How much fish oil is an important question because you can overdose.
This page was last updated by Dr Barrie Lewis on 22nd August, 2019.
First some interesting research about inflammation and sepsis.
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? What were the results?
The researchers' conclusions were emphatic.
Inclusion of salmon 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 page.
It also modified inflammatory circulating cytokine concentrations in
the blood and increased its oxygen-carrying capacity.
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 is good stuff, but not proven to reduce heart disease like the other two.
Then there are two others; one is called eicosa pentaenoic acid.
The other is docosa hexaenoic acid. They both come from fatty fish, whereas the alpha form 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 joints and mobility, and a healthy nervous system is vitally dependent on these omega three fatty acids; they are also strongly anti-inflammatory.
Vegetarians can survive without those two from fish oil, as the vegetable omega 3 can be converted to EPA and DHA.
has been less convincing that ALA gives the protection that EPA and DHA
give against heart and blood vessel disease. How much fish oil remains pertinent.
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 salmon, for example, per week. You could safely double that.
If you are taking the tablets, then two soft gels or one teaspoon is how much fish oil is recommended per day. You cannot overdose on that, 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.
First choice, get your omega-3 from fatty fish, flax seed and walnuts. There, you cannot possibly overdose and you have all the other benefits of real food. We need to get away from the idea that vitamins and minerals, fatty acids and the like come out of a bottle.
See our healthy living tips page for more information.
Smoked mackerel recipes are one of the easiest and most delicious ways to increase your omega-3 levels. Precooked, it is immediately available, with no fuss and in the Netherlands at least is very cheap.
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'll find some easy recipes that fit in with our slow food made fast philosophy.
With patients often complaining of many joints and muscles throughout the body aching, 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; have some form daily.
In every chiropractic help practice I'm sure it remains a mystery why some patients with severe problems respond quickly whilst others' little pains seem to continue for ever. Clearly there no one single answer yet I believe it's central whether my patients are getting sufficient omega-3, and that's where how much fish oil comes in.
I still back fatty salmon, herring and mussels and the like over capsules of fish oil. On the other days we should be using freshly ground flax seed on our cereal and in our baking. A daily source of anti inflammatory omega 3 is very important to reduce the inflammation in the body.
In this regard, a daily source of choline and betaine is important too; they are vitamin like substances that enable the body to methylate toxic homocysteine, a normal breakdown product of protein metabolism; but a very inflammatory one. There's a lot of research about how it causes cardiovascular disease and senile dementia; and birth defects.