When It Becomes Too Much
Omega fatty acids are becoming a very mainstream supplement these days. I thought for sure when I started my research that I would be able to answer two very simple yet common questions easily. I was wrong. Despite Omega fatty acids popularity and the nice chunk of change that is being made off it by supplement manufacturers, the solid recommendations on its intake are curiously varied.
When I started out, I only wanted to know first; "How much omega 3 should one be taking in a day?" Second; "Now that it is added to eggs, found in flaxseed and so on, can taking too much just add on the calories and not be beneficial?"
The first question of amount depends on the expert you talk to. The one thing that is almost a suggestion is that you should make sure you get a balanced amount of omega 6 and omega 3. Equal parts omega 6 to omega 3 is one suggestion and at the highest end, 10 omega 6 to 1 omega 3. Most of us get too much 6. See how this is heading already? I guess the good news is that in America (Canada too) we are heading towards 20:1 ratio of omega 6 to 3's, so anything is an improvement from that imbalance.
That explains the ratio's although somewhat vaguely. Now for the actual amounts. The national food and nutrition board is suggesting that 110 mg for women and 160 mg for men is sufficient. Individual nutritionists suggest a bit more. Somewhere in the 500-1000 mg per day range for normal healthy people and even suggesting more if an illness like rheumatoid arthritis is present.
The point that is hard to wrap your head around is the fact that four appointed "experts" suggest substantially different amounts. This makes it hard to give a solid recommendation as a personal trainer that is not an expert MD. The council for Responsible Nutrition, American Heart Association, the Food and Nutrition Board and the World Health Organization all suggest something different. What I take away from the amounts is that if you are at 200 mg up you should be good. If you are over 1000 mg, you are starting to get too high.
So what are the ramifications if you dare to take in too much of the omega fatty acids? The only thing I can find, and you should do your own research, is that you may get some diarrhea and gas. You may want a breath mint or two also as the oils from fish leave a, well, fishy aftertaste. Taking in too much of any macronutrient however is excess calories and of course this is no different with fatty acids. A surplus of fat intake will not bring more results and may lead to fat storage. Its not because its fat, its because of the surplus calories.
If you are worried about drug interactions, there is only one thing I have found and that is with blood thinners. The combination of blood thinners and omega 3 fatty acids can cause excessive bleeding. This makes perfect sense though since it is this effect that does help those with heart problems.
About the Author
Ray Burton is a motivational speaker, an ISSA-certified personal trainer, philanthropist, and author of the best selling weight loss book, "Fat To Fit - The Journey” Ray has written hundreds of articles and been featured in Rising Women,The Calgary Sun and Crosstrainer.ca.For info on Ray's book, visit the home page at: Weight Loss Exercise. To get Ray’s FREE weight loss tips newsletter visit his diet planning website.
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Date Published : 2011-03-27 22:27:59
Written By : Raymond Burton
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