Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that may help with certain medical conditions. While you can get omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish, you can also buy fish oil as a supplement. As with any supplement, if you have any known allergies, you are at risk of developing allergic reaction.
Skin rashes are not a side effect of taking fish oil, but are a sign of an allergy. Before using fish oil supplements, talk with your doctor.
Although fish oil supplements are considered safe for most people, people with fish allergies may develop an allergic reaction after taking fish oil supplements. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction from fish oil supplements include facial, throat, lips or tongue swelling, hives and shortness of breath. During an allergic reaction, your immune system overreacts to the proteins in the fish oil. The body protects itself by creating immunoglobulin E antibodies and histamine. These chemicals cause inflammation throughout the body.
Common skin rashes that may form include hives, eczema and general skin itching. Hives can appear anywhere on the skin and form in clusters of welts that are flat on top, red in color and have distinctive borders. Hives can migrate from part of the body to another and are extremely itchy. Eczema is a chronic skin condition that may flare up from an allergic reaction. This skin rash causes dry, leathery patches of skin and can also cause fluid-filled blisters to form. The blisters may weep, crust over and become itchy.
Stop using fish oil supplements if you develop a rash, and call your doctor. Allergy tests may be conducted to determine the exact cause of the rash. If you’re clinically diagnosed with a fish allergy, your doctor will recommend you eliminate all seafood products from your diet.
What Is the Vitamin Fish Oil Good For?
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a compound which has many potential health benefits. While you can get some of these benefits by eating oily fish, like salmon or cod, you can also find fish oil supplements in the vitamin aisle of your grocery store. Taking fish oil daily may reduce your risk for certain heart-related medical conditions.
About Fish Oil
Fish oil supplements are sold in a variety of different strengths, and can be purchased over the counter. Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, including both docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA. The supplements regularly include some vitamin E as a preservative, but may also include a number of other vitamins and minerals, including A and D. Don’t expect all vitamin content of fish oil pills to be the same, however: their actual contents vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. According to Medline Plus, fish oil supplements are generally considered safe for most people provided they take less than 3 grams daily.
Tthe most thorough evidence for fish oil’s effectiveness relates to conditions involving the circulatory system. Fish oil supplements can lower triglyceride levels, which are fats in the blood similar to cholesterol. In addition, they can lower your risk for heart disease. Fish oil may also slow hardening of the arteries, which is one of the main causes of heart attack and stroke. According to Medline Plus, fish oil vitamins may rival the use of statins when it comes to reducing the risk of stroke. While the evidence is limited, fish oil may also help control symptoms of other chronic disorders, such as arthritis, bipolar disorder, asthma, menstrual pain and ADHD.
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for your health, but they do not cure everything. The use of fish oil to controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes has been attempted, but results to date have not been promising, per Medline Plus. In addition, while its use in cystic fibrosis, dementia, cancer, lupus and kidney disorders, there is currently little evidence that fish oil is effective at treating these conditions. There are also a number of cases in which fish oil supplements should not be added to the diet. Fish oil can interact with certain medications, including birth control pills, blood pressure medications and blood thinners.
How to Take Fish Oil
While the UMMC recommends adults stick to less than 3 grams of fish oil supplements daily, they report that you can take more if advised to do so by your doctor. In fact, those taking fish oil for cholesterol control should take between 2 and 4 grams daily, per UMMC. Their recommended dose for heart disease, however, is only 1 gram per day. This number pertains to adults only: while fish oil can help ADHD, UMMC reports that there is currently no standard dose for children. As with any dietary supplement, always talk to your doctor before taking fish oil vitamins.