Fish oil has been more widely used in the last 10 years as a natural way to lower blood pressure and increase heart health. Known as ‘marine Omega-3’ fatty acids, fish oil is a great way to get this essential fatty acid (which the body cannot naturally produce on its own) into the body for optimum heart and organ health. But how much fish oil is enough, and when do you know if you’ve had too much?
It is recommended that people get 3 mg of Omega-3 from fish daily, and two thirds of that daily recommendation should (or can) come from fish oils. The rest should come from eating actual fish, such as salmon. Be careful when consuming local fish, as mercury or pollution from local waters can cause illness. Contact your local city authorities or fish and wildlife experts to make sure your local waters are safe to catch and eat fish from.
For the rest of your Omega-3 needs, fish oil supplements are available at any store that sells vitamins and supplements. Most brands are essentially the same, although more pricey brands of fish oil may have less of a fishy aftertaste when you take them. Take fish oil supplements as directed, and never exceed more than 2 mg, or as is prescribed by your doctor for heart health. Can you overdose on fish oil? Well, kind of. It more or less just causes unsavory side effects when you take too much, but can be dangerous to your health.
Overdose of fish oil includes nausea, diarrhea, a fishy taste in your mouth or when you burp, and long term effects can occur from taking more than 3 daily mg of fish oil. Your immune system can be compromised, and risks of internal bleeding are increased from taking too much fish oil on a daily basis. Your best bet is to talk to your doctor about your daily allowance of fish oil, and they can approve you to take more or less fish oil, as needed. Fish oil can also be prescribed to you.
If you don’t like fish oil, then consuming fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna fish a few times a week as part of your daily diet can give you the Omega-3 requirements you need for heart health. Or, you can be prescribed a less fishy version of fish oil pills (fish oil can be taken in a liquid or capsule form- I recommend capsule form, trust me) to where you can adjust more readily to them.
Talk to your doctor before adding fish oil pills to your diet. While they likely won’t interfere with your health or any other medication you are currently taking, you want to make sure that you are taking the proper amount for your heart health needs. Your doctor can guide you to a fish oil supplement plan that works best for your health and dietary needs, so you can get the most out of your daily fish oil consumption.
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