5

votes

Anyone else ditching the fish oils?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 08, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I read with interest a recent question regarding use of Omega-7s (which I had never heard of!). I have had continuing itchy skin problems even with a strict gluten-free, soy-free, paleo-type diet. Decided to eliminate the fish oil and cod liver oil. Lo and behold, itchiness has disappeared.

Has anyone else had negative symptoms that they can trace to Omega-3 supplements?

With the money I will save on fish oil, I can buy a second home.

Kidding. Sort of.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on February 08, 2012
at 03:03 PM

+1 I don't understand why Bea Arthur Devany isn't a recognized paleo demigod yet.

4e813fcf7266312684862b945c1c3281

(462)

on July 07, 2011
at 02:41 PM

Robb mentions in one of his podcasts that Cordain was against Cod Liver oil. I wish I remembered the details, can probably find the one with a bit of searching.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:29 AM

Id blame it on the Mega Doses and Ethyl Ester form. The minimal supplementation is honestly best if you can get your food sources and omega6 intake in check. Best of luck going forward!

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:20 PM

I've taken megadoses in the past (10-12 grams/day) but not for some time. More recently, I've taken 2-6 grams/day. Ethyl ester form for the most part. K2 and vitamin D intake are good. I'm no longer convinced I need the stuff. Just curious if anyone else has had similar symptoms.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:07 AM

some how this strikes me as really weird spam

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Oh, that's brilliant, I'm going to have to look through all those. OK, I'll vote up this most recent comment also so people can see your correction (i.e., so it comes out of the "see more comments" category).

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Oh, that's brilliant, I'm going to have to look through all those. OK, I'll vote up this most recent comment also so people can see your correction.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:42 AM

No no, that's not what the expiration date means! Click on the links, and you can see what the oxidation results were for a bottle purchased of that particular product (which happened to have an expiration date that they listed).

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:35 AM

ethyl ester forms or triglyceride forms? Ive experienced the itch with ethyl ester but not trigs.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:34 AM

That's an interesting link. Those expiration dates aren't written on the bottles also? ... I like the division into "natural grade" and "ultra-refined": kind of gets you thinking ...

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:28 AM

Agreed . . . . .

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:16 AM

Third, I recently switched to the same strategy (fish once a week, sometimes tinned sardines), and it has completely removed my psychosomatic weariness of supplemental oil.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:14 AM

Second...congratulations on becoming a moderator, Paul!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:13 AM

First, you can see how "pre-oxidized" your fish oil is over at this link...http://www.ifosprogram.com/ifos/consumerreport.aspx

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 11:11 PM

And I guess I should add something else since my answer probably doesn't contain anything that isn't already known. Check out this very early thread on rancidity, which might call into question that one can detect it: http://paleohacks.com/questions/999/the-taste-of-rancidity See Melissa's answer. Those fish-oil caplets might be rancid even if they don't obviously taste that way.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 11:10 PM

And I guess I should add something else since my answer probably doesn't contain anything that isn't already known. @MikeD, check out this very early thread on rancidity, which might call into question that one can detect it: http://paleohacks.com/questions/999/the-taste-of-rancidity See Melissa's answer. Those fish-oil caplets might be rancid even if they don't obviously taste that way.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 11:09 PM

And I guess I should add something else since my answer probably doesn't contain anything that isn't already known. @MikeD, check out this very early thread on rancidity, which might call into question that one can detect it: paleohacks.com/questions/999/… See Melissa's answer. Those fish-oil caplets might be rancid even if they don't obviously taste that way.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 11:07 PM

And I guess I should add something else since my answer probably doesn't contain anything that isn't already known. @MikeD, check out this very early thread on rancidity, which might call into question that you can detect it: http://paleohacks.com/questions/999/the-taste-of-rancidity See Melissa's answer.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:49 PM

a recent Robb Wolf guest totally made fish oil use for O3 balance seem silly if you still eat chicken or nuts. so i dunno anymore myself. i think it has anti inflammatory effects that kill small LDL so i continue my oil regimen. a previous discussion on this topic is here, and i posted my thoughts on the LDL fish oil thing there: http://paleohacks.com/questions/17836/unconvinced-taking-fish-oil-supplements-is-a-good-idea#axzz1G2sU53wB

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:48 PM

on accutane they tell you to avoid Vit. A and liver. they don't even recommend using soap cause your skin gets so dry. i've had paleo soap habits ever since. you could add fish oil back in and see if your skin gets even better or just skip it completely cause it sounds like you are doing fine.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:39 PM

Good point. This thought had occurred to me. I cut out both CLO and other fish oils simultaneously, ruining the opportunity to test this.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:38 PM

I've taken many brands over the years but all of them tasted fresh. I used liquids and gel caps and would often bite open the gel caps just to reassure myself that they hadn't gone rancid.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:10 PM

Seconded--From what I have heard, most of the CLO brands are worthless. I have used Green Pasture before and liked it a lot, no skin problems at all (well, no more than I usually have). But I wasn't taking it for the omega-3, I was taking it for the fat-solubles, and in fact I got the CLO/butter oil combo to also get the vitamin K2.

9055f14c31610afd4d3068ec48eb6d90

(984)

on March 08, 2011
at 08:42 PM

Coudl it be the type of Fish Oil youwere using? Not that I woudl know the difference but just thinking the pure-er the better?

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10 Answers

6
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:21 PM

My experiences with straight up tablespoon a day of Nordic Naturals Fish Oil has been softer skin.

Cod Liver Oil might be the culprit. Vitamin A in large doses can lead to itchy dry skin. It is the same effect as taking Accutane, a retinoid drug which dries out people's skin to fight acne (I took it as a teen--if only I knew about Paleo then). If you are taking multivitamins or eating liver or veggie vitamin A sources you might be getting too much.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:48 PM

on accutane they tell you to avoid Vit. A and liver. they don't even recommend using soap cause your skin gets so dry. i've had paleo soap habits ever since. you could add fish oil back in and see if your skin gets even better or just skip it completely cause it sounds like you are doing fine.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:49 PM

a recent Robb Wolf guest totally made fish oil use for O3 balance seem silly if you still eat chicken or nuts. so i dunno anymore myself. i think it has anti inflammatory effects that kill small LDL so i continue my oil regimen. a previous discussion on this topic is here, and i posted my thoughts on the LDL fish oil thing there: http://paleohacks.com/questions/17836/unconvinced-taking-fish-oil-supplements-is-a-good-idea#axzz1G2sU53wB

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on March 08, 2011
at 09:39 PM

Good point. This thought had occurred to me. I cut out both CLO and other fish oils simultaneously, ruining the opportunity to test this.

4e813fcf7266312684862b945c1c3281

(462)

on July 07, 2011
at 02:41 PM

Robb mentions in one of his podcasts that Cordain was against Cod Liver oil. I wish I remembered the details, can probably find the one with a bit of searching.

5
Medium avatar

on March 08, 2011
at 11:16 PM

I stopped taking it altogether when I started primarily eating grass-fed lamb. The chicken and pork I eat here and there seems to be balanced out by the salmon, mackerel, shrimp and scallops I eat here and there.

It seems to me that it is most effective as a SAD adjunct that mitigates some of the terrible effects of it.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:28 AM

Agreed . . . . .

5
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Hi, wjones. I guess I'm only answering your one general question and not the other question about itching, because I've never had the itching. But the main answer: Yeah, I'm ditching.

I've been mostly influenced by the Jaminets and by that other thread that Mike D mentions: http://paleohacks.com/questions/17836/unconvinced-taking-fish-oil-supplements-is-a-good-idea My own particular strategy is: steering clear of veggie oil, limiting chicken/pork/nuts, tallow instead of lard, a fish meal at least once a week, and frequent "natural"-brand sardines -- and then if I occasionally supplement, oil instead of pills.

I think the thing to remember is that omega-3s are not really a "supplement." They're fats -- which means they're food! I wouldn't take any other food in the form of a pill, so why would I take my polyunsaturated fats that way?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:16 AM

Third, I recently switched to the same strategy (fish once a week, sometimes tinned sardines), and it has completely removed my psychosomatic weariness of supplemental oil.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 11:11 PM

And I guess I should add something else since my answer probably doesn't contain anything that isn't already known. Check out this very early thread on rancidity, which might call into question that one can detect it: http://paleohacks.com/questions/999/the-taste-of-rancidity See Melissa's answer. Those fish-oil caplets might be rancid even if they don't obviously taste that way.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:34 AM

That's an interesting link. Those expiration dates aren't written on the bottles also? ... I like the division into "natural grade" and "ultra-refined": kind of gets you thinking ...

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 11:09 PM

And I guess I should add something else since my answer probably doesn't contain anything that isn't already known. @MikeD, check out this very early thread on rancidity, which might call into question that one can detect it: paleohacks.com/questions/999/… See Melissa's answer. Those fish-oil caplets might be rancid even if they don't obviously taste that way.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Oh, that's brilliant, I'm going to have to look through all those. OK, I'll vote up this most recent comment also so people can see your correction (i.e., so it comes out of the "see more comments" category).

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Oh, that's brilliant, I'm going to have to look through all those. OK, I'll vote up this most recent comment also so people can see your correction.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:42 AM

No no, that's not what the expiration date means! Click on the links, and you can see what the oxidation results were for a bottle purchased of that particular product (which happened to have an expiration date that they listed).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:13 AM

First, you can see how "pre-oxidized" your fish oil is over at this link...http://www.ifosprogram.com/ifos/consumerreport.aspx

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:14 AM

Second...congratulations on becoming a moderator, Paul!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 11:10 PM

And I guess I should add something else since my answer probably doesn't contain anything that isn't already known. @MikeD, check out this very early thread on rancidity, which might call into question that one can detect it: http://paleohacks.com/questions/999/the-taste-of-rancidity See Melissa's answer. Those fish-oil caplets might be rancid even if they don't obviously taste that way.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 08, 2011
at 11:07 PM

And I guess I should add something else since my answer probably doesn't contain anything that isn't already known. @MikeD, check out this very early thread on rancidity, which might call into question that you can detect it: http://paleohacks.com/questions/999/the-taste-of-rancidity See Melissa's answer.

3
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 08, 2012
at 04:16 AM

I stopped taking fish oil for a brief period and my eczema flared up. I started taking the fish oil again and it reduced my eczema symptoms.

Bea Arthur Devany posted this info about fish oil somewhere else, and I think it is very interesting info on oxidized fish oil:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22136711

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on February 08, 2012
at 03:03 PM

+1 I don't understand why Bea Arthur Devany isn't a recognized paleo demigod yet.

3
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 09, 2011
at 12:29 AM

I resolved to ditch the fish oil. Every day one of my meals is about 100 calories worth of fatty salmon yielding 1.5g of DHA/EPA, there is another .5 in my lamb and all in all I only get about 4.5g of omega 6 so that all works out.

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 08, 2012
at 04:30 AM

I have ditched the fish oil. In the trash even. I go with Pastured Eggs, Lamb, salmon and oysters.

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on March 09, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Fish Oil has been ditched, as I eat little O6 overall, little to no chicken/nuts etc. Mostly Grassfed Beef/Fish. I take Fermented CLO however.

Hows your K2 and D intake?

We're you using the Ethyl Ester or Triglyceride form?

How large were your doses?


Im a proponent of the "minimal PUFA intake" camp.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:20 PM

I've taken megadoses in the past (10-12 grams/day) but not for some time. More recently, I've taken 2-6 grams/day. Ethyl ester form for the most part. K2 and vitamin D intake are good. I'm no longer convinced I need the stuff. Just curious if anyone else has had similar symptoms.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:29 AM

Id blame it on the Mega Doses and Ethyl Ester form. The minimal supplementation is honestly best if you can get your food sources and omega6 intake in check. Best of luck going forward!

1
78cd6c77dbb60dfa071bdac242b08875

(10)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:25 PM

I just discovered I have a massive imbalance in Omega 6 and 3s that might be at the root of severe depression. Now my psychiatrist has me completely off all fish oils and a variety of other fats, and I am dosing heavily on raw egg yokes, butter, primerose oil, and a bunch of other specialty oil supplements and electrolytes. Generally speaking fish oil is probably good for most of the population. But for me it was making me sick because it was causing imbalance in my Omega 6's - most specifically Arachidonic Acid, which apparently has a big impact on many neurological and cellular body functioning. I would say anyone serious about there health should get tested for Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratio and overall levels first before mega dosing on Omega 3's. In my case I was making my self sicker by trying to be healthy just because I had an underlying imbalance in my body chemistry.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 08, 2012
at 12:54 PM

I still take my fish oil, never was taking ginormous doses though. I'm not convinced that PUFA ratios need to be as tight as some think they should, nor am I convinced that extremely low PUFA intake is beneficial/necessary. Most all foods are high in PUFAs and biased towards omega-6s - aside from beef (low in PUFA) and salmon (high in omega-3). Doesn't make logical evolutionary sense that our diets should be low in PUFA and 1:1 in omegas if that requires eating a very limited diet.

-1
C9d591fc86931ea09e58b6d769342985

on March 09, 2011
at 04:01 AM

I hear all about these fish oil burps being disgusting, but I have had a different effect. I have fish oil farts, ugg slippers and normally mine don't smell, but wow, these are the worst I have ever smelled before.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:07 AM

some how this strikes me as really weird spam

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