Side Effects of Omega-3 Supplements

Side Effects of Omega-3 Supplements - Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function and development. The best way to obtain these nutrients is through food, particularly marine-based foods such as salmon, halibut and tuna.

If seafood isn't a regular part of your diet, you can get your omega-3s from supplements. Though supplements are generally safe, they pose risks in rare cases. If you have any concerns, you should consult your health care professional before incorporating omega-3 supplements into your diet.
Side Effects of Omega-3 Supplements

Bleeding and Stroke

According to the Linus Pauling Institute website, Greenland Eskimos who take in 6.5 g per day of two omega-3 types called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke and long bleeding times. However, this statistic may be attributable to factors other than the omega-3s. The Food and Drug Administration deems 3 g a day of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA to be Generally Regarded as Safe.

Immune System Effects

The Linus Pauling Institute website states that 0.9 g a day of EPA and 0.6 g a day of DHA suppress the functions of immune cells studied outside the body. However, scientists have not determined the effects of omega-3s on immune cells inside the body. If you suffer from an immune system disorder, consult your health care professional about omega-3 supplements.

Impact on Brain Aging

Though DHA is essential for brain development and cognitive function, father-son scientists David L. and Raymond C. Valentine published a study in 2010 demonstrating that, over time, the biochemical processes that lead to this beneficial effect will also lead to chemical breakdowns as the brain ages and contribute to loss of brain function. However, this should not deter you from taking omega-3s. This effect would never have been discovered without the increased life spans afforded by modern medical technology. ( )

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