What About the Risk Risk of Blood Thinning?
Many Clinicians are afraid to use high-dose omega-3’s because of their blood thinning effects. This paper addresses this concern and shows much evidence to support the use of high-dose fish oils as a treatment for brain injury:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids as a Putative Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury
“…Potential harmful effects of n-3 PUFAs [omega-3s], however, have been described in the literature. Due to the established anti-thrombotic action of these compounds, for instance, they may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, as suggested by a necropsy-based study of four cases in Greenland.138 The authors warn, however, that the power of their analysis is weak given the limited sample size, and that their study may have been subject to inadvertent selection bias.138 In addition, multiple clinical trials have shown that highdose fish oil consumption is safe, even in patients receiving other agents that may increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin and warfarin.139–141 The overall clinical data suggests that DHA at doses up to 6 g/day does not have deleterious effects on platelet aggregation or other clotting parameters in normal individuals, and fish oil does not augment aspirin-induced inhibition of blood clotting.137 Platelet function is, on the other hand, inhibited by DHA consumption in type 2 diabetics, but it is suggested that this may actually be of benefit to these individuals, especially when coupled with the other activities of DHA.142 Nevertheless, it may be prudent to discontinue high-dose supplementation in the setting of an acute bleeding illness or in patients at high risk for hemorrhagic stroke or, as is frequently recommended with aspirin, warfarin, and clopidogrel, prior to planned invasive procedures with the highest risk for bleeding complications.143–146″
Summary of the above article:
In other words, while Omega-3’s have been shown to thin the blood, this was mainly shown by a study which the authors admit is somewhat weak because of a small sample size and selection bias.
Several other studies have shown high-dose fish oil consumption to be safe, even in patients who are receiving other blood thinners like warfarin and aspirin.
And up to 6g/day of DHA does not cause harm on clotting parameters in normal individuals, nor does it change aspirin-induced inhibition of blood clotting.
From the Abstract of this paper: Lien EL. (2009). Toxicology and safety of DHA. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 81, 125–132.
“DHA supplementation studies in adults have employed doses ranging from less than 1 to 7.5g/d, and have not resulted in any consistent adverse responses in platelet function, lipid levels, in vivo oxidation parameters, glycemic control, or immune function.”137
Omega-3’s and Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment
This article is mainly about how to use liquid omega-3’s as an adjunct therapy to help with brain injury, and other cases of severe brain inflammation. Read the full article here: feedabrain.com/omega