Yesterday we talked about the benefits of omega 3 fats and the problems associated with deficiencies.
Because 60 to 90% of people are deficient in omega 3 fats, many people rush to take fish oil supplements.
It’s important to mention that it’s possible to get too many omega 3 fats in your diet.
A recent study published in 2010 found that an excessive quantity of omega 3 fats created problems in immune function as well as increased risks of colitis.
Other studies found that a blood too rich in omega 3 led to increased risk of prostate cancer and certain forms of heart problems.
Another brand new study done in Oregon state concluded that an excessive consumption of omega 3 fats can lower immune function and lead to sickness.
How Much Is Too Much?
The last study that I mentioned used quantities of omega 3 fats that are much bigger than what most people consume on a daily basis.
But we must be careful nowadays because many foods are now supplemented with omega 3 oils — bread, milk, butter, orange juice, and so on.
And people may try to self-medicate with excessive quantities of omega 3 fats.
The FDA concluded that over 3 grams of EPA and DHA (two omega 3 fats) daily can:
- Increase the incidence of bleeding
- Increase risk of stroke
- Increase LDL cholesterol
- Reduce glycemic control in diabetics
Overall, let’s be clear that you risk much more from not getting enough omega 3 than taking too much.
But keep in mind a few principles:
- Reducing your omega 6 intake (mainly from vegetable oils) is just as important as increasing omega 3 consumption.
- Avoid foods that are fortified in omega 3 fats because you may inadvertently consume too much, especially if you’re taking supplements.
- Use certain plant foods that are rich in omega 3 fats. We’ll talk more about that later this week.
- If supplementing with fish oils, stick to the lower end of the guidelines for daily intake until you get your blood tested.
- Don’t eat a diet fatty rich in fish AND supplement with fish oils at the same time, until you get your blood tested.
The Omega 3 Blood Test
Omega 3 deficiencies are common, but not everyone reacts the same way to supplementation. You can get too little or you can get too much.
The best way to tell is to get your blood tested for omega 3 levels.
What? And Omega 3 blood test?
Yes, it exists, even though most people haven’t heard about it. Certainly, your doctor probably hasn’t mentioned that it exists.
As you know I’m a big proponent of blood tests to get an accurate picture of yourhealth. That way, you know if what you’re doing is working and whether you should be making any changes, or keep doing what you’re doing.
I’ve been looking for a reliable blood test for omega 3 fats for many years.
I’ve finally found one that is by far the most accurate on the market. Renegade Health has partnered up with the lab offering it and we’ll tell you more about it later this week. Stay tuned!
We’ll come back later this week with some suggestions on what to eat and avoid for optimal omega 3 levels.
PS: The study I referred to in this article was published in the scientific journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids.
PPS: The best way to tell if you’re deficient in omega 3s or if you’re getting too much of them is through a blood test. Stay tuned for our recommendation on the best way to do this!