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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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