2

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Fish vs. fish oil and being able to fall asleep

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 03, 2012 at 8:28 AM

So I've yet to figure this one out on my own and thought I should throw it out there to see if anyone else has any insight.

If I eat a big salmon steak for dinner, I sleep like a baby.

If I have fish oil late in the day, I have trouble falling asleep and toss and turn all night.

What gives?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:49 PM

Perhaps it's not wht is removed, but what is concentrated through processing. Or the processing itself and subsequent storage. There is a concern that some fish oil has higher levels of heavy metals such as mercury.

22fd82abf435768244f8d074430cd1e6

(590)

on July 04, 2012
at 10:37 AM

Histamine is formed when things get "fermented". Or stored. Fish especially (i.e. fish that is not fresh is very high in histamine).

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:12 PM

What is it in the capsules that has histamine, is it an additive?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:11 PM

While framing the question I did have her Ted talk kinda floating around my head, especially the part about cofactors within food. I guess I'm curious what it is exactly that is isolated and removed from the fish to make the oil that causes the sleeplessness.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:27 PM

+1 for Dr. Wahls. She is my hero.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on July 03, 2012
at 01:25 PM

I've noticed the same thing - great question

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3 Answers

3
22fd82abf435768244f8d074430cd1e6

(590)

on July 03, 2012
at 12:51 PM

I cannot take any fish oil supplements because for me they cause insomnia, anxious feeling, bowel problems and even itching in my face.

At first I thought it had to do with DHA/EPA stimulation of brain cells, now I think it might have more to do with my histamine intolerance. I think fish oil capsules are LOADED with a lot of histamine, and the body releases adrenaline when the histamine gets too high. That would explain why if I eat fish I don't have the same problem even when the total amount of fish oil is the same.

I also agree that taking "supplements" is not the same as the real deal.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:12 PM

What is it in the capsules that has histamine, is it an additive?

22fd82abf435768244f8d074430cd1e6

(590)

on July 04, 2012
at 10:37 AM

Histamine is formed when things get "fermented". Or stored. Fish especially (i.e. fish that is not fresh is very high in histamine).

3
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 03, 2012
at 11:10 AM

Googling "fish oil sleeplessness" shows a few people complaining about this, so you are not alone. Here are my off the cuff thoughts:

Supplements do not equal food. This is my take-away from Dr. Wahl's TEDx video. She researched what nutrients were necessary for the myelin sheath that protects neurons (she has MS). She started supplements of those nutrients and her MS stopped getting worse. Then she switched from supplements to food, eating carefully (and paleo) to get the same amounts. Her symptoms began to reverse dramatically. (I know that part of the explanation would be reducing inflammation from the foods she started avoiding: grains, dairy and junk - but the superiority of food over supplements stands, IMHO.)

Fish oil is not the same as fish. Fish has protein, vitamins and such (and it's tasty). Fish is very paleo. Fish oil is a modern proccessed commodity and really not paleo. Fish is likely to be healthier than fish oil, although where it is caught, the type of fish can affect that equation...

The question of is it something in the fish oil keeping you up or perhaps something not in the fish oil - well, I don't know. But for you, just don't take it at night (unless you want to stay up).

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:11 PM

While framing the question I did have her Ted talk kinda floating around my head, especially the part about cofactors within food. I guess I'm curious what it is exactly that is isolated and removed from the fish to make the oil that causes the sleeplessness.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:27 PM

+1 for Dr. Wahls. She is my hero.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:49 PM

Perhaps it's not wht is removed, but what is concentrated through processing. Or the processing itself and subsequent storage. There is a concern that some fish oil has higher levels of heavy metals such as mercury.

1
0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on July 03, 2012
at 10:13 AM

I've noticed that taking fish oil at night keeps me awake too. No idea why.

I only take it in the morning now

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