Omega 3 supplements are becoming increasingly popular. Cod liver oil has long been used as a way to promote heart health and regular bowel movements. But more and more people are using high quality omega 3 supplements to promote everything from joint health to cognitive function in old age. If you read our Omega XL review, you’ll see the effort some manufacturers are putting into selling higher -quality fish oils!
With more people using omega 3 supplements every year, it’s worth asking the question: is it safe to take omega 3 supplements every day?
After all, many supplements can seem extremely healthy on paper, but in reality they can cause problems when they start interacting with other supplements, your diet, and your lifestyle. Something that promises to promote your health can end up hurting it if used incorrectly.
So, let’s take a look at omega 3 and see how safe it is to consume every day.
Using omega 3 every day
Should you be taking omega 3 every day?
If your question is primarily about value for money, then the answer is no. It is not necessary to consume an omega 3 supplement every day to promote health. If you want to save money and get the most bang for your buck, then taking a high quality omega 3 supplement every other day – or even 3 times per week – is enough.
What matters most is that your omega 3 intake is higher than your omega 6 and omega 9 intake, and that you consume some omega 3 fatty acids on a fairly regular basis. So topping up your omega 3 intake with a good quality supplement every couple of days will promote heart health, improve joint function, enhance cognitive performance and protect brain health while minimizing costs.
If your primary concern is safety, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Omega 3s are just fatty acids found in the natural human diet. Specifically, when we talk about omega 3 supplements, we’re talking about supplements that provide EPA, DHA, and less commonly, ALA.
These fats are found in a variety of foods to greater or lesser degrees. ALA is found in things like walnuts and flaxseed, while EPA and DHA are found in marine animals and algae (the ultimate source of these fats in marine animals).
As they are naturally occurring fats, consuming them on a regular basis is not going to cause you any serious harm. In fact, upping your intake of omega 3s is almost certainly only going to benefit you in terms of your health and performance.
Consuming omega 3 fatty acids – in sensible amounts – on a daily basis is linked with improved cardiovascular health, lower incidence of several metabolic diseases, and lower all-cause mortality.
Are there any risks?
Omega 3 supplements can and do cause side effects. These side effects are typically mild and are often caused by over-consumption or interactions with other supplements. But they can happen.
Common side effects from omega 3s include:
- Stomach cramps
There are other, more long-term concerns with omega 3s as well.
One concern is doubling up with Vitamin A. Some fish oil supplements contain Vitamin A and Vitamin E. If you’re taking a multivitamin as well as an omega 3 supplement, you can quickly wind up taking too much Vitamin A, which is toxic.
Another concern are heavy metals and pollutants. Low quality fish oils – especially cod liver oil – contain heavy metals such as mercury (because the fish themselves are loaded with mercury from industrial pollution). Consuming a lot of cod liver oil on a daily basis raises your chances of mercury poisoning. This is why we recommend a high quality, algae-derived omega 3 supplement.
Is omega 3 safe to take every day? YES! Assuming you are taking sensible amounts of a high-quality, plant-derived omega 3 supplement, then you should experience nothing but improved health while using it daily. However, you should consider the potential risks of consuming heavy metals and other pollutants with your cod liver oil, as well as consuming too much vitamin A if you are consuming your fish oil with a multivitamin.