How much fish oil is an important question because you can overdose.
First some interesting research.
Using a standard research procedure called a randomised clinical trial, medical doctors in Portugal injected fish oil directly into the blood stream of twenty five desperately ill patients suffering from systemic sepsis; infection that has spread throughout the body through the blood stream or lymphatics. They measured various inflammatory markers and of course how the patient fared.
So, how did the group injected with fish oil compare to the control group who received the standard treatment?
The researchers' conclusions were emphatic.
Inclusion of fish oil intravenously to seriously ill patients with septisemia in intensive care increases plasma omega 3. For more about these vital fatty acids, see our fish oil page.
It also modified inflammatory circulating cytokine concentrations in the blood and increased the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
This also meant a much shorter hospital stay for those who lived, but unfortunately equal numbers of these seriously ill people died.
This research was published in the journal of critical care in 2010.
As a side note, there are three omega 3 fatty acids, alpha linolenic acid, good stuff, but not proven to reduce heart disease like the other two.
Then there are eicosa pentaenoic acid and docosa hexaenoic acid. They are found primarily in fatty fish, whereas the alpha one is found primarily in nuts and seeds. Flax seeds and walnuts are the richest source of alpha linolenic acid.
Why on a chiropractic help site you may well ask. Chiropractic is about the nervous system, and a healthy nervous system is vitally dependent on omega three fatty acids.
Vegetarians can survive without the those two from fish oil, as the vegetable omega 3 can be converted to the other two. However, research has been less convincing that ALA gives the protection that EPA and DHA give against heart and blood vessel disease.
There is now overwhelming evidence that fish oil health benefits include
How much fish oil is obviously an important question. The American Heart Association recommends at least two helpings of cold water fish, like salmon, per week. You could safely double that.
If you are taking fish oil tablets, then two softgels or one teaspoon is how much fish oil is recommended per day. You can't overdose on it, unless you suffer from some very rare autoimmune diseases, in which case you should consult with your doctor.
Having said that there is a suggestion that taking more than three capsules can cause a serious bleed due to its anti coagulant properties.
Fish choice, get your omega 3 from fatty fish, flax seed and walnuts. There, you cannot possibly overdoes and you have all the other health benefits of real food. We need to get away from the idea that vitalmins and minerals, fatty acids and the like come out of a bottle. See our healthy living tips page for more.
Never think of vitamin, mineral tablets and, for example, fish oil soft gels as an alternative to healthy living foods. They are supplements, not food. Here at Ways to cook Salmon you find some easy recipes that fit in with our healthy slow food made fast philosophy.
With many patients complaining of many joints and muscles throughout the body, and even signs of inflammation of the blood vessels, a systemic approach is needed rather than just treating the pain in the feet, and the shoulders and the lower back....
More is needed, and in particular an anti inflammatory diet; that should include more fatty fish, a change to olive oil to lower the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio and foods that have for example capsaicin; the active soothing ingredient in the pepper family. That should include some chilis, or jalapenos or pepperdews oddly.