For the last few years you have heard time and time again about all the wonderful benefits of those omega-3 fatty acids, but seldom anything about the side effects that omega-3’s may have. Does this mean that there are no such things as omega-3 side effects, or are the side effects just not as well known?
Actually, it’s a little bit of both. First, there is little evidence that omega-3 fatty acids themselves have any really negative side effects perhaps, because no one consumes them in massive doses. However, the fish and fish oils that the most beneficial omegas-3’s are contained in may have some side effects for some people. However, the side effects really depend on what source those omega-3’s come from.
Fish Oil Directly From Fish and Shell Fish
There have actually been few reported negative effects of either the fish oil or the omega-3’s when people get these foods and nutrients from actually eating fish and shellfish. Except for allergic reactions to the fish or shellfish itself, getting your omega-3’s from actually consuming the seafood that contain these nutrients seems to result in almost no adverse effects what so ever.
Side Effects From Fish Oil Supplements
Not surprisingly there are more reported side effects with those people who take fish oil supplements. These reported side effects seem to have a lot to do with the actual supplement you are taking. Side effects include:
In some cases these reported negative effects seem to have a lot to do with the fillers that have been added to fish oil supplements, how fresh the supplements are, and a variety of other factors. Chances are if you are experiencing bad breath or a fishy aftertaste after taking a fish oil capsule or fish oil itself, the fish oil itself may actually be rancid and you should immediately quit taking that batch of capsules because rancid fish oil can make you really sick.
In some cases, nausea and diarrhea may be linked to fish oil that is not fresh, or fillers that have been added to the supplement. In other cases, it may simply mean that your body needs time to adjust to the new food product that is introduced into it.
When taking any new supplement, you should begin by only taking a very small dosage (much less than what is recommended,) for the first several days. Unless otherwise specified never take a new supplement on an empty stomach, rather take it either right before or right after a meal. After a few days if your system is tolerating the new supplement, then take a slightly larger dose and continue doing this every few days until you reach the full recommended dosage.
Omega-3 and Flaxseed
The omega-3 ALA from flaxseed has also been known to cause a number of side effects including:
Getting Your Omega-3’s With the Fewest Side Effects
There is little doubt that if you want to get those healthy omega-3’s with the least amount of negative side effects then eating 3 or 4 helpings of fatty fish a week will accomplish that goal. For those of you who simply don’t like fish then fish oil supplements can offer you those omega-3 with few if any side effects as long as you choose your supplements and supplement company carefully.
Take the time to visit a few websites and determine if the supplement you are taking is truly all natural or if it contains synthetic ingredients or fillers. Choose only those supplements that are completely natural. You also want to look at how the fish oil is made, and what the company does to insure that their supplement remains as fresh as possible.
Once you purchase the supplement then make sure that you store it properly to help maintain the supplements freshness and health benefits. In most cases, choosing the freshest and best produced fish oil and then making sure that you store it properly to maintain its freshness will result in fish oil supplements without any or at least most of the side effects seen in fish oil supplements.