“EPA and DHA are important for normal brain, eye, and nerve development in children under the age of two,” explains Keatley. While the NIH says it is unclear whether supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding will affect children’s development, it also states, “Some studies show that taking these supplements can increase a baby’s weight at birth and duration the baby can easily raise the uterus. “
If I eat fish regularly, do I need fish oil supplements?
No, not necessarily, says Keatley. “If you eat at least 250 to 500 mg of combined EPA and DHA from fish and shellfish every day, you know,” she explains. She also adds that you should avoid taking supplements unless prescribed by your doctor.
In fact, it is preferable to make fish a regular part of your diet over supplements, much like getting vitamin C and fiber from real whole fruits is generally better than taking them in pill form. “I can’t speak for all dietitians, but most of the ones I know are pro-real foods before I go the supplement route,” says Keatley. In fact, Kirkpatrick says she always tries to recommend food rather than supplements to her customers.
The idea is that there might be other beneficial nutrients in real fish that you are missing out on in pill form. While people who eat fish regularly have a lower risk of developing several chronic diseases, “it is not clear whether these health benefits come from simply consuming these foods or from the omega-3s in these foods,” justified the NIH.
Is There Too Much Fish Oil and Are There Any Side Effects?
Actually, yes, although it’s hard to do. “For a healthy person, there is little evidence that overdose is common,” says Kirkpatrick. If you go overboard with the fish oil, the side effects are relatively minor. “These include bad taste, bad breath, bad-smelling sweat, headaches and gastrointestinal symptoms like heartburn, nausea and diarrhea,” says Keatley. Even if you aren’t getting enough to cause problems, ingesting excessive amounts of fish oil is likely a waste of money. “The latest research seems to show that there is a point where returns go down when more omega-3s don’t provide increased benefits,” explains Keatley. More is not always better.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t be using fish oil?
Yes. Large doses of omega-3 fatty acids can cause bleeding in people who are already at risk. “Many elderly patients on blood thinners should not be given omega-3 supplements because of the risk of bleeding,” said Keatley.
If you’re looking to increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake through nutritional supplements, options are plentiful, but Nature’s Bounty odorless fish oil capsules have fantastic reviews. They can be picked up at your local Walgreens or purchased from the Walgreen website for $ 21. The Vitamin Shoppe’s omega-3 fish oil capsules are also sufficient, and you can purchase these at a brick and mortar location or add them to your online shopping cart for $ 16.
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