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Cod Liver Oil Side Effects – Can You Eat Too Much Cod Liver Oil?

By Senior Editor
Food Pyramid -

cod-liver-oil-side-effectsCod liver oil is widely renowned for its numerous health and beauty benefits, being rich with vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. However if you take too much, the cod liver oil side effects are as disastrous as the benefits of taking cod liver oil are favorable. Therefore, you should always consult a doctor when thinking of consuming it, and make sure you are not taking too much cod liver oil. As long as your cod liver oil dosage is carefully monitored, it will be beneficial for you. For now though, you should know the many side effects of cod liver oil over dosage.

Side effects of Cod liver oil overdose

Cod liver oil contains a high amount of Vitamin A, D and E, all fat soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body instead of being excreted out when in excess. As a result too much of these vitamins can cause damage to the body. If taken in excess, even things that are good for the body like the omega 3 fatty acids that cod liver oil contain, can also be harmful for the body. Doctors recommend that all patients keep their consumption to a maximum of two teaspoons daily, in order to avoid the negative effects of cod liver oil.

  • Excessive Vitamin A can cause hyper-vitaminosis and lead to bone weakness and even osteoporosis.
  • Excess omega 3 fatty acids can cause an increase in the risk of bleeding as they reduce risk of blood clotting.
  • Some patients suffer cod liver side effects like nausea, loose stools, rash, nosebleeds and belching due to excess Vitamin A and D.
  • Side effects of cod liver oil over dosage can often do the opposite of what was intended, like increasing blood pressure, worsening bipolar symptoms and depression.
  • High doses of Vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects and even harm the mother with gestational hypertensions and other complications.
  • Cod liver oil may contain traces of pesticides and mercury, in these cases cod liver oil side effects are even worse, causing brain damage in severe conditions.

Prevention from Cod liver oil side effects

To prevent the side effects of cod liver oil mentioned above, you should always stick to the recommended dosage. If you are wondering can you overdose on cod liver oil, it is better to take these precautions.

  • Always start with a low dose and then build up to see if you are prone to any cod liver oil side effects.
  • While taking medication for blood pressure, you should not take cod liver oil unless recommended by the doctor. The cumulative effect of both things can critically lower blood pressure.
  • Pregnant women and patients suffering from clotting disorders or liver disease should not take cod liver oil unless advised by their doctors as they are prone to cod liver oil side effects.
  • Freezing cod liver oil capsules or taking them with meal greatly helps in reducing any cod liver side effects.

To prevent ingestion of bad quality cod liver oil that contains impurities such as mercury, it is essential to select good quality cod liver oil. Here are a few tips to help you in buying pure cod liver oil.

  • Buy only 3rd Party Tested Products to prevent coming across any side effects of cod liver oil.
  • When in doubt, call the producer and ask him to email you the Certificate of Analysis.
  • Consult fish oil standards websites that provide information about pure cod liver oil products that help you evade cod liver oil side effects.
  • Consuming cod liver oil tablets is better than consuming the oil. The latter is better than eating the whole fish, as mercury could be deposited in other organs too.


References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3398725
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11507963
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12069368
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18362100
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8196323
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23497544

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