Fish Oil: How much is too much?

CrossFitters are notorious for their consumption of high dose fish oil supplementation.  Fish oil supplementation has been shown to reverse or even prevent serious damage caused by chronic inflammation:  inflammation that Time Magazine in 2004 deemed “The Silent Killer” (also see “The Anti-Inflammation Zone by Barry Sears). Based on newly published research, it now looks like “long-term high dose fish oil intake” may become “a thing of the past”.  Chris Kresser, of  The Healthy Skeptic post an excellent article discussing the latest research on fish oil supplementation.   He summarizes in this article:

  • “The benefits of fish oil supplementation have been grossly overstated
  • Most of the studies showing fish oil benefits are short-term, lasting less than one year
  • The only fish oil study lasting more than four years showed an increase in heart disease and sudden death
  • Fish oil is highly unstable and vulnerable to oxidative damage
  • There’s no evidence that healthy people benefit from fish oil supplementation
  • Taking several grams of fish oil per day may be hazardous to your health”

To read Chris’ article in full, see “When it comes to fish oil, more is not better

Based on these latest findings, Robb Wolf shares his thoughts in “The Paleo Solutions” Podcast  #53.  Robb believes short term high dose fish oil intake  is good for intervention (“people who are very overweight and who have loads of inflammation”) , but high dosages of  fish oil supplementation longer than 1 to 3 months could  increase your chance of Cardio Vascular Disease  in the future.   With good sleep and by following The Paleo Diet,  one’s need for high dose fish oil dosages should quickly decrease.   Based on this new research, Robb says they will be looking to update the whole9 fish oil calculator: possibly recommending .1 gram of fish oil per 10 pounds of body weight and even zero grams for folks following a Paleo Diet, eating Grass-Fed meats (see “Why Grass-Fed”),  and keeping their omega 6 consumption low.

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