Once upon at time, children dreaded the moment when their mothers cornered them and made them take a daily dose of cod liver oil. As it turns out, those mothers might have been on to something. Some doctors and nutritionists now recommend fish oil as a supplement to provide essential omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies can't produce on their own.
Where do omega-3 fatty acids exist?
The amount of fish oil that you take in a day should depend on whether or not you consume omega-3 fatty acids from other sources. Some good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include oily fish, walnuts, flax seed and omega-3 fortified eggs.
Can you take too much fish oil?
Despite these other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, some doctors recommend a full dose of fish oil exclusively over dietary sources of the supplement. This is because fish oil has been purified to be free of mercury and toxins. However, over time, a few side effects have been noted in consumers who take larger doses. These side effects include increased risk of bleeding, vitamin toxicity, interactions with blood pressure medication, slight increase in cholesterol levels, allergic reactions and stomach upset.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the average healthy person should not take a fish oil dosage of more than 3,000 mg per day. Children under 5 years old should not take fish oil. In an article for Time magazine, Dr. Andrew Weil recommended that adults take approximately 2,000 mg per day.