Is Fish Oil Safe to Consume?

By: John Robinson


According to a research, more than 90% of people in the United States suffer from Omega 3 fatty acids deficiency. The numerous health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have made fish oil supplements a unanimous nutritional supplement choice of millions of people today. As per an estimate, sales of fish oil supplements have tripled in last few years and today itís worth more than a billion dollar. But how safe are these fish oil supplements? Is fish oil safe to use? The safety of fish oil usability has been debated time and again.

Is Fish Oil Safe? Before analyzing this question, letís have a brief insight into the possible health risks of fish oil supplements. Some people complain of fishy odour, upset stomach, diarrhoea, belching and nausea problem. There are also reports of increased nose bleeding and easy bruising problem from fish oil. Besides these, there is also misconception about fish oil suppressing the immune system and in some cases, it increase glucose levels in people with diabetes problem. It is also reported to reduce the ability of blood clotting and thus increasing risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

Now letís analyze each of the above mentioned health risk involved with the fish oil supplements. Fish odour and belching is a common side effect which occur especially when the fish oil contain mercury. There are many supplements which are purified and donít contain these pollutants. Keeping the supplements in freezer also helps get rid of gastrointestinal problems such as upset stomach, and diarrhea.

Apart from that, no strong evidence was found from research to establish the excessive bleeding or depressing the immune system theory. Fish oil consumption causes the LDL cholesterol levels increase to certain extent, but the triglycerides found in fish oil lowers the TG/HDL ratio, thus converting the LDL to a less harmful form. Hence, there are no adverse side effects of fish oil supplements. They are absolutely safe to consume.

As compared to the numerous health benefits, these side effects of fish oil supplements are minor. However, there is still one issue which might strongly put finger on the safety of fish oil supplements and that is reduction of antioxidant levels in our body. As fish oil is prone to oxidation, it might use our bodyís antioxidants. But this side effect can be counteracted by taking supplemental vitamin E, and consuming diet rich with vegetables and fruits.

There are certain varieties of fish which contain high amounts of contaminants such as mercury, PCBs, and dioxin. Sardines, mackerel and menhaden are some of those varieties of fishes. If fish oil supplements are derived without purifying these pollutants then there are chances of side effects. At that time the safety of fish oil comes under securitization. But many fish oil manufacturers take utmost care to purify the fish oil supplements before they are available in the market. Highly advanced techniques such as molecular distillation and steam deodorization are adopted to remove pollutants from these supplements. Hence before buying, it is recommended to make sure that the fish oil supplements are purified and mercury-free.

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John Robinson is a self-proclaimed writer who significantly contributes his research knowledge to various article sites. His research-oriented and ground-breaking findings on fish oil benefits and fish oil supplement have been very helpful for many. His interests in writing also extend to technical articles such as web tools.

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