Omega 3 Side Effects

There is a marginal difference between providing yourself with the right omega-3 dosage and going overboard with it. You all know that omega-3 is an essential nutrient your body requires to function. But it may be tricky to maintain and consume the exact amount of omega-3 your body needs. So, here we have got for you the possible omega 3 side effects and some foods that have massive amounts of omega 3 in them. So, scroll down to know what the omega 3 side effects are and how they affect the well-being of your body if consumed in large amounts!

What are Omega 3 fatty acids?

Before we tell you what the omega 3 side effects are, you must be well aware of what is the nutrient all about. Your body is unable to produce omega-3 fatty acids, that is why you need to consume it through dietary supplements and foods. They can keep the cell membranes of your body well, so you’re able to function correctly.

The omega-3 fatty acids are of three types. Which are:

  • ALA or alpha-linolenic acid
  • EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid
  • DHA or docosahexaenoic acid

The alpha-linolenic acid is commonly found in plant sources that provide you with omega-3. Some of the plant-sources rich in omega 3 are walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. But you will find docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid present in fishes like sardines, herring, salmon, and mackerel.

Interestingly, your body can easily convert ALA that is present in small amounts into EPA and DHA. By the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), most of the people in the States consume a good amount of ALA. But researchers are yet to provide the correct dosage of EPA and DHA each individual requires daily.

Omega 3 Side Effects

You know well about the omega-benefits and how they help your body in numerous ways. But you must have a clear idea about the overdose of omega-3. If you leave the omega 3 side effects untreated, it might lead to critical health conditions. So, here we have made a list of the possible omega 3 side effects. Scroll down to know how adversely omega 3 affects your health if not consumed in the right dosage.

Here are the following omega 3 side effects on health:

Common omega 3 side effects

If you consume omega-3 supplements and omega 3 fatty acids foods in excessive amounts, you might have mild effects. These symptoms are the most common kinds of side effects. Some of which include:

  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Belching and the bad mouth taste
  • Nausea

When you consume the supplements of omega-3, that is maybe fish oil or other omega-3 supplements might interfere with other medications you may consume. For instance, if you take anticoagulant a blood thinner given to diabetic patients might have experience the omega 3 side effects.

In addition to that, you may increase the levels of blood sugar in your body. However, it is seen that consuming omega-3 through foods doesn’t interfere with the medications you take for diabetes. And also, it doesn’t increase the chances of diabetes. So, you need to be sure before consuming the supplements of omega-3. If you have diabetes, it is always best to consult your doctor before consuming omega-3 supplements.

You may find that if the levels of omega-3 increase in your body, you might have a slow blood clotting. So, if you are on medications such as Plavix or Coumadin (warfarin) the chances of bruising and bleeding may amplify.

So, to keep yourself away from any adverse effects, take the advice of your doctor to know when to take fish oil or any other supplement. This implies for medicines like prescription drugs, dietary, recreational, or herbal.

Overdose of Omega-3

When people have any kind of pre-existing heart problems, it is advisable to consume about one gram of both EPA and DHA daily. That’s because omega-3 benefits your heart. But if you go overboard with fish oil, you might have adverse side-effects such as:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Hypoglycemia or high blood sugar
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding gums
  • Nosebleeds
  • Hypotension or low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Vitamin A toxicity
  • Acid reflux

More so, if you consume a very high amount of omega-3 fatty acid, you might end up increasing the chances of hemorrhagic stroke. That happens because the blood clotting process becomes slower, further leading to stroke. So, you should consult a cardiologist if you are thinking of consuming the omega-3 supplements.

Your doctor will provide you with the correct omega-3 dosage and the best omega-3 supplements.

When you consume fish oil, you are consuming omega-3 fatty acids and also a good amount of vitamin A. So, overdosing yourself with fish oil might even lead to vitamin A toxicity. Some of the common symptoms of vitamin toxicity are joint pain, skin irritation, nausea, and dizziness.

What is the Perfect omega-3 dosage?

According to numerous researches, the correct omega-3 dosage depends on the age and sex of the individual. All organizations have brought up several guidelines regarding the consumption of omega-3. However, the recommendation varies for different people differently. Although there is no specific amount of how much omega-3 a person needs, but we have generally classified them according to the numerous researches. Here are the following classifications where we tell you the dietary needs:

Adult females and males

You will not find enough data to support the consumption of omega-3 separately. They do not mention how much DHA and EPA you need. But some researchers have concluded how much AI of omega-3 your body requires. Wondering what AI is? Well, AI is the adequate intake a person needs to maintain the nutritional level adequately.

A study done in 2008, says that adult females and males need about 0.25 grams of DHA and EPA to main their adequate intake. However, the NIH recommends females to consume 1.1g of ALA, and males should have 1.6g of ALA to maintain their AI.

Children, Breastfeeding and Pregnant Women

When women are lactating or even when they are pregnant, an adequate amount of omega-3 is very essential. Here are the following omega-3 dosage for pregnant and lactating women:

  • DHA- 0.2 grams and 0.3 grams of EPA
  • When pregnant, a woman should have 1.4 grams of ALA
  • When lactating, a woman should consume 1.3 grams of ALA.

According to the Food and Drug Administration or FDA, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and children must consume good amounts of fishes or foods high in omega-3.

The recommendation suggests that you should consume about 8 to 12 ounces of fishes that are low in mercury. You need to consume this regularly to ensure the development and growth of the fetus.

Infants who are females and males of one year of age must consume around 0.5 grams of omega-3 daily. Interestingly, while breastfeeding, you are providing your infant with EPA, ALA, and DHA. That’s because human milk contains omega-3 fatty acids.

How much consumption leads to overdose?

You will not find any specific place to set an upper intake limit for the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. But the FDA has suggested that you must not consume more than three grams of EPA and DHA combined in one day.

Some scientists say you can reduce the functionality of your immune system if you consume omega-3 for a long time. That’s because it can reduce the inflammatory response in the person consuming omega-3 for long periods.

You might start experiencing the omega 3 side effects like bleeding when you take huge amounts of omega-3. So, you should consult your doctor to know the exact dosage to include omega-3 supplements in your diet.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Foods

You must always choose to supplement your body with omega-3 naturally. Rather than consuming supplements of omega-3, have their foods to provide your body with the perfect nourishment.

If you are vegan or your non-vegetarian, the list of omega-3 foods has something for everyone. So, we have made a list of the omega 3 fatty acids foods you must consume in moderation. Here are the following:


Mackerel is a small fatty fish that you can eat in fillets. You can grill it or bake the mackerel to enjoy its benefits to the maximum. With around 100 grams of mackerel, you are getting around vitamin B12 according to the Reference Daily Intake and more than 100% of selenium content. Alongside, most importantly, you can provide yourself with 4107 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.


If you are looking for a nutrient-dense fish, then your choice should be salmon. It contains a huge amount of nutrients which include- vitamin B, selenium, vitamin D, and more. What’s more? You can get rid of depression, heart problems, and dementia if you have the correct amount of salmon regularly.

With about half a fillet of salmon from the Atlantic, you are getting 4123 mg of omega-3 when half cooked.

Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil is taken from the codfish liver. You can call this more of an omega-3 supplement rather than the foods.

The cod liver oil contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and also vitamin A and D. You can get around 170% of vitamin D and 453% of vitamin A by having one spoon of cod liver oil.

With one tablespoon of cod liver oil, you are getting 2682 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. But remember to consume the cod liver oil in moderation to avoid the omega 3 side effects and vitamin A toxicities.

Flax seeds

The supply of nutrients to your body needs are equal, whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian. So, if you’re don’t like fishes like sardines, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and more, try out the plant-sources of omega-3.

Flaxseeds are an emerging food that has made its way to numerous dishes. You can either have them milled, ground or in the form of oil. However, the whole seeds provide you with the most amounts of alpha-linolenic acid ALA omega-3. But the flaxseed oil is used in the supplements.

You can also get a good amount of magnesium, fiber, and more nutrients through flaxseeds. With a tablespoon of whole flaxseeds, you will get around 2350 mg of omega-3. And with one tablespoon of flaxseed oil, you will get 7260 mg of omega-3.

Chia seeds

Another very nutritious seed is the chia. You can add them to your smoothie, morning cereals or salads and enjoy the maximum of its nutrients. Chia seeds are rich in selenium, magnesium, manganese, and many more nutrients. You will provide your body with all the eight essential amino acids by just consuming one ounce of chia seeds. It also contains about 5 grams of protein and 5060 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.


When you are talking about walnuts, you are speaking about one of the most nutritious nuts. A considerable amount of fiber, manganese, copper, vitamin E, essential plant compounds, and more nutrients are present in walnuts.

But when you are consuming walnuts, make sure you do not remove the skin from it. Wondering why? Well, that’s because walnut skin contains phenol antioxidants that provide your body with huge benefits. With around fourteen walnut halves, you are getting almost 2570 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.


Along with providing your body with a fair amount of omega-3 fatty acids, you a supplying your body with adequate amounts of other nutrients too. You can get a lot of vegetable protein and fiber when you eat soybeans.

Some of the critical nutrients’ soybean contains are folate, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin K. Interestingly, by having soybeans you’re are not only providing yourself with omega-3 by also omega-6 fatty acids. But some research study says consuming high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids may lead to inflammation.

You will get around 670 mg of omega-3 fatty acids if you consume half a cup of soybean in the dry roasted form. And if you consume 100gms of soybean, you will get 1443 mg.

Final Thoughts

This brings us to the end of our blog today. Since you know the benefits of omega-3 it is equally important you have a clear vision about the side effects of omega-3 too. It is an essential nutrient that your body requires to function correctly. But providing your body with the right dosage can be tricky. So, above are the recommendations you must follow to avoid any kind of ill effect on your body.

You can always go for the foods that are high in omega-3 to keep yourself healthy. But if you have a deficiency of omega-3, the doctor is the best person to advise you on the supplement and dosages. So, do consume omega-3 rich foods and maintain a balanced and healthy diet to keep fit.


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