Pura EPA

Pure EPA Fish Oil, Benefiting People All Over The World Since 2005.


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Fish Oil

Is A Fish oil overdose dangerous?

As with anything in life, too much can possibly be harmful and of course fish oil is no different. However, on saying that, if you stick to the recommendations on the bottle then it will be very difficult to overdose on fish oil. Even if you do happen to accidentally take too much fish oil then the possibility of suffering severe long term effects are unlikely although if you do overdose it’s important to seek medical attention just to be on the safe side.

So what can you expect if you overdose on fish oil? The symptoms of a fish oil overdose are likely to be similar to the side effects that can be experienced with fish oil only much worse.

What are the side effects associated with Fish Oil?

It has to be said that the risk of severe side effects from taking fish oil is quite rare. The most commonly reported side effect from fish oil are fishy burps, a fishy aftertaste in the mouth and an upset stomach in the form of stomach cramps and possibly accompanied by flatulence and diarrhoea. You can help prevent this by keeping your fish oil in the fridge and only taking it along with meals.

More serious side effects can include easy bruising and an increased risk of bleeding and possibly the more serious internal bleeding which can be difficult to identify. However, there is also a risk from ingesting too much Vitamin A but only if you are taking Cod Liver Oil as Cod Liver Oil contains significant amounts of Vitamin A which can cause Vitamin A toxicity. This is particularly important for pregnant women as too much Vitamin A is believed to be harmful to the unborn baby and may result in birth defects.

If you are worried about vitamin A toxicity then it may be best to avoid Cod Liver Oil and take other fish oils which do not contain vitamin A as it is quite easy to exceed the recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin A, particularly if you are taking the fish oil over extended periods of time as Vitamin A can accumulate in the body.

Treating an overdose

If you suspect that you have overdosed on fish oil and/or are experiencing severe side effects then seek medical attention as soon as possible so that you can receive the appropriate treatment. Treatment will generally consist of alleviating or stopping the symptoms that have arisen as a result of the overdose.

Essential Fish Oils for Teenagers

The reality today is that most of us do not get enough Omega 3 fatty acids in our diets and teenagers are certainly no different. This lack of Omega 3 compounded by a diet too rich in Omega 6 can have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health. Previous research has shown that supplementing with Omega 3 fish oil can offer significant health benefits for the heart, alleviate the symptoms of depression, and have a beneficial effect on arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Fish oil also boosts the immune system and even offers some protection against certain types of cancer.

However, some of the most significant results involving children and teenagers have been the dramatic effect that fish oil appears to have on concentration, learning and behaviour in the classroom.

Better performance at school

The UK Durham trials in particular, led by Dr Madeleine Portwood continue to report on the beneficial effect that fish oil has on learning and behaviour. The results of several studies have indicated that a daily dose of fish oil high in the essential fatty acid Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA increases attentiveness and reduces impulsiveness and has a positive effect on a youngster’s academic performance in general.

One study involved a group of 20 teenagers between 12 and 15 years of age most of who showed moderate to severe symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADHD is characterised by an inability to concentrate or remain focused on tasks for any length of time, along with symptoms of impulsive and hyperactive behaviour, all of which can have a negative effect on a child’s performance at school. Interestingly, children with ADHD have been found to have particularly low concentrations of Omega 3 fatty acids in their blood.

After just 12 weeks of giving the teenagers Omega 3 fish oil on a daily basis, their inattentiveness levels fell from 94% at the start of the trial to just 17% and impulsivity from 89% to 28%. Yet another study, this time in Adelaide, Australia, concluded that giving fish oil supplements to children with ADHD significantly improves their performance at school and the researches even reported that fish oil could be better than Ritalin for treating ADHD.

These results are exciting enough but are not the only benefits to be obtained by giving Omega 3 fish oil supplements to teenagers.

Fish oil helps to combat acne

Fish oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can have a positive effect on skin conditions such as acne. During adolescence, there are a number of hormonal changes taking place and the Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help inhibit the production of androgens, a hormone which is particularly active during adolescence and which can trigger acne and perhaps this is why teenagers are more prone to acne than other age groups.

So what is so special about fish oil?

Oily fish contains essential fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that are necessary for physical and mental health but the essential fatty acid EPA is considered to be particularly important for efficient functioning of the brain on a daily basis. EPA is thought to work by increasing blood flow throughout the body and to the brain and also has an impact on hormones and the immune system, together which can improve brain function and general health.

EPA can only be found in any significant quantities in oily fish but we are advised to limit our consumption of fish due to the amount of toxins they can contain. However, purified fish oil with a high EPA content is a perfectly safe and convenient way for teenagers to get enough of the essential EPA Omega 3 fatty acid in their diets to make a difference.

Fish Oil and OCD

Dealing with mental illness can be a difficult process of trial and error as medications don’t always work in the same way for every patient. Different conditions require different treatments, but their actual diagnosis can be problematic when the symptoms are vague or if the patient has been misdiagnosed in the past. Though natural medications are being investigated for their value in the treatment and management of mental illness, they are still not considered the first line of defence when it comes to complicated diagnoses – as is the case with OCD.

What is OCD?

Most people hear OCD and they think of a person that washes their hands over and over again or a person that needs to count the number of times that the door closes before they can leave a room – both of these are generic examples and possible behaviours that can be explained by OCD. OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder, is a condition in which the person can not control a behaviour that they have. This might be hand washing, but it can also be something like hair pulling. What happens is that the patient is unable to control these behaviours because whenever they are not done, they feel extreme anxiety. But at the same time, the patient realises that they are being controlled by their behaviours and can begin to feel stress at the amount of time these actions are taking from their life.

A patient might begin to spend hours in these ritualised behaviours in order to feel like they can cope in the world. Eventually, the behaviours can become so controlling that they begin to crowd into their life causing them to isolate themselves and to not be able to keep a job. OCD has also led to a number of suicides among the afflicted as these people can begin to feel like their life is meaningless.

No one is quite sure what causes OCD, though most agree that it must be some sort of chemical imbalance in the brain that is causing the reactions to the ritualistic behaviours – or the lack thereof.

What are the Treatments for OCD?

At the current time, OCD is generally treated with a combination of SSRIs as well as cognitive and behavioural therapies. The medications help to control the anxiety issues that the person feels when they aren’t following these uncontrollable impulses. And the other therapies help by giving the patient other alternatives to the behaviours they are accustomed to doing. For example, someone who is obsessed about hand washing might be directed to try another sort of behaviour when that impulse strikes.

Alternative therapies like Saint John’s Wort are also being investigated as possible treatments for OCD, but studies are not conclusive at the current time. Some researchers are even looking into using illicit drugs to help with OCD impulses.

How can OCD Be Helped by Fish Oil?

Fish oil is one of the alternative therapies that seem to be the most promising. Because the essential fatty acids in the fish oil are necessary for the body to promote basic cellular function and repair, they are used in the nervous system functioning. When the nervous system is working well, the impulses of OCD are not as strong. This can help the patient to begin to find other ways of dealing with these impulses, eventually causing them to stop these impulses altogether.

Fish oil has been linked in studies done at Harvard Medical to the slowing of the OCD in many patients. Researchers have found that patients with OCD as well as other mental disorders are vastly improved and able to function in society as a result of taking fish oil supplements.

How to Add Fish Oil to the Treatment Regimen

While fish oil seems to be a promising way to deal with OCD and other mental disorders, it is not without concerns. Since fish oil can often thin the blood when taken in larger doses, this is a treatment addition that needs to be monitored by a trained physician – especially if the patient is taking other medications at the same time. Try to find a physician that is open to alternative therapies to see if they will advise you on the correct dose for you.

If taking a supplement doesn’t seem to be the best course for you, you might also want to try adding a few servings of fish to your weekly menu. Just two servings per week is the recommended dosage for helping to ensure that the patient is getting enough essential fatty acids. Try fishes like mackerel, herring, and kipper if you want to get the maximum amounts of fish oil in your diet.


Adding fish oil to the diet can help with OCD in many patients. While no one cure works for all people, the lack of side effects in comparison to traditional psychiatric medications helps to make fish oil something that should be considered.

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