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Fish Oil Dosage: How Much is Too Much Fish Oil?

by Vin Kutty, MS on June 30, 2010

You can never have too much wine chocolate.

But how ’bout fish oil? Can you take too much? And what happens if you do?

Everything you Need to Know About Fish Oil Dosage

How much Fish Oil is too much?

Answer: If you have not taken fish oil before, start with one pill per day. No more. And take it with a meal.

In a month or two, your stomach will get used to taking fish oil. Then, you can increase to 2 or 3 pills a day. Do not take more than 4 pills a day. And spread it out – take 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening with your meals. Taking too many pills at once in the beginning can cause some unpleasant burping.  Who needs that?!

If you take 4 pills a day, you are still perfectly fine. No harm done at all.

Even if you take TWICE that much, you’re fine according to the FDA.

It’s hard to hurt your body with too much fish oil. You’ll feel the burping and stomach discomfort from low-quality fish oil long before anything harmful happens.

What does the FDA say about Fish Oil Dosage?

The FDA says it is safe to take up to 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day.


3000 mg of Omega-3 is not the same as 3000 mg of Fish Oil.
If your bottle of fish oil says ‘1000 mg Fish Oil,’ that is the volume of fish oil per pill. That is NOT the amount of Omega-3 in that pill. A 1000 mg pill typically has only 300 mg of Omega-3.

If you take fish oil that you bought at the drug or grocery store, you will need to take 10 pills to get 3000 mg of Omega-3.

Are you taking 10 pills a day? Probably not! So no need to worry.

A dosage of 10 pills is simply unreasonable! And will probably cause side effects like bloating, gas and excessive burping. With a Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil like OmegaVia, you can get 3000 mg of Omega-3 with just 3 pills.

What to Expect if you Take too much Fish Oil?

You should expect minor, harmless side effects like:

  • Fishy burps
  • Bloated feeling
  • Indigestion
  • Unpleasant taste in mouth

If you develop a rash, you may be allergic to fish. If you notice difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of tongue, lips or throat, get emergency medical help at once. These are signs of allergy. You may be having an allergic reaction to fish oil or something else that you just ate. It could be a dangerous condition. Go to your doctor right away.

But for most people, the side effects of fish oil are from taking low-quality products.

Is there a Risk of Bleeding?

Smart people in lab coats argue about this.  The risk is theoretical. Even if you take super high doses (10 pills or more) of fish oil, new research shows that bleeding time is not prolonged. Here is a scientific explanation from the smart folks at Purdue University.

Eskimos don’t die from paper cuts

For what it’s worth, the average Eskimo in Greenland eats about 13,000 mg of Omega-3 per day.  That’s the same as taking 43 Walmart-brand fish oil pills every day.  Or about 13 OmegaVia pills. And those Eskimos are doing fine.  Matter of fact, they are better than fine.  The elders who still mostly eat traditional high-fat foods made from marine mammals and fish have lower heart disease rates than we do.  And they’re all not bleeding to death after getting paper cuts.

NFL players with Brain Injury

Fish Oil Dosage
Dr. Barry Sears, famous for his high-omega-3 Zone Diet, has treated several ex-NFL severe brain injuries by giving them high-dose-high-purity fish oil.

George Visger of San Francisco 49ers had 9 brain surgeries and had lost most of his short-term memory from a lifetime of concussions. After taking 15 grams (15,000 mg or milligrams) of fish oil every day, his memory was “significantly improved.”

15 grams of fish oil is a lot. But if the purity and quality is good and you build up to that dosage, most people should be fine.

Fish Oil Dosage: Balancing Benefits with Side Effects

If you take 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day, it will help with several health conditions. If you’re over 50, this should be your goal.  Are you getting enough fish oil?

Based on the research, 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 daily is a reasonable goal. After your body is used to it, you can take up to 4 OmegaVia pills a day without any side effects.

Good quality fish oil pills do not give you side effects.

Fish Oil Dosage Author: Vin Kutty About the Author: Vin Kutty is OmegaVia’s Scientific Advisor and Chief Blogger. He is a nutritionist, author, and Omega-3 expert with over 20 years of experience. When not stuffing himself with chocolate, he shares Omega-3 info-nuggets on Facebook and Twitter. Email him.

Fish oil dosage - how much is too much fish oil

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

fish oil July 2, 2010 at 5:00 am

For safety purposes, the FDA recommends no more than 3 grams of combined EPA and DHA per day. For the brand I’m going to recommend below, 1 serving (2 capsules) contains 650mg of EPA and 450mg of DHA. Combined that is 1.1 grams of EPA/DHA. Energy First.


Deon Marciano July 14, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Cool site!!


marian dobbs February 7, 2012 at 7:04 am

you need to read the eskimo study again. you implied the eskimos suffer no ill effects from o-3 acids. there is an increase in hemorrahgic stroke in greenland eskimos who consume 13.0 grams of epa/dha a day


Omegavia February 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

Hi Marian – I need to be clearer about NOT taking extremely high doses of Omega-3, like Eskimos do. Several physiologically abnormal reactions are plausible if you consume almost 14 grams of Omega-3. However, the original Bang & Dyerberg paper was not conclusive and did not prove causality of the higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke from consuming 13,700 mg of Omega-3 per day. They also passingly mention increased nose bleeds in children. They suggested that Omega-3 MAY be the cause. To me, that suggests correlation, not causation. Still, I take your point well and will review the wording in my blog. As an aside, the Inuits and Eskimos are getting fat, diabetic and perishing from heart disease at rates just like the rest of us, especially the younger generation who are eating Westernized fast foods. The elders seem to be getting some protection from continuing to eat traditional foods.
– Vin


sylvia starbard August 26, 2012 at 5:52 am

I need to take 3 grams of fish oil how much is tht in units recommended by my DR


Omegavia August 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Hi Sylvia – three grams of fish oil is a standard statement that doctors make. They mean 3000 mg of Omega-3. (3 grams is the same as 3000 milligrams – mg) Remember that fish oil contains Omega-3. So 3000 mg of fish oil will contain a lot less than 3000 mg of Omega-3. Regular fish oil pills have 300 mg of Omega-3, so you’d need to take 10 of those pills every day. I know, that’s too much. If your fish oil pill has 500 mg Omega-3, then you’d need six of those every day. Our product has 1100 mg Omega-3 per pill. That makes it about 3 pills a day. Hope this helps.
– Vin Kutty


Heidi September 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm


Please replace “eskimo” with “inuit.”


Vin Kutty September 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Heidi – ahem – we’ll fix this. Feeling politically very incorrect.
Vin Kutty


Sarah March 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Thanks Heidi, I was about to comment the same. The change has yet to be made though…


Vin Kutty March 30, 2013 at 12:49 am

Sarah and Heidi – it has! Finally!


Q June 30, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Until Inuit runs its course and becomes obsolete and offensive.

No harm was intended let’s worry more about the intent over all this PC flattery.


Martina January 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Very informative article! Thanks for writing it.
I’ve heard coconut oil is also great, it seems many traditional tribes still eating fresh foods have such better health than all us eating preservatives and what not.
I have been having 6 1500mg fish oil tablets a day.
I take these all at once, but now I just got these 2000mg fish oil tablets..I read the bottle but it doesn’t say what percentage is omega 3.. Do you know how many I should take roughly? I get joint pain but haven’t been diagnosed with anything, I don’t go to the docs much, but I’ve noticed my joint pain has reduced since taking high dosages of fish oil but I don’t want to damage my liver or anything.
I may look into getting a more pure omega 3 supplement next time.
Thanks for your help :) is it okay to take my daily dosage at once, or should I break it up? I always tend to forget though, I’m used to taking all my vitamins at night after dinner.


Vin Kutty January 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Hi Martina – General description like 1500 mg or 2000 mg means nothing. These numbers are the volumes of fish oil, not amount of Omega-3. In my opinion, it should be illegal to sell fish oil without declaring how much Omega-3 is present in the oil or the pills. Also, I suspect that the ‘2000 mg’ figure is for 2 capsules, not one. My suggestion for you is to get 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day since you mentioned joint pain. There is no known risk of liver damage from taking fish oil. Also look into purer forms of fish oil.

Taking all fish oil pills at once is fine – as long as it is taken with a meal. Preferably the largest meal of the day.
– Vin Kutty


Lois Todd February 21, 2013 at 1:09 am

Is there any evidence suggesting that too high a dose of fish oil could start off a herpes outbreak in a person with the said virus. I also note that after having treatment of ‘Juvedern – hyaluronic acid injectable gel as a facial filler for cosmetic purposes also predisposes the patient with herpes to an increased risk of an outbreak.


Vin Kutty February 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Hi Lois – I have not seen any data that shows ‘too much’ fish oil can cause herpes outbreak if you already have it. Then again, there is no definition of ‘too much.’ As of 2012, the experts could not agree on how much is too much. But I draw an arbitrary line at 4000 mg of Omega-3.

– Vin Kutty


Shane Martin March 20, 2013 at 7:37 am

Hi Vin.

I have 3 children 6, 3, 18 mo, my wife and I take Carlson Fish Oil (not Cod Liver), and the amount of EPA per teaspoon is 800 and DHA is 500. We have super crazy food sensitivities and for that reason stay away from most grains, GF diet as well, dairy free etc. Our son is high energy and we are pretty sure has ADHD symptoms. We have been taking the recommended dose for years, 2 teaspoons per day. That would give us 1600 mg epa and 1,000 mg dha, but with that we would still get sick often and no improvement with our son. A few months ago a flipped it into high gear and started giving 8 teaspoons a day that’s 6400 EPA and 4000 DHA combined total of 10,400 mg of omega-3. No one is the house has so much as had a runny nose in the past 3 moths (super unusual), and our son has come down out of the clouds, his irritability has lessened a ton, his focus has changed and his ability to self-control his emotions has improved substantially. You mentioned that the Eskimos take up to 13k mg of omega-3 per day and are doing fine! I was just wanting to ask the question, if we are taking this dosage and all is well, does it hurt? Long term are there any issues? Should I maybe take the smaller girls off such high dosages and leave our son and my wife and I on the higher? Do the Eskimo children get 13k mg of omega-3 per day?
My wife is also pregnant with our fourth, should she be taking that high of a dosage while pregnant?


Vin Kutty March 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Hi Shane – wow! That’s a very high dose. I would not take 10,400 mg of Omega-3. As an experiment, I pushed my dosage up to 8000 mg for 2 months and I was nervous. It is unnatural to consume that much Omega-3. It will take a long time to talk about the oxidative burden from all that polyunsaturated fats in your body but may be I’ll write a blog about it soon.

Regardless, a couple of things stood out to me. That you noticed a change at the high dose. This could have been the point at which you/your family reached Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance. You can lower the Omega-3 dose and still keep the balance if you reduce your Omega-6 intake at the same time. So starting NOW, completely eliminate all vegetable seed oils except olive oil in your (especially your son’s diet). Soybean, corn, canola etc are full of Omega-6 fats. Go back to butter and olive oil exclusively. No sugar or any kind of processed foods. Eat only home-cooked foods and eat only meats, vegetables, fruits and eggs and nuts (if not allergic to them). The only grain allowed should be white rice. Basically a whole foods or paleo diet. The point is to drastically cut down on Omega-6 fats.

Long-term, if you stick with this diet, you should be able to come down to 1 or two teaspoons per day.

– Vin Kutty


Shane Martin March 22, 2013 at 8:46 am


Couple things for clarity. White Rice? Is extremely high in carbs and simple sugars? What about quinoa? Also we started using chia seeds, flax meal, and pumpkin seed protein in our morning smoothies. Are these not good things, high in protein and good fats? We have never used anything but Olive Oil and Coconut Oil, we also recently picked up chia oil, Grapeseed oil, Macadamia nut oil, and Sesame Oil. Are these not good oils? Our son is intolerant to cows dairy, but can have goat dairy (and we can get goat butter here). He also cannot have Olives assuming this would include olive oil.

We home cook all the time, and buy almost 90% organic in everything. Our meat comes from a local sustainable farm. We are gluten free as well. He can’t have beef or eggs right now, but can have lamb and chicken and bison. Is chicken not loaded with Omega-6?

Thanks for your reply.
Sincerely, Shane Martin


Vin Kutty March 23, 2013 at 12:36 am

Hi Shane – white rice is almost all glucose. It is not OK for diabetics or pre-diabetics. But unlike wheat and other grains, white rice is very low in food toxins. And it is considered a safe starch. So it’s what I give my kids. Quinoa is OK. I generally stay away from seeds of all kinds – they are high in Omega-6, which is what you’re trying to reduce. Pass on grapeseed and sesame oil – they are high in Omega-6. Coconut, olive, pastured butter, and macadamia are best bets. In your case, pastured goat butter. Leave out olive if he is allergic. Go easy on chicken dark meat – high in Omega-6. Chicken white mean is much better. Lamb and bison are fantastic.

– Vin Kutty


Barry Chambers March 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Dear Mr. Kutty,

You might be interested to know that I had what my doctor thought to be familia hyper cholesterolanemia(sp?). My cholesterol was over 350 untreated. I could never get it below 210 with drugs and niacin. I decided to start taking 12 x 1000mg of fish oil at every meal=36,000mg fish oil per day. and my cholesterol now after even 3 years is in the 150 range wih a very good balance of good and bad cholesterol as well as tryglicerides. I decided to start taking this amount on a whim and figured this amount by looking at the amount on a sardine can and multiplying it by 3. I’m almost 65 years old and have excellent health. I’ve been a life long rock climber, mountain biker, backpacker and general outdoor enthusiast. I just wanted to share because I don’t think the big-pharma will write this up and it could help millions. I started with just one capsule and quickly up the ante to 10 the first year. I then threw on a couple more for good measure. I understand that Inuits naturally eat much more of a dosage than we would ever think possible.


Barry Chambers


Vin Kutty March 27, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Hi Barry – wow! You are taking 36 pills of fish oil a day? That’s the highest dosage I’ve ever heard. If you and your doctor are happy with your progress, I am happy too. You’re probably at about 10,000 mg of Omega-3 per day. That’s Inuit territory. Personally, that’s about 2 to 3 times more than what I’m comfortable taking. Yes, the Inuits ate that much Omega-3. But having that much excess Omega-3 puts you at a greater ‘oxidative stress.’ This just means that you need to be extra careful about reducing Omega-6 from vegetable oils because they also add oxidative stress.

– Vin Kutty


Shane Martin April 1, 2013 at 5:21 am


Can you please expound on “oxidative stress” as well as “careful about reducing Omega-6 from vegetable oils because they also add oxidative stress”. Are you saying that the higher the dosage of omega-3 the more you should bring down your omega-6? My understanding would be that the higher dosage is only really necessary if you have high levels of omega-6 and the optimum would be to lower your omega-6 and and omega-3 intake so that they they are at reasonable levels.

Okay all that being said, I had mentioned that myself and all my kids were taking about 10k mg of epa and dha combined. I also mentioned that we have been on these high levels for several months and had not been sick once, which is rare for my kids. The other thing being that my son had come down out of the clouds as far as his ADHD symptoms were concerned. You had replied back saying that those were super high levels and that I should think about reducing them. I took your advice simply as a test and brought it down to 2 teaspoons a day (recommended on the bottle) from the regular 4 tbs that we had been taking. After 3 days the kids came down with a nasty sore throat and sinus cold, my wife now has it along with them. The only reason I mention this is because this was the regular for us about once a month and now for the past 4 months we have been (sick-free), except in this case alone.

I stayed on the high dose and never got sick. The only concern I have on high dosage is blood thinning, at what point does the blood get risky thin, and what are the symptoms of that. The other night I was showering and noticed a real bloody looking bruise on my hip, I Googled it and it appears that my blood may be thinning out to much and therefore a slight bump caused that hemorrhage type bruise. Is the usual symptoms nose bleeds? There may be another explanation for that bruise as I don’t have any others.

Sorry for the long message.
Sincerely, Shane Martin


Vin Kutty April 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Hi Shane – oxidative stress is tough to summarize in a sentence – it is a multi-part blog series that I may write some day. In a nutshell, both Omega-3 and Omega-6 have chemical structures that allows them to become oxidized (technical term for rancid.) In terms of ease of oxidation, the worst is Omega-3. Then comes Omega-6, Omega-9 and then saturated fats, which do not very susceptible to oxidation. Too much Omega-3 or Omega-6 consumption can lead to oxidized LDL and that’s not good for your heart. Too much of a good thing. How much is too much? Hard to say – there is no consensus on this yet, but probably 3 or 4% of daily calories should be Omega-3 and 6 combined.

SO given most of us get way too much Omega-6 in our diets, that’s the first place to start. Very few people take too much Omega-3 – you may be the exception.

I am NOT saying that the higher your dosage of Omega-3 the more you should bring down your Omega-6. I’m saying you MUST bring down your Omega-6. Period. And if you are taking too much Omega-3, like yourself, well, bring down that too. If you are taking too much Omega-6, you will probably need more Omega-3 to see a noticeable difference in your health. So my point: if you reduce Omega-6 consumption, you will probably need a lot less Omega-3.

Your kids not being sick may have something to do with high Omega-3, but I assure you that 10,000 mg of EPA + DHA per day is not without consequence. LDL oxidation is not something you feel. I seriously doubt that your reducing the Omega-3 could have caused the family to catch a cold in a couple of days. Omega-3 levels take a few weeks to desaturate in the cell membranes. So when your kid got sick after 3 days on lower Omega-3, I can assure you that their blood Omega-3 levels were extremely high. The connection you made is logical – most people would do that, but I dont think one had anything to do with the other. That’s correlation, not causation. The fact that you didnt feel sick may mean that your infection was subclinical or you had immunity to that strain of the virus.

Nose bleeds are usually the first symptoms of blood thinning.

– Vin Kutty


Shane Martin April 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Thanks Vin.

Will work on reducing the omega 6 and also reduce the omega 3 as well. What would you say is the highest dose of omega 3 that a person should be taking. That also may be hard to say.



Vin Kutty April 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Hi Shane – hard to say, but for an adult, I would say ideal dosage for Omega-3 PLUS Omega-6 probably ought to be around 10 grams or 10,000 mg. So if you break that up evenly between the two, you get 5 grams each. But ideal dosage may be 3:1 or 4:1 in favor of Omega-6, in which case, max Omega-3 from both foods and supplements should be 2.5 grams or 3 grams. If you’re eating a semi-paleo-ish type diet, you will get a lot of Omega-3 in your food, so there is not much room for supplementation.

This is all based on notion that Omega-3 and 6 should constitute only about 3 to 4 percent of daily calories.

They key is pretending like Omega-6 from seed oils is poison and avoiding it from prepared and processed foods. Average American consumes about 20 grams of it per day. If you can get it down to 5 grams, you will be in good shape.


Shane Martin April 12, 2013 at 7:29 am

Vin, I appreciate your time you have been too kind:-) We plan on moving to a paleo diet in our home, my wife has been getting some paleo recipes off pinterest over the past week.

Shane Martin


Vin Kutty April 14, 2013 at 12:21 am

Hi Shane – look into NomNomPaleo.com – great website with delicious recipes.


Shane Martin April 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Thanks Vin, you have been so helpful. will be reading your stuff from now on.


Shane Martin April 18, 2013 at 7:46 am

First recipe on the NomNomPaleo.com page called for ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil? :-)


Vin Kutty April 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Ha! That’s funny. Let me revise my advice: be inspired by NomNomPaleo but don’t follow recipes exactly if she suggests using seed oils. I’d use olive instead.
Try these:


Shane Martin April 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Thanks Vin, you have been amazing and I seriously appreciate all your help. Best, Shane


Shane Martin April 26, 2013 at 1:44 am

Im actually seeing a lot of conflicting information. A lot of the Paleo recipe books have flax seed, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds etc. I just noticed that according to this PDF http://www.fastlearner.org/WebsiteFiles/EAT3_Mar15.pdf that flax is supposed to be low in om-6?

Just some more questions for you.


Vin Kutty April 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Hi Shane – yeah, Paleo is a newly-embraced way of eating, so there are a lot of people who don’t ‘get it’ and spread (unintended?) misinformation on the internet. I get accused of the same. Regardless, when I see seed oils being used in paleo recipes, I switch it out for animal fats or olive or coconut. Yes, flax is a rare exception in that it has a lot of ALA Omega-3 but it still has LA Omega-6. The Fastlearners site focuses on the RATIO of 3 to 6. So flax has a good ratio, but the absolute levels of Omega-6 is still pretty high. So I wouldn’t use it liberally on a daily basis. I don’t avoid flaxseeds, but I stopped eating it a few years ago for this reason.


may lambert April 29, 2013 at 6:07 pm

I take an omega 3 fish oil tablet with every meal and drink green tea too I have 4 a day I’m 17 and 9 stone will this help loose weight for me ?:)


Vin Kutty April 30, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Hi May – it could, but that depends on what else you’re eating. If your diet is high in sugar, juices, processed carbohydrates (packaged and processed foods), chips, pizza, wheat etc., it doesn’t matter how much green tea or fish oil you take.


Terese August 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I’m 21 and I’ve just started taking fish oil supplements from whole foods and I’ve been taking ten capsules daily. I was wondering if I’m harming my body with the high dosage. I mostly take it for my skin because I read that it helps reduce inflammation. I’d very much appreciate any feedback :)


Vin Kutty August 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Hi Terese – you’re getting about 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. That’s not too much, but my personal cut off is 3000 to 4000 mg per day. Not a good idea to get more than that. In the meantime, if you get a more potent oil, you could cut back the number of pills to 3 to 5 per day instead of 10 per day. If you want to cut back on skin inflammation, stop eating Omega-6 rich vegetable oils and sugar.


Terese August 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm

And by the way my capsules contain 180mg of EPA and 120mg of DHA.


Terese August 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Thank you very much, will do :)


Rachel September 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Hi Vin,
I just started taking fish oil capsules. I started off small – just 1 capsule a day. However, this induces nose bleeds and inflammation in my nose to the point I had trouble breathing out of it. I read online that nose bleeds are a common side effect of taking fish oil, and you should just reduce your dosage if this happens to you. FYI The label on my bottle says: serving size 2 gelcaps (I only took 1 per day) is 330 mg EPA and 220 DHA plus some other omega-3s. Its Nordic Naturals Brand, no gluten or dairy in it. This hardly seems like it should have been enough to cause nosebleeds. Any thoughts?

Also, one thing it says is don’t take it if you are allergic to iodine. What is the reasoning behind this, as I don’t see any iodine in the ingredients?

I eat a paleo diet – strictly no grains, dairy or sugar (except for some berries once in a while), and only grass-fed meat. I’m confused why this would affect me so much, any thought you have would be great! Thanks!


Vin Kutty September 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hi Rachel – have you contacted Nordic Naturals about this? Would love to hear what they say – they are very reputable.

But I would guess with fairly high confidence that the low amount of Omega-3 you got from 1 pill has nothing to do with it. Nose bleeds have been observed in Greenlanders who eat 20 to 40 times as much Omega-3 as you do. You were taking 275 mg, a level that your body will barely notice. My guess is that the nosebleed is unrelated to your taking 1 pill of a very high quality product.

Fish oils usually don’t have iodine, but again, you may want to call them up.

It’s great that you are eating a paleo type diet – there’s nothing better. But what’s right for you may not be what popular books and blogs recommend. You will have to find your own formula. The paleo diet that works for me gives my wife headaches and makes her miserable – so you may need to find your ‘formula.’


Kathy O'Neill January 9, 2014 at 8:30 am

Just wanted to say that I have found all of your comments really, really helpful.
Thank you

Kathy O’Neill


Vin Kutty January 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Thank you, Kathy!


Lynda January 23, 2014 at 1:13 am

I take omega 369. omega 3. flaxseed oil to control my cholesterol ( I am 4.7 …1.7 bad 3 good and am 72 years old) my husband thinks I take too much ..1 each at breakfast and lunch 3 days a week ..along with glucosomine sulphate with chondroitin and vita D, cranberry caps, garlic capsules, flaxseed caps, calcium with magnesium and vita d, and my prescriptives Celebrex, pantaprozole, T3, Robaxicet 8, hormonal therapy (because of early osteoporosis)……..I feel great and actually lost some weight and later learned that fish oil is conducive to weight reduction (an unexpected benefit)…….but all this stuff is expensive..should I cut down on the cholesterol maintenance supplements…I buy Jameson and Weber and Costco products


Vin Kutty January 23, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Hi Lynda – if I were you, I’d switch from the Omega 3-6-9 to just a fish-only Omega-3 concentrate. Take 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Your other supplements are OK, but if you have osteoporosis, you absolutely MUST take Vitamin K2. Vit K2 keeps the calcium in your bones and out of your arteries. Those are the only changes that I suggest – the rest are prescriptions and those are between you and your doctor. Take care.


Cindy February 23, 2014 at 12:25 am

Hi. I have read about high doses of fish oil helping people with nervous system injuries and disorders like brain injuries and depression. Would the fish oil benefit nerve health? If a person has diabetic neuropathy, could the fish oil improve the tingling and numbness in the feet? Could it harm the person?


Vin Kutty February 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Hi Cindy – fish oil can certainly help nerves cells communicate better. But I have not seen compelling studies that have shown a reversal of diabetic neuropathy using fish oil. It’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but on the plus side, there is no harm in trying, say 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day for a couple of months to see if you notice a difference. But I do know that with medication and a dramatic diet change (no sugar, no juice and no flour or grains) that you can keep the neuropathy from getting worse.


PJ April 10, 2014 at 4:05 pm

“Eskimos don’t die from paper cuts.” LOL! I so enjoy your mix of sharp wit and solid facts, Vin. You really know how to turn a phrase. So much of the information about fish oils is at best, misinformed and at worst, down right dangerous. Thanks for using humor to lay out the (latest) facts for us.

And the Eskimos take in 13,000mg of omega-3 A DAY! Holy cow. I wonder, though, if through so many eons of eating such a diet, they developed a tolerance for such high amounts? Maybe we non-Eskimo sorts are just weaker in that regard and still should be careful? I mean, I don’t think the native Eskimos of Greenland sit around watching Big Bang Theory while scarfing down Pop-Chips…:)


Vin Kutty April 10, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Thank you, PJ. I’ve been informed by the PC Police that I should use the term ‘Inuit.’ So I shall. I think the days of 13,000 mg of Omega-3 per day are long gone. It probably was still true in the 70s, but these days, western diseases of affluence are becoming very common among the Inuits. Especially the young folk. There are grocery stores with the same processed foods and soda available up near the north pole nowadays. Not unlike Japanese youth who are fatter, more depressed and more insulin resistant than the elders who still cling to traditional diets.

It’s possible that the polar races have had minor changes to their genome to adapt to a very high fat diet that’s almost devoid of sugar and carbohydrates. After all, they ate meat and blubber for most of the year. It’s possible they have more efficient protease and lipase secretion. But that’s a guess I pulled out of thin air…but based on Nordic races having developed lactase persistence thru adulthood.


PJ April 10, 2014 at 4:50 pm

“Lactase persistence?” Uh oh. I think you just put on your white lab coat. I’m assuming you mean that the Nords ate so much dairy that they developed a oddly high ability to digest it all well into adulthood, whereas most of the world loses that ability after early childhood and so then may become lactase deficient and so, lactose intolerant?


Vin Kutty April 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Yes, PJ, thank you for translating geek into English. Sven and Inga can drink milk without any issues.


DJ June 16, 2014 at 6:28 pm

I bumped up my fish oil daily dosage dramatically a few weeks back. I quickly went from 2 tablets of a low dosage (crappy grocery store variety) pill to 10 tablets of the same brand. Everything felt fine the first couple of weeks and then persistent diarrhea kicked in. I stopped taking the pills about a week ago and am curious how long it takes for this to exit my system. Also, is there anything I can eat or drink to flush it faster?


Vin Kutty, MS June 17, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Hi DJ – 10 pills of a potentially questionable quality product could have been too much. Most of the oil will clear itself in a day or two. If you still have issues, you could try one of the several digestive enzyme products available online – just make sure that the product contains lipase.


sonia August 1, 2014 at 3:21 am

Is it safe to take four 1000 mg fish oil capsules daily in pregnancy?


Vin Kutty, MS August 1, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Hi Sonia – check with your OB/GYN first, but taking 4 pills will give you about 1200 mg of Omega-3 per day, which is a perfectly good dose.


leigh August 9, 2014 at 12:25 am

Hi Vin,

Is it safe to take about 9 fish oil capsules at once? My cousin told me he did and no harm was done, apparently. But I’m not certain of this therefore I’m curious to know if it is true.

Thank you,



Vin Kutty, MS August 10, 2014 at 12:28 am

Hi Leigh – it is safe in that no major or lasting harm will result from this. However, you may have some digestive distress for a day or two. My question is: why would you want to do this? Why not just take a couple of pills a day to get your daily dose?


Rose August 11, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Thank you for the info….love the explanation, I got it.
I’m taking new vitamins, and they already have fish oil + my fish oil supplement that I was taking before.


Yann August 24, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Hi Vin, recently my wife (pregnant) and my older son (8 yers old) took 1 softgel per day “DHA 500″ from Now Foods (500 DHA and 250 EPA each softgel) during 2 months. Before that, my son took “Ultra DHA” from Gold Nutrition Clinical (400 DHA and 100 EPA per serving) for almost an year. Do you think it was too much and it can cause any problems? Recently, I read that Omega 3 ethyl ester supps could be dangerous for pregnants and 500 DHA was too much for childs… What do you think about that?


Vin Kutty, MS August 24, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Hi Yann – this is a good dose. Once your wife enters the last 3 months of pregnancy, she will have to double the dosage of DHA. The dose is fine for your son too.

There is no evidence whatsoever that ethyl ester form of fish oil is harmful to anyone. More here: http://www.omegavia.com/fish-oil-during-pregnancy/


Yann August 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Thanks, Vin!
I’m a little worried because the FDA classifies Omega 3 ethyl ester as a category C and I didn’t find any study with children under 18 years old…


Vin Kutty, MS August 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm

HI Yann – virtually all studies done on Omega-3 have been with ethyl esters.

Of course, if you’re concerned, nothing is better than eating wild, coldwater fish! :-)


Yann August 28, 2014 at 10:40 am

Thanks again. :)

Jan September 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm

My husband has depression we take 2 teaspoonfuls of cod liver oil a day is this enough it doesnt seem to help. Jan


Vin Kutty, MS September 28, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Hi Jan – it could help, assuming your cod liver has a decent amount of Omega-3. And hopefully some Vitamins A and D. Aim for 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Omega-3 alone will not treat the depression if the cause of it is inflammation or other deficiencies from a diet that is nutrient-poor and pro-inflammatory. You need to fix your diet with an anti-inflammatory diet like Paleo or Zone. Work with a doctor to rule out other medical causes or trauma – if so get on some medications. You may always add supplements after you’ve tried all that, but hoping Omega-3 will fix everything is setting yourself up for disappointment. Omega-3 deficiency is just one of the many causes for depression – it could be trauma, genetic predisposition, inflammation, medical conditions, poor diet, not enough sun exposure, inadequate exercise, poor sleep habits, a diet that’s deficient in magnesium, B-vitamins, and trace minerals and mostly sugar and grains and on and on…you need to get to the root of all these causes.


Grandma October 8, 2014 at 4:38 am

I have a grandson who was shaken when he was 3 weeks old and sustained severe brain damage (abusive head trauma/traumatic brain injury). After pulling through (he ended up having a vp shunt put in) and catching up, he was developing “normally” until he was about 15 months old. He had started talking then completely stopped. He is 5 now, about 40 pounds (very tall and thin and an extremely picky eater), and we just started hearing about DHA (I wish his doctors had told us about it sooner), and it occurred to me that his formula had DHA in it and he stopped drinking formula at about 15 months old. I can’t help but wonder if there is a correlation. My question is this – would it be beneficial to give him aggressive doses of DHA – what would be the maximum amount he should take? I would also assume we should start with a little and gradually increase it. We are praying that this and some essential oils will at least give him the ability to talk.


Vin Kutty, MS October 8, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Hi Grandma – ‘aggressive’ doses of anything needs medical monitoring. I would just start with 500 mg of DHA per day, possibly going up to 1000 mg. It’s OK to take a product that has both EPA and DHA as well.


Grandma October 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Thank you for responding so quickly!


Kay October 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Hey Vin,

I have had behavior problems in school up to about 8th grade, mostly adhd and hyperactivity. My parents treated these problems with restraint, spankings and medications. So I may have head trauma. I also remember my mother telling me I fell down stairs when I was 2 or 3 years old. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with bi polar unspecified, now they are pretty sure it is bpI. I’m now 26 and have been hospitalized about 5-6 times all of which have happened when I stopped my medications. I am currently on 5mg of Abilify a day, which I increase to 15mg for 2-3 weeks upon signs of mania. The problem I am beginning to have is I feel the medications are taking over. I feel dumber than I use, less cognitive ability to and I am wondering if omega 3 would help based on my history. If so how much? What other treatment advice could you possibly provide(diet, other supplements, etc)? I’ve been thinking about see’ing Dr. Amen in Bellevue, Washington. Have you heard of him? If so would you recommend I see him or do you believe there is enough info online to do my own research? I am a member of Group Health Co-operative which is why I am on anti psychotics because it is the main-stream accepted practice still. I actually am not a fan of the things. I am also on 600mg of trileptal/day just for sedation I guess? I’m not sure if its doing anything at that low of dose.



Vin Kutty, MS November 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Hi Kay – I’m sorry to hear that you were restrained and spanked due to hyperactivity/adhd. Society still does not understand what causes these issues and how to handle them. Sure, fish oil and other supplements can help, but I think you need a different approach. Something that addresses diet/lifestyle causes as well. It’s OK to add supplements on top of such an approach, but supplements alone is unlikely to address all issues. I VERY strongly suggest you find someone on this list (may be more than one doctor) to help you: http://primaldocs.com/physician-finder/listingfeatures/washington/ I think a couple of professionals from this list can help you as much if not more than Dr. Amen.


Kay October 30, 2014 at 10:05 pm

What would you suggest for possible head trauma from falling down a flight of stairs when you were 1 or 2 and dealing with bi polar I? What dosages of what?


Vin Kutty, MS November 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Hi Kay – based on your previous comment, that was 24 or 25 years ago. Not sure if taking Omega-3 now can do much…but it cant hurt. I’d start with just 1000 mg of Omega-3 per day and increase to 2000 or 3000 mg per day.


jenny November 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

I have 2 children, age 10 and 11. Are they allowed to have softgel capsule which the ingredient (Cod Liver Oil 1,000mg,EPA 110mg, DHA 100mg, Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids 240mg, Vitamin A 800µg RE (2,664 I.U.) 100%, Vitamin D 5µg (200 I.U.) 100%). Thanks!


Vin Kutty, MS November 20, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Hi Jenny – yes. I would give them more Omega-3. Aim for 500 mg Omega-3 per day.


jenny November 21, 2014 at 10:01 am

Thanks for your help. It is very useful information.


Gabriel November 29, 2014 at 6:43 pm

According to Wikipedia you can get some pretty horrible symptoms… Much more severe than mentioned in your article from taking too much fish due to the high levels or preformed vitamin A.:


Also, Chris Kresser covered some very interesting points about fish oil that I’ve not heard before such as how too much omega 3 & 6 cause oxidation damage to the body & can actually increase heart disease & sudden death:


I think if you don’t eat many animal products you’ll likely benefit from a gram per day but otherwise there’s little need. I have however been reading a lot about the importance of the ratio between 3 & 6 which is another consideration.


Vin Kutty, MS November 29, 2014 at 11:36 pm

Hi Gabriel – Wikipedia has a lot of good information. But what it does not provide is context and perspective. With Vitamin A for example. Most people are Vitamin A deficient, yet are afraid of supplementing with it because they’re afraid of overdose symptoms. The risk of Vitamin A overdose cannot be looked at in a vacuum – Vitamin A needs to be taken with D, E and K2. When all of these fat-soluble vitamins are taken together or better yet, eaten together, it is hard to overdose. But by itself, A and D3 can cause problems.

Also, no reputable fish oil on the market has naturally occurring Vitamin A in it. Some cod liver oils have small amounts of Vitamin A added back after the processing removes it. It’s probably been several decades since anyone got too much Vitamin A from taking too much fish oil. There are some backroom fermented cod liver oils that contain Vitamin A in small quantities – I would simply avoid fermented cod liver oils.

Yes, Omega-3 and 6 can oxidize. Most people are deficient in 3 and overdosed on 6. The right thing to do is cut back on Omega-6 dramatically…then you won’t need as much Omega-3. Both problems fixed. But the elimination Omega-6 needs to start first, with elimination of vegetable seed oils. Cutting back on Omega-3 while still overdosed on Omega-6 will make matters worse. In the meantime, a gram of Omega-3 per day is good.


Julie December 18, 2014 at 6:05 am

Hi,I am pregnant right now and I would like to know if it’s safe for me to take 3 sofgels a day as it says on the bottle of omega 3,select,Jamieson brand.
I really appreciate your advise.Thank you


Vin Kutty, MS December 18, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Hi Julie – if there is ever a time to take a lot of Omega-3, it is when you’re pregnant! So, yes. But I would keep your doctor informed about this.


Julie December 19, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Thanks a lot Vin.Great site.


Andrea June 15, 2015 at 6:05 am

Hi, I am taking 3 caps of The Zone Omega RX from dr Sears daily ( I am almost 44)… My husband has high cholesterol levels and takes 1 lipitor every other day.. I have 4 children (15,14 and twins of 12) one of them With high cholesterol levels.. I have Heard it is so important to choose a good brand to have The purest quality… Which do you recommend for muy husband and kids (i don’t think they could take the Zone due to size and I don’t know if liquid omega 3 is enough for them.. I am concerned because I Heard one of The side effects of taking regular amounts of omega 3 is that YouR blood becomes too thin.. Thanks and sorry for muy english. It is not muy first language..:)


Vin Kutty, MS June 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Hi Andrea – if you’ve read much of Dr. Barry Sears’ writings, you will know that Omega-3 is critical for reducing inflammation. It is not very effective at lowering cholesterol. It will, however, lower triglyceride, which is an independent risk factor for heart health. I suggest you look into liquid Omegas – Zone makes one, but it is very expensive. Or you could try our EPA 500 – these will be easier to swallow for people concerned about pill size. Blood thinning does not occur until you get into ultra-high dose with over a dozen pills per day.


Fari Kays July 21, 2015 at 6:22 am

Hie my nephew,who is 8years old has been having temors for about 3 days now,
we took him to the doctor who said it could be the sulbutamol that hes been taking for a couple of months for a persistent cough . However my mum who he lives with said she caught him with a handful of fish oil tablets one day and she doesn’t know how long he has been taking them (he must have seen both grandparents taking them and liked the appearance ,like jellybeans.).The tablets are now way out of reach but just curious to know if the tremors could be a side effect of the fish oil?


Vin Kutty, MS July 21, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Hi Fari – it is unlikely that fish oil would have caused the tremors. You already have a diagnosis from your doctor – do you have any reason to doubt it?


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