A study led by researchers at Oregon State University, reveals that excessive consumption of omega 3 fatty acids can have unintended consequences in certain situations. These results are surprising considering the recent studies that have shown the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that these fatty acids benefit patients with cardiovascular disease and inflammatory diseases. These new reviews, which reveals unexpected data about these dietary supplements, urge researchers to establish the level standards based on the best evidence.
Norman Hord, associate professor in OSU ‘s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, coauthor on the paper, said that although this supplements were considered beneficial a few years ago, now it is not so clear. He said that they are starting to see the potential adverse effects of excessive consumption of omega 3 fatty acids. He also said that because there are no biomarkers for exposure and other data indicating the risk, it is not possible to determine the upper limit. Previous studies conducted by researchers at Michigan State University ‘s Jenifer Fenton showed that mice fed with high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids had a higher risk of colitis and immune alteration. Therefore, the researchers decided to evaluate the harmful effects of excessive consumption of omega 3 fatty acids on health.
There have been several studies that have shown that long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids ( LCPUFAs ), or omega-3 fatty acids, reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death and other cardiovascular events. Fenton pointed out that they were inspired to review the results of these studies as recent publications have shown that high levels of LCPUFAs in the blood increase the risk of prostate cancer and atrial fibrillation.
It has been discussed that omega 3 fatty acids benefit the patients with cardiovascular disease because of the inflammatory properties. However, the researchers warned that high levels of omega 3 fatty acids may disturb immune function; this can result in viral or bacterial infection.
However, the researchers noted that the doses of fish oil used in the study are well above the dose that might normally be consumed. According to Hord, high levels of omega 3 fatty acids may result from consumption of foods rich in LCPUFAs ( eggs, mackerel , lake trout , etc. ) combined with the concomitant use of oil fish supplements. “As is all true with any nutrient, taking too much can have negative effects. We need to establish clear biomarkers through clinical trials, ” Hord said.