Health is a global concern. Everyone wants to take nutrition that benefits their bodies. People won’t mind investing in healthy diets. Some foods are said to add more value to our bodies than others.
In the current world, it has become difficult to know which foods have the best nutritional value. To some extent, this uncertainty can be blamed on the emergence of nutritional supplements. These supplements have been commercialized.
Their aggressive marketing leaves you confused about the type of food you should eat. You end up depending so much on these supplements and forget about the natural food nutrients. Although the FDA has approved most of these nutrients, the body insists that conclusive studies are yet to be made.
In the line of nutrition, several concerns have been made on the value of fish oil in our diets. Fish is a food that has been respected since time immemorial. It has been associated with a wide range of benefits which includes cardio health, brain, and bone development. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish are what brings out the goodness in fish.
However, recent studies seem to contradict these benefits. Some studies support fish oil intake while others oppose its consumption. Those supporting the intake of fish oils argues that their benefits outweigh their cons. The other group of researchers claims there are negligible benefits in fish oil. Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows there are negligible benefits of consuming fish oil.
Risks of Taking Fish Oil
For us to understand the dangers of consuming fish oil, it is essential we look at them. The following are risks which researchers feel make fish oil unfit to our bodies:
A. Increases Thinning of Blood
Reducing blood’s viscosity can be dangerous. It puts us at risk of uncontrollable bleeding which can happen either from the external or the internal. Thin blood cannot form clots. As a result, when we get injuries, we are likely to lose a lot of blood. If the injury were severe, we would risk death from tons of blood loss. Vitamin K helps in blood clotting by aiding in the production of platelets. When it is enough in our bodies, it protects us from extreme bleeding. Fish oil reacts with vitamin K and inhibits it from forming enough platelets. As a result, blood becomes thin and cannot form clots.
B. Makes the Liver Vulnerable
The liver is one of the most sensitive body organs. It helps in cleansing the blood and removing toxins from our bodies. It should be functional throughout. When the liver collapse, the entire body will suffer from toxins leading to collapsing of all other body organs. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry established that fish oils make the liver vulnerable. It becomes vulnerable to a fatty disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
NASH disease involves piling of fats around the liver. According to the study, fish oil interferes with the liver form. It also increases oxidation in the liver which leads to accelerated aging. Fish oil also impairs the cell function by decreasing the chain activity in the cell’s mitochondria. According to the study, fish oil disrupts the electron transport chain in the liver cells. The study concluded that NASH has other effects; it catalyzes other liver diseases such as liver cancer and liver cirrhosis.
C. Introduce Mercury to Our Bodies
Mercury is a heavy metal that is toxic and does not leave the body once it passes through. Fish contains some considerable amount of methylmercury. No matter where fish comes from, it always has high chances of having traces of mercury in it. Sea fish usually gets mercury from the contamination of the sea through pollution. On the other hand, mercury finds its way to farmed fish through food used to feed them. According to the Dietary Guidelines for the Americans, the consumption of fish oil must be regulated. According to the guidelines, the weekly intake of fish oil should not be more than 250mg/d.
This quantity will help minimize mercury intake. When the amount is exceeded, mercury deposits itself in the body. It is harmful to pregnant women as it also affects unborn babies; it affects their brain, which is more sensitive to this toxin. However, mercury toxins were found among big predator fish. A study at Tufts University recommends eating small fish such as salmons and sardines. According to the study, these fish contain negligible amounts of mercury (if any) as compared to the big fish.
D. Extreme Drops in Blood Pressure
Blood pressure can be fatal when it stops being normal. An increase or a decrease in pressure interferes with your heart health. Fish oil lowers blood pressure and can be dangerous when used by a person under high blood pressure medication. It can lead to low levels of blood pressure which puts your heart at risk of getting a stroke.
Fish oil has a lot of controversies that are yet to be clarified through research. For decades, it has been a part of a healthy diet. Although fish oil comes with a lot of benefits, the risks posed by using the oil cannot be ignored. We should always take the oil in small amounts as recommended by various bodies. When we adhere to such guidelines, we will enjoy the benefits and outdo the risks at hand.