Omega-3 has been known to lower breast cancer risk and slow the biological effects of aging down but, Science Daily reports that taking in too much of the fatty acid by drinking supplements over and above an omega-3-rich diet may disrupt the body's immune system.
Researchers Norman Hord from Ohio State University's College of Public Health and Human Sciences and Jenifer Fenton from Michigan State University reviewed previous studies in to analyze possible adverse effects of omega-3 overconsumption. They found that excessive fatty acid levels may change the way the body responds to a viral or bacterial infection.
"The dysfunctional immune response to excessive omega-3 fatty acid consumption can affect the body's ability to fight microbial pathogens, like bacteria," says Hord. As many food products now come fortified with omega-3s, the possibility of overconsumption is high, and researchers caution individuals about taking too many supplements, especially if their diet regularly includes fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon.
"We're not against using fish oil supplements appropriately, but there is a potential for risk," Hord concludes. "As is all true with any nutrient, taking too much can have negative effects."
(Photo by John Liu via Flickr Creative Commons)