An overdose of omega-3

High levels of omega-3 may interfere with control of blood sugar. Save Jeffrey Hamilton / Lifesize / Getty Images

The omega-3 fatty acids are a family of important nutrients that the body can not produce and therefore must be obtained from food or supplements. Members of this family are alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function and in normal growth and development. They can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer or arthritis.


According to the Medical Center at the University of Maryland, omega-3 fatty acids appear highly concentrated in the brain and appear to play an important role in memory, cognitive performance and behavior. Children who did not get enough omega-3 when they were in the stomach, have an increased risk of developing impaired vision or nerves. Symptoms of omega-3 deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression and poor circulation.


The omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from various foods. ALA is found in foods such as nuts, beans, white beans, canola, soybean, linseed, linseed oil and olive oil, while EPA and DHA are found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna and herring. Other sources include omega-3 marine life, such as krill and algae. Pharmacies and health food stores sell omega-3 as fish oil capsules fish oil or cod liver oil as reported by the American Academy of Family Physicians.


According to the Medical Center of the University of Maryland, there is a strong clinical evidence that omega-3 is beneficial for people with heart disease and problems that contribute to these diseases. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids may help people with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, osteoporosis, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder, skin, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, macular degeneration, breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.


Eat two servings of fish a week is beneficial for people with any history of coronary heart disease, while people without this history are recommended daily serving of fish. About one gram a day of EPA plus DHA strengthen the body's resistance to heart disease according to the American Heart Association. To reduce elevated triglycerides, you may need to take two to four grams per day. The significantly higher doses may produce a moderate reduction in blood pressure. even higher doses can cause an overdose, which can increase the side effects associated with omega-3 fatty acids.

Complications of overdose

According to the American Cancer Society, it is not yet known whether consuming large amounts of omega-3 is safe or not, nor whether they have established interactions with other drugs. There are indications that an overdose of omega-3 may increase total blood cholesterol and inhibit blood clotting. Overdose of omega-3 may have harmful effects such as increased risk of bleeding occur, so that people who take medication for blood is thinner or aspirin should not take omega-3 extra warns MayoClinic .com.