I'm wondering your opinion on fish oil dosage for cardiovascular and brain health, as well as help for joints, dry eye, blood pressure, anxiety, etc. This is largely preventative - I'm overweight (but exercising), trying to eat healthy, getting my blood pressure down (I'm pre-hypertensive currently, though sometimes reading normal...sometimes a tad high), and generally trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
I'm currently taking ~2g/day of fish oil (that's 1.8g active DHA/EPA from fish oil; it'd be more like 3g of actual total oil in 4 capsules). This equates to 613mg DHA, 1187mg EPA, 800 mg phytosterols, and an additional 300 mg Krill oil. Quite honestly, I'm not sure if the Krill oil has "separate" DHA/EPA levels or is included in the levels I just mentioned, but I think it's probably separate. From other labeling (standalone Krill products in the same product line), they don't tend to list DHA/EPA individually, so that would push me closer to 2g a total DHA+EPA a day if true and give me some extra protection in the form of astaxanthin (the antioxidant) right in the Krill oil (plus I take 200mg CoQ10 and 100% RDA Vitamin E as part of my vitamin regimen). Since starting this, my cholesterol numbers have improved a great deal over the last year+.
I'm wondering if this is a good dosage to maintain. I've seen one argument that up to 1g is beneficial, but more than that is a waste (or could potentially be harmful via oxidative damage or prostate cancer risk). While I've seen others recommend up to 4g per day to get the maximum benefit for cardiovascular protection, blood thinning, join health, anxiety management, etc.)
I'm especially concerned about possible oxidative damage from too high a dose of fish oil. Some studies (for example see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20621447 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9168460 ) seem to indicate that high doses (in the latter case, 6g, which is higher than I'm considering) can lead to oxidative stress damage from long-term usage. On the other hand, I've seen arguments that the anti-inflammatory effects and other benefits outweigh this risk, and if you take antioxidants like CoQ10 (200 mg for me) and astaxanthin (50 mcg in my vitamin + whatever amount is in the Krill oil), that helps ameliorate any oxidative damage concerns.
I also know fish oil has been recently linked to prostate cancer, but I'm less concerned with this as there's not yet any causality proven...just an association with higher plasma levels of DHA and EPA and prostate cancer.
Unfortunately, getting the proper amount of oily fish in my diet is very difficult where I live. At best, I only eat oily fish very occasionally (1-2 times a month, and that's probably generous).
Finally, I know while several early studies showed fish oil is very beneficial, some more recent ones have cast some doubt on the benefit, so the jury is still out in some regards. But some of the other benefits (lower blood pressure, anxiety alleviation, dry eye relief, anti-inflammation affects) are more well-established, so I'd ideally like to continue taking it.
My main two questions are:
1.) Would you recommend I stay at the around ~2g I'm currently taking or change dosage (up or down)? My doctor said up to 4g should be fine (before I found the oxidation articles), but I'm not able to see her again until May.
2.) If oxidative damage was indeed happening, would that show up in blood tests? For example, would my LDL go up if oxidative damage was happening, letting me know there's a problem, or could I be doing damage "silently" over the long term and not realize it through tests?
I'd like your opinion on what I'm doing and what you think as an expert in the field. Thank you!
Category: Internal Medicine Specialist