As you may know, fish oil is great for you. Hundreds, if not thousands of studies have proved its efficacy, wide-ranging use, and its safety. But I'm not taking it anymore. Here's why.
Many people are starting to suffer from food sensitivities and food allergies. One of the most common food allergies in adults is fish. But one area of study that's gone overlooked is fish sensitivity.
Unlike an allergy, a fish sensitivity usually won't cause anaphylaxis, hives, or a skin rash. But it can cause nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, diarrhea, and even vomiting. It also can cause a significant drop in energy, as the body diverts resources to protect the body from the fish.
When I struggled with significant digestive problems several years ago, I had an allergy test done. To my surprise, the biggest allergy I had was salmon. I've eaten fish all my life. It's never been a huge part of my diet, but I love to fish. And eating fish is something I do fairly often. So I was shocked when salmon came out as my biggest allergy.
I was shocked because I've never noticed any symptoms from eating fish or taking fish oil. I don't eat salmon all that often — and when I did, I never saw any significant issues. I never had any breathing issues. I never had hives or skin rashes. Nothing that I could notice. But what I wasn't aware of was what the fish was doing to my gut.
Over time, my gut became more and more sensitive to fish. While I still eat it periodically, I can tell my energy level drops when I do. So I don't want to eat it very often. And I certainly don't want to be taking fish oil every day. Because of this sensitivity/allergy, I've become very intrigued with stories about fish oil. And this one really caught my eye.
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Paul Greenberg was a lifelong fisherman. So in 2015, he decided to do an experiment. For an entire year, he ate fish and other seafood daily. In fact, many days he ate fish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the same day. His experiment was to see if the diet would improve his cardiovascular markers.
After the year was up, Greenberg had his numbers checked again. After a year of eating fish, he used a company called OmegaQuant to check his omega-3 levels. This is a great test that everyone should get to check their DHA levels (which is vital for cellular and metabolic health). Not surprisingly, Greenberg's omega-3 index shot up to 10.5%. Bill Harris, PhD, president and CEO of OmegaQuant, said to Greenberg: "At 10.5%, you're in pretty rarefied territory.... The average American is around maybe 5%. The average Japanese, at least a few decades ago, was around 9% or 10%."
But it's his other numbers that were surprising. His blood pressure actually went "up a tiny bit," he said. His ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol (LDL) remained unchanged. And his triglycerides were "virtually the same."
Now, that's not to say anything negative about fish oil. I doubt his blood pressure was up because of the fish. It could have been stress or even white-coat hypertension. There's no telling for sure without a lot of investigation. But fish oil isn't known to raise blood pressure.
However, because of my allergy/sensitivity and knowing there are other alternatives to fish oil out there that are just as good, I'm now avoiding fish oil. Instead, I'm taking plant-based omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in a product called Advanced EFA Formula. This product features Parent Essential Oils or PEOs. I'll tell you more about PEOs in the future. But for now, know they play a vital role in almost every bodily function. This product contains a 2:1 ratio of parent omega 6/3 oils — a very healthy ratio.
Should you switch from fish oil to Advanced EFA Formula? That depends. If you have any sensitivity to fish at all, then yes, it would likely be a good idea. If you're a vegan, this product would be ideal for you. But if you're not sensitive/allergic to fish, and you're taking Complete Daily Oils (a product I still like and recommend), you'll be getting some of these same PEOs along with your fish oil — and there's no reason to switch.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.