nosebleeds and bleeding gums can come as a result, as noted by the outlet. It’s even advised to stop taking the supplement before surgery or if you’re on blood thinners.
With its high-fat content, fish oil can also lead to acid reflux and heartburn, as well. Potentially disruptive to healthy digestion, the supplement may also induce nausea and stomach discomfort (via Healthline). Plus, while appropriate amounts of fish oil could help improve sleep quality, too much may actually do the opposite.
If you swear by your fish oil capsules, that’s okay — just make sure that you’re keeping the amount to a reasonable level that works with your body. If you’re experiencing symptoms, you may want to consider decreasing your intake as soon as possible.