Fish Oil Side Effects


For the most part, there are no serious omega 3 fish oil side effects but there is still a few things you must keep in mind. Fish oil is simply oil from fish. It’s not like a dangerous fat burner/muscle builder type product like steroids or something. However, their is definitely a few things to keep in mind that are especially important for pregnant women because you definitely must be aware of the fish oil benefits and side effects.

Taking a fish oil supplement is no different than just eating fish. However, fish does have contaminants (the most popular and well known being mercury) that can also be present in fish oil unless it was purified. It is especially important to avoid big fish such as sharks, sword fish or other fish that consume their smaller cousins. These big fish live a long time while eating small fish and end up accumulating large concentrations of mercury in their bodies. This is by far the biggest of all possible fish oil side effects so in some ways fish oil supplements are a good way to get the omega 3 you absolutely need while avoiding some of the dangers of certain types of fish AS LONG as your fish oil was purified. Basically what this means is that you should put some research into finding the best fish oil supplement and maybe be willing to pay more for your fish oil to be sure its purified/refined so it doesn’t have mercury and other contaminants in it. Or you can opt to eat smaller fish such as salmon or sardines which have a much lower oil side effects

So, for the average healthy person, it’s completely safe. Of course, if you are pregnant, allergic to fish, or already have any kind of known health issues, you should check with your doctor first just to be safe. While omega 3 is recommended for pregnancy the source of it needs to be especially clean. This is kind of a paradox because while you do not want to take fish oil that might give your baby mercury, which can produce birth defects, you definitely need to take some omega 3 if you want to ensure proper brain development, just make sure to avoid the omega 3 fish oil side effects when taking them! during pregnancy, or if you simply do not trust fish oil you might want to try out krill oil supplements.

Also with fish oil you do not risk taking “too much” of it. Some studies had people take up to 8 grams of it with no changes from those who would only take pills of 1 gram ( which is a normal daily supplement size). As a side note, fish oil does “consume” some of the vitamin E in your blood so some supplements come with added vitamin E. If yours does not and you really love eating fish or taking fish oil supplements just make sure you have some vitamin E foods in your diet ( you don’t need a lot so don’t overstress yourself over this but we are talking about possible fish oil side effects here).

Finally some people experience a “fishy” taste side effect in their mouth. If this is the case for you and it bothers you, try another brand. Or you can try krill oil supplements which also contains omega 3 and are based off Krill instead of “oily fish”. Krill oil has the benefit of not being as criticized as fish is for the pollutants it contains as well as avoiding the “fishy” taste as previously mentioned.

If you heard about possible vitamin a toxicity side effects related to fish oil this is more one of the cod liver oil side effects if it’s taken in large quantities and not really a side effect of fish oil specifically.

Make sure to put some research behind the brand of fish oil your hoping to buy to avoid heavy metals which is once again the biggest of all fish oil side effects you want to avoid! You might also want to contact your health doctor for his approval or if he has any recommendation. If you find looking for the best fish oil supplement is too much effort you might want to look into some of the flax seeds benefit which are quite similar as they also contain a form of omega 3 however one of the flax seed oil side effects or rather… limitation is that your body has limited quantities (higher in women) that it can convert of flax seed into omega 3 each day.

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12 Responses to “Fish Oil Side Effects”

  • jim curgino:

    Does fish oil or flax seed oil cause any problems if you have gout

  • Alex Trem:

    Since fish contains purines technically yes fish oil could cause problems. However, omega 3 is still very good to combat inflammation so in your case it’s probably best to take fish oil supplements but make sure they are pharmaceutical grade, molecular distilled fish oil supplements which most quality ones should be since they are often refined because they want to remove the heavy metals in the fish. I’m not sure about flax seed but I don’t think it contains purines which is usually what makes gout more severe so I think it would be safe to take flax seed. However as I point out at my page on flax seed oil limitations your body can not convert ALA as effectively as it does the omega 3 from fish oil so it’s probably best to take fish oil supplements which should help reduce the inflammation from gout.

  • Cathleen Davis:

    Since taking fish oil for about a week I have developed horrendous breath. Is that a normal side effect

  • You might have to verify the quality of the fish oil supplements your take. I never had that specific side effect but I would try another brand of fish oil, particularly a pharmaceutical grade fish oil which is usually the highest quality of fish oil you can find

  • joe:

    I have been taking heart health fish oil omega 3 with vitamin e for 10 months now I bought a bottle of nature’s bounty fish oil omega-3&6 purified to eliminate mercury . its made with anchovys,mackerel and sardines,my heart health is made with fish ( sardines, anchovies ) is the nature’s bounty the same ?

  • I’m not sure if I understand correctly your question because you seem to answer it yourself. You said the nature’s bounty fish oil supplements contain anchovies, mackerel and sardines and the heart health one is also made of those minus the mackerel… Personally I have not tried those brands so besides going on amazon and looking I would not really know, I use the Kirkland signature one since I never had fish oil side effects with it.

  • connie:

    does fish oil cause your breath or body odor to become horrendous. giving you bad breath and or bad body oder, if so how do you eliminate this side affect/

  • Rene:

    I have noticed a similar problem as above(Connie, Apr. 3, 2011 ar 8:00AM). It seems to be more of a strong fish-smell to my urine, however. I am certain there is no urinary, etc., infection. I only take 1 fish oil gel tablet /day. Is this ever a side effect?

  • Eleanor Carr:

    My husband takes coumindin, is it alright for him to take the flax seed?

  • Alex:

    I don’t know much about coumindin but I doubt it would be a problem…

  • J.C:

    Will taking fish oil increase weight gain ?

  • i was taking the natures made fish oil burpless the maximum amt and notice all along that i was itchy and have a smelly odor . i stopped taking about 1 month ago and the itchyness has stopped and smelly odor slowly receding. how long being off of the pills do the reactions linger.

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