Dosage Of Fish Oil For Depression & Anxiety

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

When it comes to supplements that help the brain function its best, there are few things that compete with fish oil. The omega-3 oils that are found in fish oil are some of the most basic building blocks for creating healthy nerve cells and for keeping existing ones happy. Many studies have shown that cultures who eat a lot of foods high in Omega-3 oils have lower suicide rates, lower incidences of depression, and happier overall cultural perspectives. Some experimental studies in drug rehabilitation clinics have shown initial results of brain cell regrowth when enough fish oil is taken. For people who have lost a high number of brain cells to drugs like meth, this can be a huge mercy. However, there are some downsides to taking too much of the wrong fish oils. Here are some tips on choosing the right dosage:

Know Your Source
Fish oil can come from many sources. It can come from microscopic krill oil or larger, coldwater fish like salmon and tuna. Unfortunately, because supplements are often not well regulated by the FDA, many of the fish used in processing them are raised in polluted areas or are given contaminated feed, and can pass those pollutants on to others. These include mercury, PCBs, heavy metals and other toxins. By sourcing good fish oil that guarantees it is free from these things, you lower your risk of doing additional harm to yourself. The second thing to consider with source is species. Some people get offputting fishy burps and other issues when they have fish oil from some species like cod, but nothing with salmon, tuna or krill. Learn what works for you and stick with it.

Use Your Gut
Another thing to consider when it comes to dosage of fish oil is how your intestinal tract reacts. Once it gives you diarrhea or other complications, it's too much. Fish oil can give these symptoms temporarily as it helps to rebalance the intestinal flora in your gut, but after about three weeks, then it's time to lower the dose or choose another species or company for your fish oil.

Follow FDA Guidelines
Depending on where the oil comes from, specifically whether it comes from organs or meat, there are different amounts of associated vitamins in the oil that will dictate your dosage before the Omega 3 or DHA does. Vitamins A and E are fat soluble vitamins, and they are both known to cause health problems when taken in too high of a dose. This is especially true if you are pregnant, as fetal issues with too much vitamin A can be very, very high. Keep an eye on the levels of these in your oil, and don't overdose.

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