3

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Is there such a thing as too much Omega-3?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 18, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Is there such a thing a too much Omega 3? (per serving, per day, per week, etc.)

What if the Omega6/Omega3 ratio tilts in favour of O3 instead of the 1/1 recommended ratio?

What would be the health risks, and dangers if any?

7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on March 04, 2013
at 01:47 PM

I thought RW recently backed way off these recommendations of high levels of Omega 3 in one of his podcasts?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 04, 2013
at 01:12 PM

That seems fine to me. I think a lot of the comments in this thread are alarmist, you'd be hard-pressed to OD on omega-3s without supplementation.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 19, 2011
at 03:24 PM

thank you james- i know it was supposed to only be for 30 days. i only did it for a couple of weeks, and was really only consistent with it a few days. i was probably averaging 12g per day for a couple of weeks, so still less than the calculator recommended, but i think still too much! i keep meaning to get those podcasts- never seem to have the time to listen to them. thank you!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 19, 2011
at 02:56 AM

Remember, that's not a permanent 25g, it's only for a relatively short time. Also, he's changed his thoughts recently on it (reducing the amount), although I don't think it is reflected on his website (you'll need to listen to some of his recent podcasts).

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 19, 2011
at 01:35 AM

woah! this is interesting....according to robb wolfs calculator, i should be taking 25g per day! thats because i have MS and have about 50 pounds to lose. i have not been really great about taking it just because its a lot of pills, but tonight i got my period for the first time in a YEAR (i have the mirena IUD). thats actually a little concerning, so i think im going to cut back to 2g per day, max. im good about avoiding CAFO and nuts in favor of grassfed and i eat a lot of fish since my SO is pescatarian. thanks for the info!

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9 Answers

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2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 18, 2011
at 04:14 PM

Yes. Omega 3 is a blood thinner. Some people have reported thin blood and excessive bleeding when taking large amounts of omega 3 capsules. Might be harder to OD when just eating actual food though, instead of the pills. It's blood thinning capabilities might also account for some of the positive effects it seems to have on circulation problems like heart disease.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 19, 2011
at 03:24 PM

thank you james- i know it was supposed to only be for 30 days. i only did it for a couple of weeks, and was really only consistent with it a few days. i was probably averaging 12g per day for a couple of weeks, so still less than the calculator recommended, but i think still too much! i keep meaning to get those podcasts- never seem to have the time to listen to them. thank you!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 19, 2011
at 02:56 AM

Remember, that's not a permanent 25g, it's only for a relatively short time. Also, he's changed his thoughts recently on it (reducing the amount), although I don't think it is reflected on his website (you'll need to listen to some of his recent podcasts).

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 19, 2011
at 01:35 AM

woah! this is interesting....according to robb wolfs calculator, i should be taking 25g per day! thats because i have MS and have about 50 pounds to lose. i have not been really great about taking it just because its a lot of pills, but tonight i got my period for the first time in a YEAR (i have the mirena IUD). thats actually a little concerning, so i think im going to cut back to 2g per day, max. im good about avoiding CAFO and nuts in favor of grassfed and i eat a lot of fish since my SO is pescatarian. thanks for the info!

7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on March 04, 2013
at 01:47 PM

I thought RW recently backed way off these recommendations of high levels of Omega 3 in one of his podcasts?

2
3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on January 18, 2011
at 05:26 PM

Yes, I would aim for an amount based on our evolutionary intake, or an intake similar to that of healthy cultures that we've studied such as the Kitavans.

Polyunsaturated fats, including omega 3, are highly oxidizable oils. You need to keep the total percentage of calories from polyunsaturated fats low in your diet. For modern Americans, that means severely restricting omega-6. For people on the Paleo diet and supplementing with a lot of fish oil, often that means taking in less omega-3.

Keep in mind that hunter gatherer populations don't supplement with fish oil. They have fresh fish if they are near the water, but there are also plenty of those populations which get by well on just a little bit of DHA from grass fed land mammals. There are certainly reasons to look at getting your omega 3 intake from fresh fish over oils contained in jars for several months--one of the main reasons being that omega 3 is highly reactive and you could be eating rancid or abnormal amounts of oxidized fat when you consume oils that were derived from a fish over a year ago.

A lot of the long term literature on fish oil isn't that impressive.

1
0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on March 04, 2013
at 01:00 PM

Roughly how much omega-3 a day is too much if one is not supplementing with pills/oils? I typically get between 2-5g of o3 a day. My sources are fish (I am paleo-pescetarian), berries and vegetables. I consciously try to get as much omega-3 as possible and keep my o6 as low as possible.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 04, 2013
at 01:12 PM

That seems fine to me. I think a lot of the comments in this thread are alarmist, you'd be hard-pressed to OD on omega-3s without supplementation.

1
5edbf85deaf83e13b176df023abb154d

on January 19, 2011
at 01:07 AM

Check out PaNu on this topic and you'll get more than what you're seeking, information-wise.

http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2010/3/18/sat-fat-or-pufa-which-one-do-you-fear.html

http://www.paleonu.com/get-started/

Basically, ALL PUFAs will oxidize, including Omega 3s. You'll be better off if you investigate the possibility of reducing your Omega 6 intake in order to lessen the need for too many Omega 3s, which should be taken in proportion to Omega 6s.

1
Medium avatar

on January 18, 2011
at 06:22 PM

I think a good goal is to arrange one's diet so that the supplementation of omega-3s is unnecessary. This can be achieved via the consumption of grass-fed ruminants and fatty fish.

0
A8be2aed1e48d7f5393797ba6fc022a8

on May 16, 2013
at 12:50 AM

Actually the study that refers to suppression of T Cells doesn't nessecarily mean that is a bad thing. Remicade and other agreessive treatments for Ulcerative Colitis are administered for this very reason, to reduce the activity of T Cells. I'm not familiar with the study that you have referenced, since it's not listed, but if it was in a specific population of people suffering from auto immune conditions, then its possible that suppression of T Cell activity would be a good thing. Just my thoughts.

0
C18f9c4a15bdc58f6680f14c3fbce55a

on May 15, 2013
at 09:49 PM

First of all, an omega 3 vs omega 6 ratio of 1:1 is very hard to maintain. 1:3 omega 3 vs omega 6 ratio is more realistic. Can we consume too much of omega 3? Of course. Even though omega 3 fat is a healthy fat it is still fat. And too much of fat is not recommended because fat has a lot of calories. 1 gram of fat has 9 calories. So 50 grams of fat that contains omega 3 means 450 extra kcal per day. That's a half hour of intense running. See this article on how much omega 3 per day is advised for a healthy individual. In short, try to eat as much food that contains omega 3 as you can. That would be different kinds of fish or nuts and don't worry about consuming it too much. Rather be worried about consuming too much of omega 6 and omega 6 fat. Hope this helps. Regards, Tom

0
902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on January 18, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Though my understanding of this topic is limited, I seem to remember several studies suggesting extremely high omega-3 intake results not only in blood-thinning and bleeding, but also immune system depression. Specifically, one study found suppression of natural killer T-cells and natural killer cells (the implication being theoretical increase in rates of cancerous tumors and susceptibility to viral infection).

Moderation in all things, I suppose. I've yet to really be convinced of any supplement that's not better obtained from the fresh, whole food.

0
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on January 18, 2011
at 05:12 PM

From the American Heart Association page "Patients taking more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from capsules should do so only under a physician’s care. High intakes could cause excessive bleeding in some people. "

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