Fish Oil Dosage

Fish Oil Dosage: How Much is Too Much Fish Oil?

written by Vin Kutty

comments 167 comments

too much fish oil

You can never have too much wine chocolate.

But how ’bout fish oil? Can you take too much? And what happens if you do?

Everything you Need to Know About Fish Oil Dosage

How much Fish Oil is too much?

Answer: If you have not taken fish oil before, start with one pill per day. No more. And take it with a meal.

In a month or two, your stomach will get used to taking fish oil. Then, you can increase to 2 or 3 pills a day. Do not take more than 4 pills a day. And spread it out – take 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening with your meals. Taking too many pills at once in the beginning can cause some unpleasant burping.  Who needs that?!

It’s hard to hurt your body with recommended levels of fish oil. You’ll feel the burping and stomach discomfort from low-quality fish oil first.

 

What does the FDA and EFSA say about Fish Oil Dosage?

The US government says we need 1.6 grams or 1600 mg of Omega-3 as ‘Adequate Intake.’

The FDA recommends not exceeding 3 g/day EPA and DHA combined.

EFSA (the European equivalent of FDA) is generally stricter and more conservative than FDA, suggests not exceeding 5000 mg of Omega-3 per day, with no risk of bleeding or immunosuppression at that dose.

BUT!

3000 mg of Omega-3 is not the same as 3000 mg of Fish Oil.

If your bottle of fish oil says ‘1000 mg Fish Oil,’ that is the volume of fish oil per pill. That is NOT the amount of Omega-3 in that pill. A 1000 mg pill typically has only 300 mg of Omega-3.

If you take fish oil that you bought at the drug or grocery store, you’d need to take 10 pills to get 3000 mg of Omega-3.

Are you taking 10 pills a day? Probably not! So no need to worry.

A dosage of 10 pills is simply unreasonable! And will probably cause temporary side effects like bloating, gas, and excessive burping. With an Ultra-Concentrated Fish Oil you can get 3000 mg of Omega-3 with just 3 pills.

What to Expect if you Take too much Fish Oil?

You should expect minor, harmless and temporary side effects like:

  • Fishy burps
  • Bloated feeling
  • Indigestion
  • Unpleasant taste in mouth

If you develop a rash, you may be allergic to fish. If you notice difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of tongue, lips or throat, get emergency medical help at once. These are signs of allergy. You may be having an allergic reaction to fish oil or something else that you just ate. It could be a dangerous condition. Go to your doctor right away.

But for most people, the side effects of fish oil are from taking low-quality products with potentially rancid oil.

Is there a Risk of Bleeding?

Smart people in lab coats argue about this.  The risk is theoretical. Even if you take super high doses (10 pills or more) of fish oil, new research shows that bleeding time is not prolonged.

This study indicates that 3 to 6 grams of fish oil per day ‘does not seem to create a statistically significant effect on the anticoagulation status of patients receiving chronic warfarin therapy.’

This 2014 review concluded that ‘omega-3s do not affect the risk of clinically significant bleeding.’

Here is a scientific explanation from the smart folks at Purdue University.

Inuits don’t die from paper cuts

For what it’s worth, the average Inuit person in Greenland eats about 13,000 mg of Omega-3 per day.  That’s the same as taking 43 Walmart-brand fish oil pills every day.  Or about 13 OmegaVia pills. And they are doing fine.  Matter of fact, they are better than fine.  The elders who still mostly eat traditional high-fat foods made from marine mammals and fish have better heart health than we do.  And they’re all not bleeding to death after getting paper cuts.

NFL players with Brain Injury

Fish Oil DosageDr. Barry Sears, famous for his high-omega-3 Zone Diet, has treated several ex-NFL severe brain injuries by giving them high-dose-high-purity fish oil.

George Visger of San Francisco 49ers had 9 brain surgeries and had lost most of his short-term memory from a lifetime of concussions. After taking 15 grams (15,000 mg or milligrams) of fish oil every day, his memory was “significantly improved.”*

15 grams of fish oil is a  whole lot. But if the purity and quality is good and when built up slowly to that dosage, most people with brain injuries seem to tolerate it. We do not suggest this dose with OmegaVia or any Omega-3 product on your own. This is an unofficial protocol that some doctors use. You should not follow this protocol without a doctor’s close supervision.

Fish Oil Dosage: Balancing Benefits with Side Effects

If you take 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day, it will help with several health conditions*. If you’re over 50, this should be your goal.  Are you getting enough fish oil?

Even though the US government says 1.6 grams or 1600 mg of Omega-3 per day is adequate, they did not define what ‘optimal’ dosage might be. Based on the research, 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 daily seems a reasonable goal.

Good quality fish oil pills do not give you side effects.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

167 Comments

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  1. For safety purposes, the FDA recommends no more than 3 grams of combined EPA and DHA per day. For the brand I’m going to recommend below, 1 serving (2 capsules) contains 650mg of EPA and 450mg of DHA. Combined that is 1.1 grams of EPA/DHA. Energy First.

  2. you need to read the eskimo study again. you implied the eskimos suffer no ill effects from o-3 acids. there is an increase in hemorrahgic stroke in greenland eskimos who consume 13.0 grams of epa/dha a day

    • Hello, I’ve recently started taking fish oil pills and I’m a bit confused. I bought Natures Bounty 1000 mg of fish oil which gives 300 mg of Omega 3. Where I’m confused is on the directions it gives. It states: “For adults, take two softgels two times daily”. Does this mean I have to take 4 pills per day, only to get 300 mg of Omega 3? Or is it to total 600 mg? Also, how much Omega 3 should I take, if previously I’ve been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure?
      Thanks for any answers!

      • Hi Josue – each of those pills contain 300 mg of Omega-3. So, if you take 4 capsules, you will get 300 times 4 = 1200 mg Omega-3 daily. The suggested Omega-3 dosage for people with blood pressure is 2000 to 3000 mg Omega-3 daily, combined with vigorous exercise, increased vegetable consumption and lower sugar.

        Given that, you would have to take 6 to 10 pills a day. This is why most people who want an effective dose of Omega-3 switch to higher concentration products. You don’t have to take a premium product like OmegaVia. Whichever product you buy, look for 900 to 1000 mg of Omega-3 per pill.

    • Hi Sylvia – three grams of fish oil is a standard statement that doctors make. They mean 3000 mg of Omega-3. (3 grams is the same as 3000 milligrams – mg) Remember that fish oil contains Omega-3. So 3000 mg of fish oil will contain a lot less than 3000 mg of Omega-3. Regular fish oil pills have 300 mg of Omega-3, so you’d need to take 10 of those pills every day. I know, that’s too much. If your fish oil pill has 500 mg Omega-3, then you’d need six of those every day. Our product has 1100 mg Omega-3 per pill. That makes it about 3 pills a day. Hope this helps.
      – Vin Kutty

      • Hi Ogboji – I will assume your capsule is 1000 mg of fish oil. This is not the same as 1000 mg of Omega-3.

        It hard to say with certainty how much Omega-3 is your pill without looking at the product label. However, most 1000 mg fish oil pills have 30% Omega-3 or 300 milligrams. Of the 300 mg, 180 mg is usually EPA and 120 mg is DHA. This a low potency product, typically called ’18/12′ oil in the fish oil business. It is cheap, but not potent enough to offset major deficiency.

        If you are healthy and are simply taking this supplement to prevent a deficiency from developing, then 2 or 3 capsules per day should suffice. If, however, you are trying to address a specific health issue, I suggest you target 2000-3000 mg of Omega-3 daily with a more potent product with 500 to 1000 mg of Omega-3 per pill.

  3. Very informative article! Thanks for writing it.
    I’ve heard coconut oil is also great, it seems many traditional tribes still eating fresh foods have such better health than all us eating preservatives and what not.
    I have been having 6 1500mg fish oil tablets a day.
    I take these all at once, but now I just got these 2000mg fish oil tablets..I read the bottle but it doesn’t say what percentage is omega 3.. Do you know how many I should take roughly? I get joint pain but haven’t been diagnosed with anything, I don’t go to the docs much, but I’ve noticed my joint pain has reduced since taking high dosages of fish oil but I don’t want to damage my liver or anything.
    I may look into getting a more pure omega 3 supplement next time.
    Thanks for your help πŸ™‚ is it okay to take my daily dosage at once, or should I break it up? I always tend to forget though, I’m used to taking all my vitamins at night after dinner.

    • Hi Martina – General description like 1500 mg or 2000 mg means nothing. These numbers are the volumes of fish oil, not amount of Omega-3. In my opinion, it should be illegal to sell fish oil without declaring how much Omega-3 is present in the oil or the pills. Also, I suspect that the ‘2000 mg’ figure is for 2 capsules, not one. My suggestion for you is to get 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day since you mentioned joint pain. There is no known risk of liver damage from taking fish oil. Also look into purer forms of fish oil.

      Taking all fish oil pills at once is fine – as long as it is taken with a meal. Preferably the largest meal of the day.
      – Vin Kutty

  4. Is there any evidence suggesting that too high a dose of fish oil could start off a herpes outbreak in a person with the said virus. I also note that after having treatment of ‘Juvedern – hyaluronic acid injectable gel as a facial filler for cosmetic purposes also predisposes the patient with herpes to an increased risk of an outbreak.

    • Hi Lois – I have not seen any data that shows ‘too much’ fish oil can cause herpes outbreak if you already have it. Then again, there is no definition of ‘too much.’ As of 2012, the experts could not agree on how much is too much. But I draw an arbitrary line at 3000 mg of Omega-3.

      • I take 8000 mg of fish oil capsules a day ( prescribed) but I have ALOT of people saying this is way too much !!! What is your thought ???

        • Hi Tammy – there is no biological need for 8000 mg of Omega-3 for ANYONE…unless you’ve just had a stroke or concussion. But I suspect you’re talking about 8000 mg of oil. I have no idea how much Omega-3 is your oil. 2000 to 3000 mg per day will handle most people’s issues. If you have a good diet, you may not need to supplement at all or be well with just 500 to 1000 mg per day.

  5. Hi Vin.

    I have 3 children 6, 3, 18 mo, my wife and I take Carlson Fish Oil (not Cod Liver), and the amount of EPA per teaspoon is 800 and DHA is 500. We have super crazy food sensitivities and for that reason stay away from most grains, GF diet as well, dairy free etc. Our son is high energy and we are pretty sure has ADHD symptoms. We have been taking the recommended dose for years, 2 teaspoons per day. That would give us 1600 mg epa and 1,000 mg dha, but with that we would still get sick often and no improvement with our son. A few months ago a flipped it into high gear and started giving 8 teaspoons a day that’s 6400 EPA and 4000 DHA combined total of 10,400 mg of omega-3. No one is the house has so much as had a runny nose in the past 3 moths (super unusual), and our son has come down out of the clouds, his irritability has lessened a ton, his focus has changed and his ability to self-control his emotions has improved substantially. You mentioned that the Eskimos take up to 13k mg of omega-3 per day and are doing fine! I was just wanting to ask the question, if we are taking this dosage and all is well, does it hurt? Long term are there any issues? Should I maybe take the smaller girls off such high dosages and leave our son and my wife and I on the higher? Do the Eskimo children get 13k mg of omega-3 per day?
    My wife is also pregnant with our fourth, should she be taking that high of a dosage while pregnant?

    • Hi Shane – wow! That’s a very high dose. I would not take 10,400 mg of Omega-3. As an experiment, I pushed my dosage up to 8000 mg for 2 months and I was nervous. It is unnatural to consume that much Omega-3. It will take a long time to talk about the oxidative burden from all that polyunsaturated fats in your body but may be I’ll write a blog about it soon.

      Regardless, a couple of things stood out to me. That you noticed a change at the high dose. This could have been the point at which you/your family reached Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance. You can lower the Omega-3 dose and still keep the balance if you reduce your Omega-6 intake at the same time. So starting NOW, completely eliminate all vegetable seed oils except olive oil in your (especially your son’s diet). Soybean, corn, canola etc are full of Omega-6 fats. Go back to butter and olive oil exclusively. No sugar or any kind of processed foods. Eat only home-cooked foods and eat only meats, vegetables, fruits and eggs and nuts (if not allergic to them). The only grain allowed should be white rice. Basically a whole foods or paleo diet. The point is to drastically cut down on Omega-6 fats.

      Long-term, if you stick with this diet, you should be able to come down to 1 or two teaspoons per day.

      – Vin Kutty

    • Inuits or Eskimos consume fish to get their daily intake of omega 3s which is different than taking a processed supplement, no matter the quality of the supplement.

  6. Vin.

    Couple things for clarity. White Rice? Is extremely high in carbs and simple sugars? What about quinoa? Also we started using chia seeds, flax meal, and pumpkin seed protein in our morning smoothies. Are these not good things, high in protein and good fats? We have never used anything but Olive Oil and Coconut Oil, we also recently picked up chia oil, Grapeseed oil, Macadamia nut oil, and Sesame Oil. Are these not good oils? Our son is intolerant to cows dairy, but can have goat dairy (and we can get goat butter here). He also cannot have Olives assuming this would include olive oil.

    We home cook all the time, and buy almost 90% organic in everything. Our meat comes from a local sustainable farm. We are gluten free as well. He can’t have beef or eggs right now, but can have lamb and chicken and bison. Is chicken not loaded with Omega-6?

    Thanks for your reply.
    Sincerely, Shane Martin

    • Hi Shane – white rice is almost all glucose. It is not OK for diabetics or pre-diabetics. But unlike wheat and other grains, white rice is very low in food toxins. And it is considered a safe starch. So it’s what I give my kids. Quinoa is OK. I generally stay away from seeds of all kinds – they are high in Omega-6, which is what you’re trying to reduce. Pass on grapeseed and sesame oil – they are high in Omega-6. Coconut, olive, pastured butter, and macadamia are best bets. In your case, pastured goat butter. Leave out olive if he is allergic. Go easy on chicken dark meat – high in Omega-6. Chicken white mean is much better. Lamb and bison are fantastic.

      – Vin Kutty

  7. Dear Mr. Kutty,

    You might be interested to know that I had what my doctor thought to be familia hyper cholesterolanemia(sp?). My cholesterol was over 350 untreated. I could never get it below 210 with drugs and niacin. I decided to start taking 12 x 1000mg of fish oil at every meal=36,000mg fish oil per day. and my cholesterol now after even 3 years is in the 150 range wih a very good balance of good and bad cholesterol as well as tryglicerides. I decided to start taking this amount on a whim and figured this amount by looking at the amount on a sardine can and multiplying it by 3. I’m almost 65 years old and have excellent health. I’ve been a life long rock climber, mountain biker, backpacker and general outdoor enthusiast. I just wanted to share because I don’t think the big-pharma will write this up and it could help millions. I started with just one capsule and quickly up the ante to 10 the first year. I then threw on a couple more for good measure. I understand that Inuits naturally eat much more of a dosage than we would ever think possible.

    Cheers,

    Barry Chambers

    • Hi Barry – wow! You are taking 36 pills of fish oil a day? That’s the highest dosage I’ve ever heard. If you and your doctor are happy with your progress, I am happy too. You’re probably at about 10,000 mg of Omega-3 per day. That’s Inuit territory. Personally, that’s about 2 to 3 times more than what I’m comfortable taking. Yes, the Inuits ate that much Omega-3. But having that much excess Omega-3 puts you at a greater ‘oxidative stress.’ This just means that you need to be extra careful about reducing Omega-6 from vegetable oils because they also add oxidative stress.

      – Vin Kutty

  8. Vin,

    Can you please expound on “oxidative stress” as well as “careful about reducing Omega-6 from vegetable oils because they also add oxidative stress”. Are you saying that the higher the dosage of omega-3 the more you should bring down your omega-6? My understanding would be that the higher dosage is only really necessary if you have high levels of omega-6 and the optimum would be to lower your omega-6 and and omega-3 intake so that they they are at reasonable levels.

    Okay all that being said, I had mentioned that myself and all my kids were taking about 10k mg of epa and dha combined. I also mentioned that we have been on these high levels for several months and had not been sick once, which is rare for my kids. The other thing being that my son had come down out of the clouds as far as his ADHD symptoms were concerned. You had replied back saying that those were super high levels and that I should think about reducing them. I took your advice simply as a test and brought it down to 2 teaspoons a day (recommended on the bottle) from the regular 4 tbs that we had been taking. After 3 days the kids came down with a nasty sore throat and sinus cold, my wife now has it along with them. The only reason I mention this is because this was the regular for us about once a month and now for the past 4 months we have been (sick-free), except in this case alone.

    I stayed on the high dose and never got sick. The only concern I have on high dosage is blood thinning, at what point does the blood get risky thin, and what are the symptoms of that. The other night I was showering and noticed a real bloody looking bruise on my hip, I Googled it and it appears that my blood may be thinning out to much and therefore a slight bump caused that hemorrhage type bruise. Is the usual symptoms nose bleeds? There may be another explanation for that bruise as I don’t have any others.

    Sorry for the long message.
    Sincerely, Shane Martin

    • Hi Shane – oxidative stress is tough to summarize in a sentence – it is a multi-part blog series that I may write some day. In a nutshell, both Omega-3 and Omega-6 have chemical structures that allows them to become oxidized (technical term for rancid.) In terms of ease of oxidation, the worst is Omega-3. Then comes Omega-6, Omega-9 and then saturated fats, which do not very susceptible to oxidation. Too much Omega-3 or Omega-6 consumption can lead to oxidized LDL and that’s not good for your heart. Too much of a good thing. How much is too much? Hard to say – there is no consensus on this yet, but probably 3 or 4% of daily calories should be Omega-3 and 6 combined.

      SO given most of us get way too much Omega-6 in our diets, that’s the first place to start. Very few people take too much Omega-3 – you may be the exception.

      I am NOT saying that the higher your dosage of Omega-3 the more you should bring down your Omega-6. I’m saying you MUST bring down your Omega-6. Period. And if you are taking too much Omega-3, like yourself, well, bring down that too. If you are taking too much Omega-6, you will probably need more Omega-3 to see a noticeable difference in your health. So my point: if you reduce Omega-6 consumption, you will probably need a lot less Omega-3.

      Your kids not being sick may have something to do with high Omega-3, but I assure you that 10,000 mg of EPA + DHA per day is not without consequence. LDL oxidation is not something you feel. I seriously doubt that your reducing the Omega-3 could have caused the family to catch a cold in a couple of days. Omega-3 levels take a few weeks to desaturate in the cell membranes. So when your kid got sick after 3 days on lower Omega-3, I can assure you that their blood Omega-3 levels were extremely high. The connection you made is logical – most people would do that, but I dont think one had anything to do with the other. That’s correlation, not causation. The fact that you didnt feel sick may mean that your infection was subclinical or you had immunity to that strain of the virus.

      Nose bleeds are usually the first symptoms of blood thinning.

      – Vin Kutty

    • It takes about a month for fish oil benefits to take effect; 3 days wouldn’t result in getting a virus.

  9. Thanks Vin.

    Will work on reducing the omega 6 and also reduce the omega 3 as well. What would you say is the highest dose of omega 3 that a person should be taking. That also may be hard to say.

    Shane

    • Hi Shane – hard to say, but for an adult, I would say ideal dosage for Omega-3 PLUS Omega-6 probably ought to be around 10 grams or 10,000 mg. So if you break that up evenly between the two, you get 5 grams each. But ideal dosage may be 3:1 or 4:1 in favor of Omega-6, in which case, max Omega-3 from both foods and supplements should be 2.5 grams or 3 grams. If you’re eating a semi-paleo-ish type diet, you will get a lot of Omega-3 in your food, so there is not much room for supplementation.

      This is all based on notion that Omega-3 and 6 should constitute only about 3 to 4 percent of daily calories.

      They key is pretending like Omega-6 from seed oils is poison and avoiding it from prepared and processed foods. Average American consumes about 20 grams of it per day. If you can get it down to 5 grams, you will be in good shape.

  10. Vin, I appreciate your time you have been too kind:-) We plan on moving to a paleo diet in our home, my wife has been getting some paleo recipes off pinterest over the past week.

    Sincerely,
    Shane Martin

    • Hi Shane – yeah, Paleo is a newly-embraced way of eating, so there are a lot of people who don’t ‘get it’ and spread (unintended?) misinformation on the internet. I get accused of the same. Regardless, when I see seed oils being used in paleo recipes, I switch it out for animal fats or olive or coconut. Yes, flax is a rare exception in that it has a lot of ALA Omega-3 but it still has LA Omega-6. The Fastlearners site focuses on the RATIO of 3 to 6. So flax has a good ratio, but the absolute levels of Omega-6 is still pretty high. So I wouldn’t use it liberally on a daily basis. I don’t avoid flaxseeds, but I stopped eating it a few years ago for this reason.

  11. I take an omega 3 fish oil tablet with every meal and drink green tea too I have 4 a day I’m 17 and 9 stone will this help loose weight for me ?:)

    • Hi May – it could, but that depends on what else you’re eating. If your diet is high in sugar, juices, processed carbohydrates (packaged and processed foods), chips, pizza, wheat etc., it doesn’t matter how much green tea or fish oil you take.

  12. I’m 21 and I’ve just started taking fish oil supplements from whole foods and I’ve been taking ten capsules daily. I was wondering if I’m harming my body with the high dosage. I mostly take it for my skin because I read that it helps reduce inflammation. I’d very much appreciate any feedback πŸ™‚

    • Hi Terese – you’re getting about 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. That’s not too much, but my personal cut off is 3000 mg per day. Not a good idea to get more than that. In the meantime, if you get a more potent oil, you could cut back the number of pills to 3 to 5 per day instead of 10 per day. If you want to cut back on skin inflammation, stop eating Omega-6 rich vegetable oils and sugar.

  13. Hi Vin,
    I just started taking fish oil capsules. I started off small – just 1 capsule a day. However, this induces nose bleeds and inflammation in my nose to the point I had trouble breathing out of it. I read online that nose bleeds are a common side effect of taking fish oil, and you should just reduce your dosage if this happens to you. FYI The label on my bottle says: serving size 2 gelcaps (I only took 1 per day) is 330 mg EPA and 220 DHA plus some other omega-3s. Its Nordic Naturals Brand, no gluten or dairy in it. This hardly seems like it should have been enough to cause nosebleeds. Any thoughts?

    Also, one thing it says is don’t take it if you are allergic to iodine. What is the reasoning behind this, as I don’t see any iodine in the ingredients?

    I eat a paleo diet – strictly no grains, dairy or sugar (except for some berries once in a while), and only grass-fed meat. I’m confused why this would affect me so much, any thought you have would be great! Thanks!

    • Hi Rachel – have you contacted Nordic Naturals about this? Would love to hear what they say – they are very reputable.

      But I would guess with fairly high confidence that the low amount of Omega-3 you got from 1 pill has nothing to do with it. Nose bleeds have been observed in Greenlanders who eat 20 to 40 times as much Omega-3 as you do. You were taking 275 mg, a level that your body will barely notice. My guess is that the nosebleed is unrelated to your taking 1 pill of a very high quality product.

      Fish oils usually don’t have iodine, but again, you may want to call them up.

      It’s great that you are eating a paleo type diet – there’s nothing better. But what’s right for you may not be what popular books and blogs recommend. You will have to find your own formula. The paleo diet that works for me gives my wife headaches and makes her miserable – so you may need to find your ‘formula.’

  14. Just wanted to say that I have found all of your comments really, really helpful.
    Thank you

    Kathy O’Neill

  15. Hi
    I take omega 369. omega 3. flaxseed oil to control my cholesterol ( I am 4.7 …1.7 bad 3 good and am 72 years old) my husband thinks I take too much ..1 each at breakfast and lunch 3 days a week ..along with glucosomine sulphate with chondroitin and vita D, cranberry caps, garlic capsules, flaxseed caps, calcium with magnesium and vita d, and my prescriptives Celebrex, pantaprozole, T3, Robaxicet 8, hormonal therapy (because of early osteoporosis)……..I feel great and actually lost some weight and later learned that fish oil is conducive to weight reduction (an unexpected benefit)…….but all this stuff is expensive..should I cut down on the cholesterol maintenance supplements…I buy Jameson and Weber and Costco products

    • Hi Lynda – if I were you, I’d switch from the Omega 3-6-9 to just a fish-only Omega-3 concentrate. Take 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Your other supplements are OK, but if you have osteoporosis, you absolutely MUST take Vitamin K2. Vit K2 keeps the calcium in your bones and out of your arteries. Those are the only changes that I suggest – the rest are prescriptions and those are between you and your doctor. Take care.

  16. Hi. I have read about high doses of fish oil helping people with nervous system injuries and disorders like brain injuries and depression. Would the fish oil benefit nerve health? If a person has diabetic neuropathy, could the fish oil improve the tingling and numbness in the feet? Could it harm the person?

    • Hi Cindy – fish oil can certainly help nerves cells communicate better. But I have not seen compelling studies that have shown a reversal of diabetic neuropathy using fish oil. It’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but on the plus side, there is no harm in trying, say 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day for a couple of months to see if you notice a difference. But I do know that with medication and a dramatic diet change (no sugar, no juice and no flour or grains) that you can keep the neuropathy from getting worse.

  17. “Eskimos don’t die from paper cuts.” LOL! I so enjoy your mix of sharp wit and solid facts, Vin. You really know how to turn a phrase. So much of the information about fish oils is at best, misinformed and at worst, down right dangerous. Thanks for using humor to lay out the (latest) facts for us.

    And the Eskimos take in 13,000mg of omega-3 A DAY! Holy cow. I wonder, though, if through so many eons of eating such a diet, they developed a tolerance for such high amounts? Maybe we non-Eskimo sorts are just weaker in that regard and still should be careful? I mean, I don’t think the native Eskimos of Greenland sit around watching Big Bang Theory while scarfing down Pop-Chips…:)

    • Thank you, PJ. I’ve been informed by the PC Police that I should use the term ‘Inuit.’ So I shall. I think the days of 13,000 mg of Omega-3 per day are long gone. It probably was still true in the 70s, but these days, western diseases of affluence are becoming very common among the Inuits. Especially the young folk. There are grocery stores with the same processed foods and soda available up near the north pole nowadays. Not unlike Japanese youth who are fatter, more depressed and more insulin resistant than the elders who still cling to traditional diets.

      It’s possible that the polar races have had minor changes to their genome to adapt to a very high fat diet that’s almost devoid of sugar and carbohydrates. After all, they ate meat and blubber for most of the year. It’s possible they have more efficient protease and lipase secretion. But that’s a guess I pulled out of thin air…but based on Nordic races having developed lactase persistence thru adulthood.

  18. “Lactase persistence?” Uh oh. I think you just put on your white lab coat. I’m assuming you mean that the Nords ate so much dairy that they developed a oddly high ability to digest it all well into adulthood, whereas most of the world loses that ability after early childhood and so then may become lactase deficient and so, lactose intolerant?

    • Yes, PJ, thank you for translating geek into English. Sven and Inga can drink milk without any issues.

  19. I bumped up my fish oil daily dosage dramatically a few weeks back. I quickly went from 2 tablets of a low dosage (crappy grocery store variety) pill to 10 tablets of the same brand. Everything felt fine the first couple of weeks and then persistent diarrhea kicked in. I stopped taking the pills about a week ago and am curious how long it takes for this to exit my system. Also, is there anything I can eat or drink to flush it faster?

    • Hi DJ – 10 pills of a potentially questionable quality product could have been too much. Most of the oil will clear itself in a day or two. If you still have issues, you could try one of the several digestive enzyme products available online – just make sure that the product contains lipase.

  20. Until Inuit runs its course and becomes obsolete and offensive.

    No harm was intended let’s worry more about the intent over all this PC flattery.

    • Hi Sonia – check with your OB/GYN first, but taking 4 pills will give you about 1200 mg of Omega-3 per day, which is a perfectly good dose.

  21. Hi Vin,

    Is it safe to take about 9 fish oil capsules at once? My cousin told me he did and no harm was done, apparently. But I’m not certain of this therefore I’m curious to know if it is true.

    Thank you,

    Leigh.

    • Hi Leigh – it is safe in that no major or lasting harm will result from this. However, you may have some digestive distress for a day or two. My question is: why would you want to do this? Why not just take a couple of pills a day to get your daily dose?

  22. Thank you for the info….love the explanation, I got it.
    I’m taking new vitamins, and they already have fish oil + my fish oil supplement that I was taking before.

  23. Hi Vin, recently my wife (pregnant) and my older son (8 yers old) took 1 softgel per day “DHA 500” from Now Foods (500 DHA and 250 EPA each softgel) during 2 months. Before that, my son took “Ultra DHA” from Gold Nutrition Clinical (400 DHA and 100 EPA per serving) for almost an year. Do you think it was too much and it can cause any problems? Recently, I read that Omega 3 ethyl ester supps could be dangerous for pregnants and 500 DHA was too much for childs… What do you think about that?

    • Hi Jan – it could help, assuming your cod liver has a decent amount of Omega-3. And hopefully some Vitamins A and D. Aim for 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Omega-3 alone will not treat the depression if the cause of it is inflammation or other deficiencies from a diet that is nutrient-poor and pro-inflammatory. You need to fix your diet with an anti-inflammatory diet like Paleo or Zone. Work with a doctor to rule out other medical causes or trauma – if so get on some medications. You may always add supplements after you’ve tried all that, but hoping Omega-3 will fix everything is setting yourself up for disappointment. Omega-3 deficiency is just one of the many causes for depression – it could be trauma, genetic predisposition, inflammation, medical conditions, poor diet, not enough sun exposure, inadequate exercise, poor sleep habits, a diet that’s deficient in magnesium, B-vitamins, and trace minerals and mostly sugar and grains and on and on…you need to get to the root of all these causes.

    • Hi Jan – it could help, assuming your cod liver has a decent amount of Omega-3. And hopefully some Vitamins A and D. Aim for 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Omega-3 alone will not treat the depression if the cause of it is inflammation or other deficiencies from a diet that is nutrient-poor and pro-inflammatory. You need to fix your diet with an anti-inflammatory diet like Paleo or Zone. Work with a doctor to rule out other medical causes or trauma – if so get on some medications. You may always add supplements after you’ve tried all that, but hoping Omega-3 will fix everything is setting yourself up for disappointment. Omega-3 deficiency is just one of the many causes for depression – it could be trauma, genetic predisposition, inflammation, medical conditions, poor diet, not enough sun exposure, inadequate exercise, poor sleep habits, a diet that’s deficient in magnesium, B-vitamins, and trace minerals and mostly sugar and grains and on and on…you need to get to the root of all these causes.

  24. I have a grandson who was shaken when he was 3 weeks old and sustained severe brain damage (abusive head trauma/traumatic brain injury). After pulling through (he ended up having a vp shunt put in) and catching up, he was developing “normally” until he was about 15 months old. He had started talking then completely stopped. He is 5 now, about 40 pounds (very tall and thin and an extremely picky eater), and we just started hearing about DHA (I wish his doctors had told us about it sooner), and it occurred to me that his formula had DHA in it and he stopped drinking formula at about 15 months old. I can’t help but wonder if there is a correlation. My question is this – would it be beneficial to give him aggressive doses of DHA – what would be the maximum amount he should take? I would also assume we should start with a little and gradually increase it. We are praying that this and some essential oils will at least give him the ability to talk.

    • Hi Grandma – ‘aggressive’ doses of anything needs medical monitoring. I would just start with 500 mg of DHA per day, possibly going up to 1000 mg. It’s OK to take a product that has both EPA and DHA as well.

  25. I have a grandson who was shaken when he was 3 weeks old and sustained severe brain damage (abusive head trauma/traumatic brain injury). After pulling through (he ended up having a vp shunt put in) and catching up, he was developing “normally” until he was about 15 months old. He had started talking then completely stopped. He is 5 now, about 40 pounds (very tall and thin and an extremely picky eater), and we just started hearing about DHA (I wish his doctors had told us about it sooner), and it occurred to me that his formula had DHA in it and he stopped drinking formula at about 15 months old. I can’t help but wonder if there is a correlation. My question is this – would it be beneficial to give him aggressive doses of DHA – what would be the maximum amount he should take? I would also assume we should start with a little and gradually increase it. We are praying that this and some essential oils will at least give him the ability to talk.

  26. Hey Vin,

    I have had behavior problems in school up to about 8th grade, mostly adhd and hyperactivity. My parents treated these problems with restraint, spankings and medications. So I may have head trauma. I also remember my mother telling me I fell down stairs when I was 2 or 3 years old. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with bi polar unspecified, now they are pretty sure it is bpI. I’m now 26 and have been hospitalized about 5-6 times all of which have happened when I stopped my medications. I am currently on 5mg of Abilify a day, which I increase to 15mg for 2-3 weeks upon signs of mania. The problem I am beginning to have is I feel the medications are taking over. I feel dumber than I use, less cognitive ability to and I am wondering if omega 3 would help based on my history. If so how much? What other treatment advice could you possibly provide(diet, other supplements, etc)? I’ve been thinking about see’ing Dr. Amen in Bellevue, Washington. Have you heard of him? If so would you recommend I see him or do you believe there is enough info online to do my own research? I am a member of Group Health Co-operative which is why I am on anti psychotics because it is the main-stream accepted practice still. I actually am not a fan of the things. I am also on 600mg of trileptal/day just for sedation I guess? I’m not sure if its doing anything at that low of dose.

    Thanks,
    Kay

    • Hi Kay – I’m sorry to hear that you were restrained and spanked due to hyperactivity/adhd. Society still does not understand what causes these issues and how to handle them. Sure, fish oil and other supplements can help, but I think you need a different approach. Something that addresses diet/lifestyle causes as well. It’s OK to add supplements on top of such an approach, but supplements alone is unlikely to address all issues. I VERY strongly suggest you find someone on this list (may be more than one doctor) to help you: http://primaldocs.com/physician-finder/listingfeatures/washington/ I think a couple of professionals from this list can help you as much if not more than Dr. Amen.

  27. What would you suggest for possible head trauma from falling down a flight of stairs when you were 1 or 2 and dealing with bi polar I? What dosages of what?

    • Hi Kay – based on your previous comment, that was 24 or 25 years ago. Not sure if taking Omega-3 now can do much…but it cant hurt. I’d start with just 1000 mg of Omega-3 per day and increase to 2000 or 3000 mg per day.

  28. I have 2 children, age 10 and 11. Are they allowed to have softgel capsule which the ingredient (Cod Liver Oil 1,000mg,EPA 110mg, DHA 100mg, Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids 240mg, Vitamin A 800Β΅g RE (2,664 I.U.) 100%, Vitamin D 5Β΅g (200 I.U.) 100%). Thanks!

  29. Hi Gabriel – Wikipedia has a lot of good information. But what it does not provide is context and perspective. With Vitamin A for example. Most people are Vitamin A deficient, yet are afraid of supplementing with it because they’re afraid of overdose symptoms. The risk of Vitamin A overdose cannot be looked at in a vacuum – Vitamin A needs to be taken with D, E and K2. When all of these fat-soluble vitamins are taken together or better yet, eaten together, it is hard to overdose. But by itself, A and D3 can cause problems.

    Also, no reputable fish oil on the market has naturally occurring Vitamin A in it. Some cod liver oils have small amounts of Vitamin A added back after the processing removes it. It’s probably been several decades since anyone got too much Vitamin A from taking too much fish oil. There are some backroom fermented cod liver oils that contain Vitamin A in small quantities – I would simply avoid fermented cod liver oils.

    Yes, Omega-3 and 6 can oxidize. Most people are deficient in 3 and overdosed on 6. The right thing to do is cut back on Omega-6 dramatically…then you won’t need as much Omega-3. Both problems fixed. But the elimination Omega-6 needs to start first, with elimination of vegetable seed oils. Cutting back on Omega-3 while still overdosed on Omega-6 will make matters worse. In the meantime, a gram of Omega-3 per day is good.

  30. Hi,I am pregnant right now and I would like to know if it’s safe for me to take 3 sofgels a day as it says on the bottle of omega 3,select,Jamieson brand.
    I really appreciate your advise.Thank you

    • Hi Julie – if there is ever a time to take a lot of Omega-3, it is when you’re pregnant! So, yes. But I would keep your doctor informed about this.

  31. Hi, I am taking 3 caps of The Zone Omega RX from dr Sears daily ( I am almost 44)… My husband has high cholesterol levels and takes 1 lipitor every other day.. I have 4 children (15,14 and twins of 12) one of them With high cholesterol levels.. I have Heard it is so important to choose a good brand to have The purest quality… Which do you recommend for muy husband and kids (i don’t think they could take the Zone due to size and I don’t know if liquid omega 3 is enough for them.. I am concerned because I Heard one of The side effects of taking regular amounts of omega 3 is that YouR blood becomes too thin.. Thanks and sorry for muy english. It is not muy first language..:)

    • Hi Andrea – if you’ve read much of Dr. Barry Sears’ writings, you will know that Omega-3 is critical for reducing inflammation. It is not very effective at lowering cholesterol. It will, however, lower triglyceride, which is an independent risk factor for heart health. I suggest you look into liquid Omegas – Zone makes one, but it is very expensive. Or you could try our EPA 500 – these will be easier to swallow for people concerned about pill size. Blood thinning does not occur until you get into ultra-high dose with over a dozen pills per day.

  32. Hie my nephew,who is 8years old has been having temors for about 3 days now,
    we took him to the doctor who said it could be the sulbutamol that hes been taking for a couple of months for a persistent cough . However my mum who he lives with said she caught him with a handful of fish oil tablets one day and she doesn’t know how long he has been taking them (he must have seen both grandparents taking them and liked the appearance ,like jellybeans.).The tablets are now way out of reach but just curious to know if the tremors could be a side effect of the fish oil?

    • Hi Fari – it is unlikely that fish oil would have caused the tremors. You already have a diagnosis from your doctor – do you have any reason to doubt it?

  33. Hi Vin,

    Excellent post with very helpful information! Have you ever heard of using a low omega 6 diet/high omega 3 supplementation for cancer? I’ve found promising in vitro studies for a variety of cancers, but few that implemented a high dose of omega 3’s in humans. I’m wondering why that next step hasn’t been taken. My inspiration for researching this comes from a case report of a man with stage 4 sarcoma who used this method alone to decrease his entire tumor burden. He kept his diet below 10g of Omega 6 fat a day and consumed 15g of DHA+EPA a day. It’s from an accredited journal. I’m considering doing this myself. I’ve fought stage 4 sarcoma for almost 4 years now. I’m fortunate to have slow growing disease, but it is terminal and has proven to be resistant to all forms of systemic therapy. I am currently not on any medication so I feel now is the time to try. My biggest concern with this is the bleeding risk. I have my bloodwork monitored regularly though. I’m just curious if you have heard of any other successes with this? Thank you for you time!

    Here is the link to the article if you are interested:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16201843

    Best,
    Felicia

    • Hi Felicia – I’ve not heard of this protocol. I do not recommend 15 grams of Omega-3 for everyone. It’s a bit extreme, but in your case, you probably could try with the help of a doctor. You may want to think about lowering Omega-6 even more, so your need for Omega-3 is not as high.

  34. Hi Frank – K2 is a good idea, but have your doctor test your for Vit D3 levels and supplement as needed. Vit K2, D3, A need to taken together. 6 pills vs 8 pills of fish oil is not the right question. Focus on Omega-3 levels. 2000 mg to 3000 mg should be fine. Your primary focus should be on diet – cut out sugar, sodas, juices, and all refined grains/flour. Eat what was alive and growing last week. Mostly veggies, some eggs, seafood, meats, fruits, and nuts. One mile a day is a good start. Aim for 10,000 steps a day. See if these changes get your weight down over the next few months.

  35. Hi, I’ve started working out and eating very clean. I was suggested to take 5 pills of fish oil with my new eating habits and healthier lifestyle.
    The fish oil that I purchased has 1000mg per softgel. EPA is 734mg and DHA 267mg. Is 5 pills of 1000mg too much?

    • Hi Mari – if each pill really has 1000 mg of Omega-3, then I would not suggest staying at the 5 per day dose for more than a week or two. I’d be more comfortable with 3 per day combined with a low-sugar and low-Omega-6 diet. Be very conscious about reducing Omega-6-rich seed oils, which is virtually impossible to do if you eat out a lot.

  36. Hi Vin. I suffer from (PCOS, Polycystic ovarian syndrome). I read an article online that stated that I should incorporate Omega3 supplements daily. One article said I should take 3,600mg fish oil with 792mg EPA and 288mg for a total Omega 3 intake of 1,080mg per day. Is this too much to start with? How many pills will this be equivalent too?? Any recommendations on brands?

    • Hi Licia – I would aim for 1000 to 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day. This is not too much. Watch your sugar/flour intake.

  37. Hi Vin;

    Thanks for the wonderful information you provide .
    I have high triglycerides 470
    Non fasting and have stopped all carbs and sugars . I am taking 4 Table spoons of Vitamjn shoppe lemon flavored Omega 3 Fish oil 800 EPA .
    Also I have started taking Flax seed fiber .
    Will I need medication like Fenofibrate to reduce triglycerides.

    My stomach cannot bear FenofibrAtes.

    • Hi Mushahid – the decision to take fenofibrates is between you and your doctor.

      Cutting out carbs and sugar, along with taking Omega-3, and dramatically increasing exercise is a really good start. Do this for 2-3 months and have your doctor test your triglyceride levels again.

  38. I have very dry eyes and take Eye Promise (EZ Tears) supplement. It has vitamin A 1,000 IU, Vitamin D 2,000 IU,Vitamin E 60 IU, Fish Oil 1,480 mg, total Omega 3 fatty acids 1,480 mg, EPA 590 mg, DHA 440 mg.
    Should I be taking more fish oil to try and get my eyes to have more moisture? I have picked up some Nature Made Omega-3 it contains Fish Oil Concentrate 788 mg, total omega-3 fatty acids 540 mg, EPA 365 mg, DHA 135 mg, Omega-3 other 40 mg. Is this a good brand to take and can I take it with my EZ tears supplement?

    • Hi Donna – the EZ Tears supplement has 550 mg of Omega-3 per pill. I’d be surprised of taking one of those pills per day improves your dry eyes. No harm in taking the product, but aim for 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day if you want to see any significant improvement. Nature Made is a fairly good brand, but make sure you buy something more concentrated in Omega-3.

  39. What brand of Omega-3 would you recommend?
    Which ones are more concentrated (brands)?
    What are other vitamins you would recommend for my dry eyes and in what amounts?

    • Hi Donna – I’m partial to OmegaVia (obviously) but there are many good brands. Cheap is not necessarily bad and expensive isn’t necessarily good. That makes choosing a good product a little difficult. Your best bet is to visit third-party testing sites such as IFOS, Labdoor, or ConsumerLab.

      If you have dry eyes, it’s a good bet that your diet is not what it needs to be. Taking 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day will help, but it alone may not do the trick. You may need to eliminate sugar, flour, and other processed foods from your diet.

  40. Hi
    My grandson is 18 years old he has bipolar disorder rapid cycling.
    I have heard that taking fish oil could help dramatically. Is this true and if so what should his daily dose be?
    Thank you Angela

    • Hi Angela – bipolar disorder is a serious condition and you must work with your grandson’s doctor for all therapies. However, taking 3000 mg of EPA and DHA Omega-3 per day will help you figure out if it’s of use to him.

  41. I take nature made fish oil pills, Fish Oil 1000mg, 300 mgOMEGA-3, Am I taking to much fish oil if I take 2 pills a day

    • Hi Cesar – no, that is not too much. That gives you 600 mg. It may not be enough. It is enough to prevent deficiency symptoms. But if you are trying to address specific health conditions, you will need a lot more Omega-3 than that, like 2000 or 3000 mg per day. Instead of taking more pills, you can take a more concentrated product like OmegaVia or one of the other Triple Strength or ‘Pharmaceutical Grade’ fish oils. The number of pills you take is irrelevant. How much Omega-3 you take is what matters.

  42. Hi,
    I found all the information & the Q&A’s very informative. I have two questions. My son is almost 4yo. He has mild autism, some behavioural issues like nail biting, excessive fidgeting & extreme picky eater. I started nature’s way kids smart omega-3 fish oil for him. Each softgel capsule is 500mg providing omega-3 marine triglycerides 170mg as DHA 133mg, EPA 28mg. Its been an year I gave him this capsule in milk once or twice a week. But improvements were minimal. Just recently I increased the dose to two capsules per day and that too religiously. I observe hes a little calmer & observant than before. Do you think I can still increase the dose to three caps per day?
    Also, I recently have started to feel very depressed & forgetful of things. Where I kept my keys, cellphone etc. Im 34 years old. No medical history.Do you suggest fish oil for me & the dosage?

    • Hi Mary – you may have some additional options here: https://omegavia.com/omega-3-kids/

      Yes, you can increase dosage to 3 pills a day. That would add up to 600 mg of Omega-3 daily, which is a good and safe dose. You may also want to talk to an integrative medicine MD about the situation, along with a dietitian. Supplements like magnesium, and probiotics can help as well. A focus on diet (lots of veggies, seafood, and very little sugar, or processed grains) and exposure to direct sunshine will help.

      As for you forgetting keys and cellphone, I won’t promise that fish oil will help. Focus on sleep quality, stress management and diet. Start with sugar elimination. If you want to add fish oil on top of all that, great!

  43. I am taking Nordic Natural Ultimate Omega 3 [great lemon taste] 1 teaspoon daily. Manufacturer’s recommend 1/2 to 1 teaspoon. What is your recommendation ?
    Thank u – from Malaysia

    • Hi pta – that’s a good product. One teaspoon of that should give you a good dose of Omega-3. Just be sure to keep the bottle in the fridge. Liquid fish oil can go rancid easily, if not consumed within a couple of months of opening or if left out at room temperature.

  44. Hello. i have a few questions… what happen if i think i overdose eating fish oil 4 or 6 capsule a day and feel uncomfortable, dizzy, moody and always wanna vomit. What have i do ? is it because my habit or i have to stop eating fish oil?

    • Hi Diyana – 4 to 6 fish oil capsules can cause stomach discomfort if the oil is old or rancid. Discontinue taking for a few days and stay at 1 or 2 capsules per day.

  45. Hello I’m 22 year old woman I’m new to taking Fish oil so i went to the store clueless about what I was buying so I got Spring Valleys Fish Oil 1200mg 600 mg Omega-3 plus vitamin D3 2000 IU my question is should i continue taking it only side affect i can say i have is loss of appetite

    • Hi Crystall – loss of appetite is not a typical side effect of Omega-3. But you can continue taking it – it should not be a problem. There are several better fish oils out there (Check IFOS.com or Labdoor.com – they are independent review sites).

  46. Hi,

    I take 100mg/day of Lamictal (“PTSD, Cyclothymia etc”). I have been low sugar for 3 weeks now (KD – Ketogenic Diet) 70% Healthy Fats, 25% Protein, 5% Carbs) Lots of Veggies

    I have eliminated starch, sugar, grains, white flour etc almost 100%.

    I take the following:

    Mushroom Drink (Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps) w/ Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

    Apple Cider Vinegar a few times per day

    Bitters

    Baking Soda Drink (lemon, apple cider vinegar, baking soda 1/2 tsp) once ot twice a week

    Himalayan Salt (5000-7000 mg/day)

    Nutritional Yeast Drink (B Vitamins)

    Emergency Electrolyte Drink in Morning (potassium 400mg/day + 500mg/magnesium)

    Magnesium (500 mg before bed along with 2 -100mg 5HTP)

    Chromium Picolinate (200 mg/day)

    L-Glutamine (5000 mg/day)

    Creatine (5000 mg/day)

    Mega Foods Daily Multivitamin

    Garden of Life HSO Probiotics

    Omega-3 Fish Oils (4500mg/day) EPA (2000mg), DHA (1500mg), Other Omega-3’s (1000mg/day)

    My question is when I’m at about the 7-10 day mark of the Ketogenic Diet I start experiencing insomnia.

    It works great up until then. Then I have to do some sweet potato or butternut squash before sleep to take the wakefulness out of my brain to get some shuteye.

    I read that when on the KD many people experience insomnia and others have a lessened need for as much sleep.

    I also read an article online that Lamictal mixed with the KD might have a inverse relationship towards the effectiveness of KD’ing.

    There are so many benefits to the KD neurologically speaking along with many other ways. I really want to make this work.

    Might you know or have any suggestions as to why at around the 1 week mark I start experiencing insomnia and what I can do to improve my sleep?

    I’m pretty certain that by 7 days I’m in Ketosis but not yet Keto-adapted.

    A lot here to consider but any insights you provide would be greatly appreciated!

    Glenn

    • Hi Glenn – I can’t speak to Lamictal, as it is a prescription drug. However, I can talk diets and nutrition all day long. I am not a big fan of ketogenic diets, even though I strongly urge anyone who’ll listen to cut out sugar, grains, and lower their carbs. But I’ll admit that ketogenic diets can be useful for some people with neurological issues – and given your use of Lamictal, you may qualify. If you were told to go on KD by a doctor, then, he or she needs to guide you through it or the dietitian associated with the doctor. For the rest of us, ketogenic diets are overkill. They often just end up starving the gut microbiome, and in my case, messing with my thyroid levels.

      You’re not the only who’s lost sleep with a low-carb diet. I’m sorry about what you’re going thru. I’ve been there! I can guess several reasons why you started losing sleep – hormone disruptions from the extremely low carbs (you need insulin to make tryptophan more available for conversion into serotonin and melatonin…and with low carb, your insulin levels are too low to make those sleep-inducing neurotransmitters) and possibly disruption of neurotransmitter production in the gut from starving microbiome.

      So, if your doctor told you to go on KD, go back to him/her and complain that you are not sleeping. If you’re given a prescription for Ambien or Xanax, you have another problem – a doctor who does not know nutrition.

      Consider this: 5% carbs may simply be too low for you. Some people get by OK on 5%. But apparently not you. Or me!

  47. It also said that people who takes lots of fish fish oil, is at high risk for high grade prostate cancer, Thats something taking into account that it was was not mentioned on the warning

  48. I take 2 omega XL, 2 flaxseed oil, 2- 1000 mg fish oil and 3 1000 mg Neptune Krill oil plus 2 tablespoons flaxseed per day.
    Trying to get my hdl ands ldl under control while stopping plaque in my arteries
    I also do a 5k interval run per day.
    I watch my diet to keep sugars, fats , and saturated fats under control as well.
    Is this pretty safe ?
    Thanks

    • Hi T – it sounds like you are covered on the Omega front pretty well. And also on the aerobic exercise. Keeping sugars out of your diet is a third win. But that’s just three of a couple dozen factors. Keeping fat out of your diet is a 1980s thing. Saturated fats, egg yolks and butter are no longer considered the enemy. However, vegetable seed oils that are rich in Omega-6 should be limited – these are oils made from soy, corn, peanut, etc.

      There are a dozen other factors that contribute to good heart health. If you are concerned about your arteries, you need Vitamin K2. How high in your blood Vitamin D level. Are you getting enough Magnesium? So many other dietary factors to consider.

      • I make sure to have 1-2 oz mix of cashews, pecans, almonds, and walnuts per day.
        I have dark chocolate in my diet with cocoavia tablets.
        I use D3 tablets every day
        do not eat soy products
        I do a smoothie with almond milk, oatmeal, PB Fit, flaxseed, and cocoavia to start my day.
        I use the myfitness pal app to watch my diet as well.
        my sugars come from fruits and i try to keep as much processed food out of my diet
        not the perfect diet but mostly plant based and very little meat.
        Thanks for your info !!

        • HI T – sounds fairly good. Unless you are avoiding meat for ethical or religious reasons, there is no nutritional reason to avoid meat and eggs. Seafood, eggs, and red meat are very nutrient dense and should be part of a healthy diet. No need to avoid it for nutritional reasons. A plate should still have 80% leafy green and root vegetables. The other 20% being meats and proteins. Consume olive oil generously and liberally. I suggest a few sessions with a dietitian or nutritionist to help fine tune your diet.

    • Hi T – our sister company InnovixLabs makes a good one. You may wish to read this: https://omegavia.com/how-to-choose-the-right-vitamin-k2-supplement/

      K2 is one of best ways to prevent calcium deposits in arteries. K2 keeps the calcium in your bones and our of your arteries.

      Also, keep in mind that K2 is not one ingredient – it is a complex like B-complex. We simply don’t know enough about the K2 complex nutrients yet. Most supplement have just one of the forms of K2. You need the whole family and the best way to get them is from fermented foods and animal fats (sauerkraut, soured milk, hard cheeses, natto, organ meats, butter from grassfed cows etc.) but sadly, we no longer eat these foods, so just about all of us are deficient.

  49. thanks.
    I just ordered your k2.
    so 1 per day will do it ?
    I do eat some meat but not a lot and eggs once or twice a week for something different in my diet.
    I eat a lot of veggies and fruits every day.

    I am trying to stay as healthy as possible with the foods I really like.

    Thanks again !! Great blog you have here and very helpful !

  50. I take one baby aspirin per day
    I also had a heart scan and my score came back at 220 which they like to see 100 or below.
    Will K2 along with my diet changes and exercise help what I am trying to do and that is to stop the plaque build up from getting worse and maybe help decrease it some.
    Trying to get as healthy as I can so not to have any future heart issues.
    I am not on any mediations for anything except supplements to help what diet does not do.

    Thanks for all your info on this thread.
    it is excellent !

    • Hi T – there some evidence that at 180 mcg (that’s 2 pills of K2 a day), there could be reversal of arterial calcification. There was no study to confirm whether 100 mcg would do the same. We feel that 100 mcg of MK-7 plus 500 mcg of MK-4 is more natural for humans, as humanity rarely ever consumed 180 mcg of MK-7 form of K2 on a daily basis.

      As for total reduction in risk, you need to look at the whole picture and I am neither qualified nor authorized to do that. That’s a doctor’s task.

      But I am confident and comfortable in telling you to reduce sugar, reduce flour and refined starches, and to eat in a way that both reduces inflammation and feeds the gut microbiome.

  51. thanks for all of your information. it has been extremely helpful.
    I have tried to cut as much refined flour and starches as possible by eating food that comes as close to picking it off a tree or digging it out of the ground.
    I do have my cheat days but I do not overdo it.
    I had a 224 cholesterol level most of my life with my triglycerides at 140-180 and now through diet and exercise it is 165 with my triglycerides at 80
    I am still working on my hdl and ldl to get them better
    I started doing a 5k interval run most days a couple of months ago as that is supposed to help as well.
    My diet is mostly plant based now
    I was a reese’s pb cup addict, lol and I have cut that completely from my diet
    my doctor gave me a few supplements to help and I will do another heart scan in a year to see if what I am doing has helped.
    I am currently on zero medications and just add supplements to stay as natural as possible
    So I am always looking to find things to add to my lifestyle that will help my end goals and that is to keep my plaque score the same or hopefully reverse it some with my lifestyle change
    I scan the internet to find good sources and most are snake oil sales with hyped up promises that I stay away from.
    I came across your site and I must say I really like the way you interact with people asking questions and you have very good information
    I thank you for the info and I took my first K2 pill this morning that I bought from the company you told me about.
    Thanks again for all of your information. it is very much appreciated !

    • Hi T – HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, is not very easy to bump up. Not being sedentary helps. Doesn’t matter if you run a 10K in the morning if you sit at a desk for 8 hours after that. The less you sit, the higher your HDL will be. The other thing that helps is an increase in healthy fat consumption – olive oil.

  52. Hi Vin-

    I was told that fish oil not in triglyceride form is not as effective, or is not as good or something to that extent. I generally had looked at the EPA/DHA content alone, not the form. Could you shed some light on this particular issue ? Thanks for all your articles !

    • Hi Alex – the consensus is that Triglyceride form is SLIGHTLY better than Ethyl Ester form if taken on an empty stomach. If you take Omega-3 regularly over a long period, the form makes very little difference. This is a bogus debate created by marketers to sell more of their own product – it has next to nothing in significance to regular consumers.

  53. I have been using the K2 you suggested from innovixlabs
    have you seen the life extensions version

    It has 1000 mcg K4
    100mcg K7
    1500 mcg Vitamin K1 (as phytonadione)

    I am curious of your thoughts on this product as I have a friend that thinks LE is the best for supplements.

    Thanks

  54. I’m currently suffering from ankloysing spondylitis type of Arthritis I’m bed ridden from seven months I’m taking 1000 mg omega 3 to help with my inflammation is it ok or I have to increase the dosage

    • Hi Abhilash – 1000 mg of Omega-3 is a maintenance dose for people without chronic inflammation. In your case, I’d talk to your doctor about taking more Omega-3, possibly as much as 3000 mg Omega-3. Note that 1000 mg of fish oil often only contains 300 mg of Omega-3. Also consider taking other anti-inflammatories. The most important thing to address is your dietary sources of inflammation – sugar, grains, excess refined starches etc.

    • Hi Tania – if used according to label instructions, you will add 10-20 calories, and that is not enough to cause weight gain by itself.

  55. Hi i have just been put on a baby aspirin to thin my blood by drs. Can i still take an omega 3 fish oil?

    • Hi Heather – if you were put on any new medication, please check with your doctors before you begin taking a new supplement. Recommended doses of Omega-3 do not cause a dramatic change in blood thinning. Most people have to take fish oil supplements by the handful before they notice a change in blood thinning, if at all. However, it is common practice to get guidance from your physicians about taking Omega-3, if you are being monitored for this condition.

  56. I have been getting four Omega 3 Acid Ethyl Esters Capsules(one gram each) a day for about 5 years now. I had high triglycerides, which is down now. My creatine is at 17.3 for my kidneys, so I started to take one or two more a day to help with my kidneys When I started to look and see if I could take more than I should, I was worried about seeing that 3 grams is the max per day. Reading about the Inuits made me feel better, I can’t get a doctor appointment until July 17th, 2018. I looked up my monthly lab result and that is when I saw that the creatine Dropped from 134 last September, 74 two months ago, and as of May 29th 17.3, and still have not heard from the doctor. The lowest it should be is 20 up to 174. So do you think if I raise my Omega 3 to five a day from four a day I should be OK? Until I see the doctor. Thank you.

  57. Hi Vin, hoping you can clarify something for me. Was looking at taking a fish oil (liquid form) which contains 4.55g fish oil, 750mg EPA, 500mg DHA (so total of 1250mg EPA/DHA) .
    As i understand the recommened max of omega 3 daily would be around 3000mg… so this 1250mg of omega 3 would be fine, but what about the fish oil? Listed at 4.55g that is 4550mg of fish oil, which i understand is not same as omega 3 … but my question is, is 4550mg of fish oil (not omega 3) safe to take daily ? whats the maximum rec.daily of fish oil??? and would this dosage be safe long term (4550g fish oil and 1250mg omega 3) like years? Thanks

    • Hi Jeff – good question. The US FDA says 3000 mg Omegas is a safe upper limit. European agencies say 5000 mg Omegas is a safe upper limit. Even though there is no upper limit for fish oil, it is safe to take 4.5 grams of fish oil, assuming you are buying a high quality product that has been tested for purity, potency, and freshness. The product you are considering is not very potent. A teaspoon of fish oil should have more Omega-3. My suggestion is to try a more concentrate oil from, say, Nordic Natural. Their Ultimate Omega in liquid form will get you a lot more Omega-3 per teaspoon.

  58. I have high tryglicerides around 250 and like to use coconut oil but found out that they cocntain tryglicerides which I am trying to stay away from. Would the tryglicerides in the coconut oil make my own trigliceride levels go up? Asked a local health provider and they thought they are the same and would probably cause me a problem. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hi Janet – usually not. Some people (about 1 in 5) respond to coconut oil with higher cholesterol levels. But most people don’t have that response. The triglyceride that you’re worried about come from the digestion of sugar, starch, and carbohydrate…not coconut oil.

  59. I am taking full spectrum K2 once a day in the morning with breakfast to help with my calcium score
    would there be any benefit of taking one after breakfast and 1 after dinner
    since I talked with you last my cholesterol has dropped to 115, HDL : 46 LDL: 59 and TRG : 71
    glucose has spiked a couple of times but is still in the safe range of 89-104

    Thanks

    • Hi T – yes, if you are aggressively trying to address calcification, then, you should take two per day. Splitting up the dose may be slightly more effective, but we don’t know for sure. The only published dosage for K2 and calcification starts at 180 mcg and 360 mcg of MK-7. Studies have not looked at the combination of MK-4 and MK-7 forms if Vitamin K2 – again, it may be more effective, but we don’t have hard evidence to say for sure. I take two K2 pills at the same time and have for a couple of years.

      Thanks for the update – keep us posted, especially if you see a change in your calcium score after taking K2.

    • Hi T – if you take D3 supplements to maintain your D3 level at optimal, continue to do what you’ve been doing. There is no additional need for D3 and there is no need to take D3 at the exact same time as K2.

  60. Hi vin,
    Im 26, my vitamin D3 levels are slightly lower than the minimum required level. Currently im taking salmon oil capsules (1000mg) x 2 capsules per day… Is that enough? Or should i take more than that? If there is any other vitamin D3 supplement better than this please suggest me… Thanks in advance!!

    • Hi Jean – unless the salmon oil specifically says that it has 2000 to 4000 IU in two capsules, you will probably need to get your Vitamin D from sun exposure or a separate Vitamin D3 supplement. Most Vitamin D3 supplement will work well, but how much you need depends on your current baseline level, your diet, your sun exposure, along with your geographic latitude. I suggest you talk to your doctor to correct the problem. As I said above, most people need about 4000 IU per day during winter months in northern regions. How much you need and when you need to reduce dosage can only be determined with blood tests given by your doctor.

  61. Hey Shane,
    Question my Dr just told me my Lipids are high and to start taking 1000mcg of Fish Oil 2 times a day… I’ve went down the rabbit hole so to speak trying to research the Best one to take, how much, blah blah blah, to equal the 1000mg 2x a day he recommended.

    Little history. I’m a 39yr old Female who was 209lbs with an A1c of 9.4 on June 3 2021 when he diagnosed me as Type 2 Diabetic. Fast forward to Aug 25 2021 I’m 170lbs with an A1c of 5.9. I have just watched my carbs over the last 11wks. I haven’t quit eating them all together, just portion control and less sugar. He never once told me to check my BS levels, so I have no clue what those have been.

    He rechecked my labs on the 25th and they called today to tell me my results. They said my cholesterol is 186 and my triglycerides are 180. I’ve also have several autoimmune disorders and thyroid problems. And Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease…

    I need to know how much Fish Oil-Omega 3 I should take daily. Because his recommendation of 1000mcg of fish oil didn’t tell me anything.

    • Hi Nichole – you may wish to clarify with your doctor if he has specific recommendations about fish oil.

      First, you don’t have to take OmegaVia (our brand) – there are several good ones out there. Just check IFOS Consumer Report test site for a wide selection of fully tested and approved products.

      Second, your doctor meant mg (milligram), not mcg (microgram). Also, 1000 mg of fish oil could contains 300 mg of Omegas or 900 mg of Omegas…it depends on the concentration of the oil. We strongly suspect he meant 1000 mg of Omegas, not 1000 mg of fish oil because it is the Omega-3 in fish oil that provide the benefits. Of course, the lower concentration oils are much cheaper but you will need to take 2 or 3 pills twice a day (that adds up quickly) if you go with the lower concentration oils.

      For managing triglycerides, we recommend a combination of 3000 to 4000 mg Omega-3 per day with a low-ish carb diet and exercise.

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