2

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Fish oil tablets... Is it overkill if you are eating strict paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 22, 2012 at 8:52 PM

We are new to the paleo diet. My wife just had her bloodwork done and they found her to be lacking in many areas (no surprise). The Doctor reccomended taking a fish oil supplement. I managed to find a brand that contained no soy or fillers on amazon.com for a reasonable price.

We have been doing paleo for about 3 weeks now and eat mostly venison (I hunt), grass fed beef, pastuered chicken, pastuered pork, and wild caught salmon.

I also cook almost everything in coconut oil and olive oil is used by the gallon in our dressings and mayo. We are also eating "omega-3" enriched organic eggs to the tune of 3 or 4 a day.

So given all this... could taking a fish oil tablet actually be a bit of overkill here? Can there be a potential health risk with overdosing on this type of thing or should I just have her take the pills and not worry about it?

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on June 20, 2012
at 06:11 PM

Ok thanks for the clarification

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on May 25, 2012
at 08:49 AM

On the contrary, not my intention. I'm just pointing out that you've probably spent years with a diet high in O6 oils. A good diet and a fish pill won't change that immediately (you said 3 weeks), and a fish pill a day is not a concern for suddenly overdosing and screwing up your O3 to O6 ratios. You don't have to worry about her overdosing all of a sudden. If you spent a lifetime on a good diet and your O3 to O6 ratio was fantastic, then I'd ditch the fish pill. Till then, don't worry about it unless she's taking a ton at a time.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:56 PM

Thanks for the reply. I think our diet wasn't super horrible about 60% of the time and pretty bad 40% of the time. We have been eating grass fed beef and venison for 3 or 4 years now and have been members of a CSA and gardeners. BUT we did eat out quite a lot, especially for lunches.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:54 PM

Thanks for the reply. It sounds like you are trying to accuse me of something. I've never asked for a miracle. I simply want to know if an action we are going to take could be harmful to our health. This does not imply an expectation of any sort of transformation or health gains. Maybe you didn't understand what I was asking

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:52 PM

I do keep a food journal, although I'm not very meticulous about it. It's really just for fun http://nickladieu.com I could start logging exact food for everyday

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 23, 2012
at 03:44 AM

You could also be very meticulous about entering what you eat into a tracking program and see what your dietary O3:O6 ratios actually are. That would be the best indication of whether your diet is meeting your O3 needs.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 23, 2012
at 03:41 AM

It's possible. There has been discussion here about oversupplementation of Omega 3s, though it's pretty controversial. It would totally depend on her tissue Omega 3 and Omega 6 levels. Perhaps you can convince her to get a test done after a few months and see how she's doing.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Overkill as in going to cause harm? Probably not. Overkill as possibly making your wallet lighter? Maybe.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:09 PM

but is it overkill if you are already getting that does from your diet?

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:00 PM

thanks for the response. My wife is a person who does whatever doctors tell them. It's hard to convince her otherwise. I got her on board w/ paleo.. but she is pretty hell bent on taking the supplement. So what I really want to know is could a supplement on top of all of these other sources actually make her sick? I Guess that's my real question

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4 Answers

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2
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 22, 2012
at 08:57 PM

The doctor is probably not used to seeng people fix O3/O6 issues by diet alone, but you sound like you're on track. If you are eating all those high O3 foods and at the same time eliminating most O6-rich foods and oils, the fish oil might not be necessary. Why don't go with diet alone for a while and have your wife get tested again. If no or insuffient improvement is seen, then go for the extra fish oil, but then at least you'll know why.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 23, 2012
at 03:44 AM

You could also be very meticulous about entering what you eat into a tracking program and see what your dietary O3:O6 ratios actually are. That would be the best indication of whether your diet is meeting your O3 needs.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:00 PM

thanks for the response. My wife is a person who does whatever doctors tell them. It's hard to convince her otherwise. I got her on board w/ paleo.. but she is pretty hell bent on taking the supplement. So what I really want to know is could a supplement on top of all of these other sources actually make her sick? I Guess that's my real question

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 23, 2012
at 03:41 AM

It's possible. There has been discussion here about oversupplementation of Omega 3s, though it's pretty controversial. It would totally depend on her tissue Omega 3 and Omega 6 levels. Perhaps you can convince her to get a test done after a few months and see how she's doing.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:52 PM

I do keep a food journal, although I'm not very meticulous about it. It's really just for fun http://nickladieu.com I could start logging exact food for everyday

2
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:37 AM

How old are you two? How long did it take to get where you two are now? Do you really expect a body created by a life's worth of living in your pre-Paleo style to be resolved in 3 weeks of Paleo? It takes time to change the cells in your body, and during that time, you're fine supplementing a fish oil pill here and there. Come back and ask again if she starts gulping down 10 at a time... Other than that, get an Omega test every so often and check your levels.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on May 25, 2012
at 08:49 AM

On the contrary, not my intention. I'm just pointing out that you've probably spent years with a diet high in O6 oils. A good diet and a fish pill won't change that immediately (you said 3 weeks), and a fish pill a day is not a concern for suddenly overdosing and screwing up your O3 to O6 ratios. You don't have to worry about her overdosing all of a sudden. If you spent a lifetime on a good diet and your O3 to O6 ratio was fantastic, then I'd ditch the fish pill. Till then, don't worry about it unless she's taking a ton at a time.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:54 PM

Thanks for the reply. It sounds like you are trying to accuse me of something. I've never asked for a miracle. I simply want to know if an action we are going to take could be harmful to our health. This does not imply an expectation of any sort of transformation or health gains. Maybe you didn't understand what I was asking

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on June 20, 2012
at 06:11 PM

Ok thanks for the clarification

0
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on May 23, 2012
at 01:52 PM

That would depend on how bad your diet was prior to your 3-week Paleo regimen. Were you on a SAD? How badly did you overdose on PUFA, i.e., mostly n-6? Did you heavily use vegetable oils, processed carbohydrates, sugar, and dairy?

It takes a while for the n-3 / n-6 equilibrium to change. If your "clean" Paleo regimen is only 3 weeks, it won't redress your prior disequilibrium anytime soon, assuming that disequilibrium exists as in many. Whether you should supplement with fish oil, however, would depend on how bad your diet was before, whether you have any conditions now (e.g., blood thinning, cancer) and other factors.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:56 PM

Thanks for the reply. I think our diet wasn't super horrible about 60% of the time and pretty bad 40% of the time. We have been eating grass fed beef and venison for 3 or 4 years now and have been members of a CSA and gardeners. BUT we did eat out quite a lot, especially for lunches.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:05 PM

No longer do you see recommendations for 10s of grams of fish oil daily. Nobody tries to fix omega ratio by supplementation alone nowdays, but I think people have taken that idea and turned it into an anti-supplement mentality. That not to say a dose in the 2-6 gram range is overkill (unless you talk to the PUFA-phobic).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Overkill as in going to cause harm? Probably not. Overkill as possibly making your wallet lighter? Maybe.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:09 PM

but is it overkill if you are already getting that does from your diet?

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