Fish Oil is a source of omega 3, which has many health benefits. Your brain cannot function properly without it and neither can your eyes. It may also accelerate your weight loss.
This 6-week study found that fish oil helped increase lean mass and lower cortisol levels, both of which are essential for a fast metabolism.
If you have a fast metabolism, you are likely to burn more calories and lose weight. Omega 3 also increases the rate at which you burn fat during exercise, according to research.
Irrespective of these positive outcomes, there is a level of diminishing returns. When you take too much fish oil, it can become detrimental.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t exceed the recommended amount of Omega 3 per day – that is 300 mg. Here are some of the consequences of taking too much fish oil.
Side Effects of Too Much Fish Oil
1. Causes blood thinning
If you take too much fish oil you may develop thin blood. This means that you’ll have inadequate platelets. Platelets are the parts of blood that help in clotting.
In case you get a cut, which is supposed to be a minor injury, you are likely to bleed excessively. This may lead to an even worse condition known as anemia.
Some people need to thin out their blood to minimize stroke and heart attacks but the converse is just as harmful. It subjects you to slow wound-healing and blood loss.
2. Prostate cancer
In some cases, taking too much fish oil may lead to prostate cancer.
In this study, it was shown that the men who had more long-chain 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3 had a greater risk of developing prostate cancer.
The fatty acids from fish play a role in prostate tumorigenesis (or generation of tumors in the prostate).
It should be noted that other studies make the opposite claim – that Omega 3 reduces prostate cancer risk.
However, given that the study cited above involved 834 subjects and it is was a prospective study, its findings definitely hold water.
3. Causes constipation or diarrhea
When the level of Omega 3 in your body is excessive, you may have problems with the passage of stool.
In some instances, you may pass watery stool or stool that contains an unusually light consistency. If this condition persists, you may experience dehydration, which is detrimental to your health.
In other instances, the opposite problem may arise. You may have difficulty passing stool. If you do a number 2 less than three times a week, you are constipated.
If this condition persists, you can feel pain when passing stool and might develop injuries in your anal tissue. It is also accompanied by a feeling of bloating, nausea and loss of appetite.
If these symptoms arise only after taking Omega 3 supplements in excessive amounts, you may need to reduce or stop taking it altogether.
4. May worsen insomnia in depressed patients
Some people lose sleep when they take too much fish oil. In this study, it was shown that a person who was vulnerable to depression tended to experience greater anxiety and even insomnia after taking high doses of omega 3. The patient took 500 mg of fish oil supplements a day.
The case study proves that sleeplessness increases for people who already have other complications. The side effect comes with daytime agitation as well.
5. Vitamin A toxicity
Some fish oil supplements often contain vitamin A. These are helpful if taken in isolation.
On the other hand, if the fish oil is taken with a multivitamin, you can experience toxicity.
The symptoms of this condition include skin irritation and joint pain. If you feel a lot of dizziness and nausea, it may also be the vitamin A in the fish oil. A prolonged case of toxicity may cause liver damage.
6. Elevates blood sugar in diabetic patients
Omega 3 taken to excess tends to increase the amount of sugar in your blood. This stems from the way fish oil stimulates glucose production.
In this research, it was shown that people who had type 2 diabetes reported greater glucose concentration. Most were not on insulin treatment or other interventions.
From these findings, you would be safer to use omega 3 cautiously if you are vulnerable to intermittent glucose levels.
7. Bad breath
Many users complain about fishy breath. If you have ever taken concentrated fish oil in liquid form, you may have noted its offensive smell. It also has a relatively unpleasant taste.
When you take too much of the substance, these smells and tastes become multiplied. They may persist in your mouth and could seep from your pores as sweat. Some people also report burping and belching fishy smells.
8. Low blood pressure
Our society places so much emphasis on high blood pressure because of our lifestyle choices.
However, the reverse can be just as detrimental. When you have low blood pressure, you are more susceptible to weakness, fainting or dizziness.
This is because your body is not getting the oxygen it needs to carry out its normal functions. The result is a damaged heart or brain.
In this study, it was shown that fish oil lowers blood pressure when a person takes more than 5.6 g per day and they already have blood pressure complications.
9. May cause dysfunctional immunity
If you have a compromised immune system and then you take too much fish oil, you may experience more harm than good.
Fish oil reduces the extent to which your body can respond to bacteria and viruses. This comes from the suppression of your immune response system.
Therefore, if taken in moderation, it could help those with a deficient immune system. However, when taken in large doses, the contrary effect may result.
10. May trigger allergies
Some people are allergic to fish oil. When they take it, they get various reactions from the supplement.
However, when they take too much, it can become so intense that it paralyzes them. Some people have rashes or hives. This allergy is often accompanied by a lot of itching. You may also have a lot of swollen body parts. The lips, face, tongue, and hands are some of the common areas. Others develop excessive stomach pain and diarrhea.
In some consumers, too much fish oil accelerates the effects of nasal congestion and wheezing. If you take the fish oil supplements in moderation, you may have mild allergies. The reactions can only get worse when you increase the supplementation.
In clinical terms, this is called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. If you take too much fish oil, you may first start with discomfort in the upper abdomen. Thereafter, it could morph into heartburn and belching.
12. Nausea and vomiting
This effect may stem from allergies to the taste or smell of the supplement. When the fish oil supplement is taken in large doses, those reactions could become more intensified.
Additionally, when a person takes the fish oil unaccompanied or on an empty stomach, they are likely to develop nausea and may vomit.
The Bottom Line
Fish oil as a supplement is quite useful. All the benefits may be enjoyed when the product is taken in moderation.
If you want to enjoy the advantages without any of its side effects, avoid taking too much fish oil.
If your goal is to maintain good health while losing weight, follow this weight loss plan that shows you exactly what to eat and when.