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Probiotics & Fish Oil

By Maria Z. Price

Probiotics and fish oil have a number of impressive health benefits, which is why they are two of the more popular supplements available. They can also be found in dietary sources. They each have their own unique health benefits and do not need to be used in conjunction with each other. To avoid risks or potential side effects, it’s important to consult your doctor prior to taking any new supplement.

Probiotic Background

Small microorganisms naturally live in your body. They promote digestive health and can ward off harmful bacteria. The term probiotic refers to living microorganisms that are found in certain foods such as some yogurts and miso. MayoClinic.com notes that they are most commonly used to treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal ailments. They may also be used to prevent yeast infections, childhood eczema, colds and the reoccurrence of bladder cancer.

Probiotic Recommendation

If you’re looking for dietary sources, a simple way to add probiotics to your diet is to consume plain, nonfat yogurt that contains live and active cultures on a daily basis. Some brands -- typically advertised to promote regularity or digestive health -- are even fortified with additional probiotics. If you choose to take supplements, consult the dosing instructions or check with your primary doctor. The amount varies based upon your reason for use. The most common side effects are gas, upset stomach and diarrhea.

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Fish Oil Background

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids -- which can be further broken down into EPA and DHA. They promote cardiovascular health and may be beneficial in preventing or alleviating the symptoms of conditions caused by chronic inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis. According to the American Heart Association, salmon has one of the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. Mackerel, herring, trout, sardines and tuna are also good dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish Oil Recommendation

The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults increase their omega-3 consumption through dietary sources. To do so, try to eat fish at least twice per week. Due to the risk of mercury and other contaminants, pregnant women and small children should limit their fish consumption and avoid fish high in mercury such as shark and swordfish. People at risk for coronary heart disease should consume 1 g of EPA and 1 g of DHA per day in addition to a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. People with high triglycerides are advised to consume 2 g to 4 g of EPA and DHA daily. Taking high doses of fish oil can cause excessive bleeding.

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