Home > Fish Oil Side Effects: 4 Tips To Avoid Them

Fish Oil Side Effects: 4 Tips To Avoid Them

Fish oil side effects - burping is the most common complaint

OK – you tried fish oil because it’s good for you.

Now you’re experiencing some minor fish oil side effects.

This is normal.

Especially if you just started taking fish oil for the first time.

The most common fish oil side effects are belching and fishy aftertaste.

List of common fish oil side effects:

  • Fishy burps or belching
  • Stomach upset
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Unpleasant taste in mouth

List of uncommon fish oil side effects:

  • Skin rash
  • Back pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Minor infection

Do not take fish oil supplements if you are allergic to fish or soy.

Why soy? Because some of the other ingredients in the pill may be made from soy. OmegaVia does not contain soy.

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.

How common are these fish oil side effects?

Most people will notice burping or belching when they first start taking fish oil. This can be minimized if you take your fish oil with food. It also helps if you take only one pill per day at first and increase the number of pill gradually.

  • About 30% of people taking fish oil pills will experience one of the minor fish oil side effects.
  • About 4% of people stop taking fish oil because of side effects.
  • About 3% experience an unpleasant taste in their mouth.
  • About 8% experience an upset stomach.
  • About 2% experience back pain.
  • About 3% experience minor flu like symptoms.
  • About 5% experience minor infection.

In a clinical study, 41 people took 6 fish oil pills a day for almost 3 years. Of the 41, only 3 dropped out because of the side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it is safe to take 3 grams (usually 3 pills) per day.

If you take blood-thinners or anti-coagulants like Coumadin®, talk to your doctor as high doses of fish oil can act as a natural blood-thinner.

Overall, fish oil side effects are minor and harmless. Benefits of taking fish oil supplement far outweigh any of the side effects.

4 Tips to reduce fish oil side effects

  1. Take only pharmaceutical grade fish oil. One pharmaceutical grade fish oil pill has as much Omega-3 as three regular fish oil pills. With pharmaceutical grade fish oil, you get more benefits with fewer pills. And fewer pills mean fewer side effects.

    Shopping tip: How do you know if your fish oil is pharmaceutical grade?
    Look at the Omega-3 content. It should be above 75 or 80% Omega-3. Most fish oils sold in retail stores are not pharmaceutical grade. Retail fish oils are usually only 30% Omega-3. The other 70% is miscellaneous fat that is not listed on the product label. Some retail fish oil can be as high as 50% Omega-3 but the other 50% is just fat.

  2. Start small. If you are just starting to take fish oil, take one pill per day. After a few weeks, increase dosage to two per day to feel more benefits. If your body is not used to fish oil, taking too many pills at once can cause diarrhea.
  3. Take with meals. This always helps with reducing side effects like burping and belching. Some people also find that freezing the pills reduces burps.
  4. Buy Enteric-coated fish oil. Enteric coating prevents the pill from dissolving in the stomach. The pill stays intact well into the intestines. Once fish oil is in the intestine, you can’t belch it back up.

Bottom-line: you may experience some minor fish oil side effects but there are ways to reduce the effects. The overall benefits of fish oil are so great that it is worth understanding and coping with the occasional small discomforts.

Sources:
GISSI Prevenzione Trials
Medline Plus – US National Library of Medicine

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{ 109 comments… read them below or add one }

franco August 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Krill oil does not produce the above mentioned side affects. best krill oil I have used is NKO krill oil.

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handa fanda January 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

thanks this helped, i was looking for calrfication

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Shannon Macri-Meriden,Ct January 15, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Combining Fish Oil supplements with added B Complex vitamins and Vitamin D help with slight to moderate depression. Fish Oil has been used for many years to help with depression symptoms. I’ve never had any side effects from Fish Oil ever.

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Cadie February 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I started taking Omegavia fish oil pills about three weeks ago. I started with two per day and after a week increased it to four per day but due to side effects I reduced back down to two per day (figured I rushed the increase). But during the last week (while I’ve been back down to two per day) I’ve noticed a lot of mouth sores, especially on my tongue, and I’ve had a sore throat that seems to last forever. I was sick with a cold and figured the sore throat was from the cold, but most of my other cold symptoms went away except for the sore throat and now the mouth sores. Could this be a side effect of the fish oil? I stopped taking it as of last night so see if these symptoms will resolve, then I plan to start again to see if they come back. I feel like I’ve had some good benefits from the fish oil already and would really like to continue taking them, but the sores are really annoying.

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Vin Kutty February 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Hi Cadie – what side effects did you notice at 4 per day?

Mouth sores are not commonly reported side effects of fish oil. Everyone is different, so it’s impossible to tell whether the sores had anything to do with the fish oil. But I would do exactly what you’re doing. Stay off for 2 weeks. Then start back up for 2 weeks. And repeat. If you can get the sores to come up and go away by starting and stopping the pills, then you will have your answer. Otherwise, there simply is no way to know. Make sure you’re taking a good multivitamin to rule out B-complex deficiencies.

– Vin Kutty

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Cadie February 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Thank you for your response! At 4 per day I noticed diarrhea. Is that common? Meanwhile the mouth sores are gone and I’m anxious to try again, but I’m gonna wait out the full 2 weeks. How long do you recommend taking 2 per day before increasing to 4 per day?
Thanks again!

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Vin Kutty February 13, 2013 at 12:57 am

Hi Cadie – diarrhea is not a common side effect. Your body may not be producing enough lipase enzyme. Once your body realizes it needs to make more, it will make more. But for now, back off from 4. Stick with 2 per day for at least 2 weeks before going to 3 and then 2 more weeks before going to 4.

– Vin Kutty

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Carolyn Feldman March 11, 2013 at 3:46 am

I take 1300 mg of flaxseed a day. I seem to be so gassy. Is this a side affect.

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Vin Kutty March 12, 2013 at 12:23 am

Hi Carolyn – possibly, but it is unlikely. What happens if you stop taking it? If the problem resolves then you have something to go off of. If you are eating a lot of fiber or beans etc. this could be an issue. If oils are causing gas, then your gut and digestive system may not be functioning as well as it should. I suggest you look into and slowly transition into a paleo or whole foods diet.

– Vin Kutty

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myrna April 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I have been taking 1200 of fish oil, and 1000 units of that is Omega 3. It is considered “burpless”. However, I think that since I started taking this brand, I have had gastrointestinal problems. I also have IBS so it could be that is the problem; or, now I am thinking that maybe its the brand! and the amount of omega 3. Its a “once a day” supplement.

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Violet November 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm

be very careful, my mother ended up in the hospital with severe pancreatic issues due to fish oil pills, and it wasn’t a very high dose either. try red yeast instead, it is gentler on the organs.

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Vin Kutty November 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm

If you do not want to take fish oil pills (for whatever reason), then I suggest you attempt eating wild-caught cold water fish a few times a week. And reduce your consumption of vegetable seed oils – soy, canola, corn oil etc. that are high in Omega-6 fats.

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vgjv July 6, 2013 at 5:17 am

I had minor stroke, am taking 1000 mg fish oil with 8O mg aspirin and 75 mg clopidogrel, is it ok?

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Vin Kutty July 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Hi vgjv – I would increase your Omega-3 dosage. Usually, 1000 mg fish oil has about 300 mg of Omega-3. That’s OK if you 20 years old and healthy. But if I had a stroke, I’d be taking 3000 to 4000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Get more concentrated fish oil. I’m only commenting on the fish oil dosage – not allowed by law to give medical advice about clopidogrel since it is a prescription given to you by your doctor. So check with him/her. However, combining low-dose aspirin with fish oil is a good idea – reduces inflammation very well.

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lsb July 25, 2013 at 4:44 am

I am post menopausal. For the last two years I have been on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone)from a compounding pharmacy. The HRT has helped with hot flashes, mood, and vaginal dryness. However, I am now having significant pain (burning) with intercourse to the point of not being able to have sex, even when using a lot of lubricant. I have seen my dr., who says my exam is normal and I just need to relax.

Could Omegavia help?

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Vin Kutty July 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Hi Isb – OmegaVia may or may not help. But what will certainly help is a different doctor who listens to what you’re saying.

One or two Omega-3 pills a day will certainly keep you generally healthier, but I cannot give you medical advice since I am not a doctor.

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Cristina August 20, 2013 at 3:50 am

I’m taking fish oil 1500 from GNC about four weeks, for the last two weeks started with a lot of marks in my legs looks like a mosquitos bites and itching a lot. Is this side affect of the fish oil? This is a rash very bad itching every day and night and I can’t fall sleep, I take medication for allergies is not help me.

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Vin Kutty August 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Hi Cristina – for some people, fish oil can produce a skin rash. This is very rare. But the only way to say that this product caused it is to stop taking the product for two weeks and let it clear your system. See if it goes away. Then start taking it again to see if the rash returns. If it comes back, then you can say with a bit more certainty that it was the product.

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Melanie Baker September 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Cristina:
I have the same problem, but have not been able to pinpoint what was the actual cause. Someone suggested today to check into the fish oil having the possible side effect and came across your post. Did stopping the fish oil help your rash and itching? I was going to stop with my dose tonight if this seemed to help your symptoms.
Thanks!

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sunny September 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

I’m using GNC Vitamin A 10,000 IU ( Fish Oil ) for my skin. I have acne. I’ve been talking it almost 3 months, i feel a little pain in my lower back , is it because of Vitamin A ?

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Vin Kutty September 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Hi Sunny – I’d go easy on the Vitamin A supplements. High doses of Vitamin A without proportional amounts of Vitamins D, E and K is not a good idea. Animal fats are the best ways to get Vitamin A. An occasional Vitamin A pill – may be once a week, will keep you from going deficient. I don’t know if your lower back pain is from Vitamin A. You’ll have to consult with a doctor.

Besides, I doubt that much Vitamin A will do anything for your acne. Want to get rid of acne? Get rid of sugar, wheat and dairy from your diet. Fish oil will reduce the redness in your skin, but by itself, it will not get rid of acne. Only a diet change will.

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sunny September 5, 2013 at 7:55 am

Thanks Vin for your detailed reply, I already reduce the sugar and sometime i use dairy product like milk or yogurt. I suffered Cystic acne and used all kind of medicines then my doctor asked me to steam twice a week.
Now I’m thinking to use mud mask.

I’m confused on wheat, you meant i not eat any kind of bread, can you suggest a diet.

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Vin Kutty September 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Look into a whole food or paleo type diet.

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razi September 13, 2013 at 4:59 am

hello vin, last year i started using salmon oil capsules. it is nice stuff but it has a small side effect . my face and body colour changed. many freckels in my face. now i stopped using the salmon oils. please tell me the cause of it.

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Vin Kutty September 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Hi Razi – too much salmon oil can sometimes cause your skin to become slightly orange from the astaxanthin, but that is rare and only happens if you consume dozens of pills per day. I have not heard of increased freckles from using salmon oil or fish oil.

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joj September 13, 2013 at 7:45 am

Can the arctic fish tablets be taken along other medications such as Plavix,concord,lipitor etc.Also with garlic ginger acv and lemon juice with honey.

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Vin Kutty September 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hi joj – this is a medical question since you’re asking about prescription drugs. You need to check with your doctor. We have many customers who take OmegaVia with their statin drugs – there have been no issues reported by our customers. After all, fish oil is food. No issues with garlic, ginger and honey. Lemon juice will delay or negate enteric coating of fish oil sometimes.

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Rob W. September 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm

A few months ago I was diagnosed with Panic and Anxiety Disorder. It was recommend that I start taking Fish Oil. I started with Nature Made @ 2400 mg a day and recently switched to a higher EPA version in Nordic Naturals. Even when I started taking the fish oil I noticed a weird craving sensation at the time of my dosage almost “out of my head feeling”. I have found that I am very sensitive to medication. I also would get a bump of energy and increased strong heart rate a few hours after the dosage. I have decided to taper off of the fish oil this week and see how I feel. How long is a good evaluation period? Two Weeks?

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Vin Kutty September 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Hi Rob – it takes about 2 weeks for EPA to clear your system, but even a week is OK. I would caution you against assuming it is caused by Omega-3. There could be several issues causing this. Check with your doctor too, as these may be symptoms that should be part of your official diagnosis. I would also highly, HIGHLY recommend that you look into a Whole-foods-only (similar to Paleo) diet. Also see this: http://www.omegavia.com/supplements-for-depression-anxiety/

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Mark A. September 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I was taking 4,000 mg of fish oil daily for a few years — and feeling great. I had no colds, a reduction in my arthritis, and a general good feeling. However, my white blood cell count came back elevated (at 16). I cut out the fish oil and my white blood cell dropped significantly, but is still slightly elevated. I noticed my first colds in a few years. The doctor suggests that I may have a virus, although he is surprised it hasn’t surfaced earlier. He suggests the possibility of a cancer, but is still looking into it, although he admits my outward health is excellent (I work out all the time). I’m 64 years old, by the way.

Here are my questions (1) Does fish oil affect white blood cells (for good or evil)? (2) Can fish oil mask a virus? Thanks.

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Vin Kutty September 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Hi Mark – I am not aware of fish oil or Omega-3 affecting white blood cells. Or masking viruses. Taking fish oil merely reduces a inflammation and allows your cells to function the way they were meant to, assuming you were operating under deficiency before you started taking fish oil. Being healthy certainly gives you some added immunity to viruses, but this may or may not have anything to do with Omega-3. You may have just been healthy, lucky or have had sub-clinical viral infections.

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Yuddy Roberts September 23, 2013 at 10:03 am

I was taking Pulse Omega 3 Pure Fish Oil for almost 21 daay but has to stop as i began to notice an unusual nausea feeling. 1 week after the feelings are not clear yet.

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ray mccool October 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm

will 2400mg of enteric coated fish oil with omega 3 fatty acids make my breath so bad my room smells awful i also take1000mg of flax seed oil a day at the same time i mean my bedroom stinks it didnt start till i started this regimen i have had my teeth cleaned and no cavities help please my breath stinks even after brushing and mouthwash

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Vin Kutty October 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Hi Ray – sounds like you need to stop taking the fish oil you’re taking. Give it a break for a couple of weeks. Then start over with a different brand. Possibly at a lower dose.

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kristen November 21, 2013 at 12:46 am

I’ve been taking Nature Made fish oil for only a few days and have been experiencing more gas than usual. Any recommendations has to reduce this side effect? Switch brands? Thanks for the help!

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Vin Kutty November 21, 2013 at 2:52 am

Hi Kristen – if you took some digestive enzymes with lipase, it may be better. But the other option is to take a much stronger Omega-3 (pharma grade) which will allow you to get all the Omega-3 with a lot less oil. Less oil probably means less gas in your case.

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Jennifer December 23, 2013 at 4:36 am

Does the minor side effects you have listed eventually go away? I have IBS and am a new customer to Omegavia. Have only been taking one pill a day for two days. Right away I have every one of the minor symptoms listed..just wondering if the side effects go away after body adjusts and generally how long might that take?

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Vin Kutty December 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Hi Jennifer – fish oil side effects are usually minor and temporary. However, since you have IBS, you may be extra sensitive. I suggest you stop taking the pills for a couple of days and start again and see if the symptoms come back. If they do, it is probably best to back off to every other day or every third day. Other options are to switch to OmegaVia EPA 500, which is a smaller pill with a smaller amount of Omega-3, so it may be less upsetting. Regardless of the product you take, it may be best to take it with the largest meal of the day.

On a separate note, your IBS may be diet-related. Talk to a profession (who gets it!) and it may involve gluten elimination and an anti-inflammatory diet. More here: http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/paleo-diet-and-ibs.html

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Lori January 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Hi there! I just bought Barlean’s ultra fish oil pills and am nervous about trying them for the first time. I take a multivitamin and a b complex daily and also an anti anxiety medicine called buspar at a very low dose. Do you know of any side effects with taking that combination? I’m nervous to start taking the fish oil but I’ve read of such amazing benefits that I would love to make it a daily habit to take fish oil! Any information on this would be great and hopefully ease my mind a bit about taking something new. I sometimes get anxiety taking new pills, that’s why! Haha

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Vin Kutty January 29, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Hi Lori – there are no issues at all with combining a multi and b-vitamins with fish oil. I’d check with your prescribing doctor about the Buspar. Since you mentioned anxiety, I think it is even more critical to get Omega-3 and magnesium in your diet.

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Michelle February 13, 2014 at 11:11 am

Ive had two cerebral Aneurysms clipped is it dangerous for me to take fish oil if it thins my blood?.

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Vin Kutty February 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Hi Michelle – this is a question that is best answered by your doctor. I’m neither authorized nor qualified to make these decisions for you. Having said that, blood thinning effect of fish oil becomes apparently at extremely high doses – around 10 to 20 times what you need on a daily basis. More on that here: https://www.omegavia.com/fish-oil-bleeding-risk/

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Michelle February 14, 2014 at 2:47 am

Thank you Vin, I only take two 1000ml daily. I will talk with my Neurosurgeon next appointment.

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Michelle February 14, 2014 at 2:52 am

I just read on my Blackmores Fish Oil capsules that they r odourless but I still suffer from the horrible taste in my mouth and intergestion.Why if odourless no fishy aftertaste.

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Vin Kutty February 14, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Hi Michelle – you may need an enteric coated product. If your oil tastes ‘horrible’ as you put it, it may be a bit rancid. Get something purer and fresher.

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Sia February 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Hi,
Doctor has suggested to take Omega -3 fish oil 1gm to lower my cholestrol level, but as I am vegeterian so I am scared of the smell. Will that be ok if I use Omega-3 flax seed oil instead of fish oil or One of my friend suggested to take Red Rice yeast. If the fish oil is beneficial for my body I will take it but I wanted to know your suggestion.

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Vin Kutty February 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Hi Sia – sorry, but your doctor is wrong. Fish oil will not lower cholesterol, at least not significantly. The key reason to take fish oil is not to lower cholesterol, but to lower triglycerides and inflammation. You can do the same with algae DHA oils that are readily available. They are 100% vegetarian. Don’t use flax as a substitute – it does not work.

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Beth February 26, 2014 at 1:28 am

I recently took fish oil by spoon twice. Both times burned tongue. No other side effect. I’m trying to increase omega-3 to help with PMS. Is this burning a side effect or allergy?

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Vin Kutty February 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Hi Beth – this is very unusual. I’ve heard of people complaining about taste and smell with liquid fish oil, but having your tongue burned is new for me. My suggestions for PMS: cut back on sugar drastically, take a different Omega-3 and take a GLA supplement. Like this: http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-Mega-GLA-Hexane-Softgels/dp/B000GFPD1U/

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Faith May 23, 2014 at 6:11 am

I too have sores on my mouth and tongue and just started taking the fish oil yesterday. I’m going to skip the next week to determine if the fish oil was the cause.

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Sukesh September 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Yes, i am also feeling mouth and tongue sore after having nutrilite omega 3 two pills for 7 days. should i discontinue ?

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Vin Kutty, MS September 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Hi Sukesh – discontinue for a couple of weeks and resume again to see if the side effect returns. You need to do this 2 or 3 times to confirm that the side effect was caused by the fish oil and not something correlated.

Riho March 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Hi!
I’m contacting because I have read comments about Omega 3. Shortly my story: I have psoriasis and five years ago it really flared up in my joints so I couldn’t exercise anymore and two years ago patches started appearing on my skin and under nails. But about a year ago I started taking a new natural Omega 3 product from North- Europe that was suggested to me and now for all practical purposes my psoriasis is gone. I would like to know how you measure Omega 6/3 effect and ratio due to its importance? I use a blood test which shows the
ratio and several other data analyzed by leading laboratories. For example my first test ratio was 8,4:1, second after four months 3,4:1 and third a year later 1,6:1. It`s would be nice to know your opinion.

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Vin Kutty March 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Hi Riho – this is great! I wish more people would follow your example. Your Omega-6 to 3 ratio has been steadily improving, so I am not surprised that you are noticing fewer inflammatory symptoms like psoriasis and painful joints. Typically, results like yours can only be achieved if you combine increased Omega-3 from diet and supplements along with a reduction in Omega-6 from seed oils. I assume you’ve done both.

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Jewel March 21, 2014 at 10:44 am

Hi. I’m taking fish oil for the first time ever. I’m a 35 year old with psoriasis, eczema, and I’m medicated for depression. For the first 3 days I took one pill a day with food. Just two nights ago ( the fourth day) I started taking 2 with meals. The second day of taking two I experienced the fishy burps and upset stomach. Will this subside or should I decrease intake?

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Vin Kutty March 21, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Hi Jewel – given what you’ve described, I suspect that you have a lot of inflammation. Depression, eczema and psoriasis, all have one thing in common – inflammation. One pill a day is better than nothing. But I have no idea how much Omega-3 you’re getting per pill. You may want to consider another brand with more Omega-3. I suggest getting 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. But also drastically changing your diet – eliminate sugar, sweets, juices, soda, flour, refined grains, processed food and especially all vegetable see oils except olive and coconut oil. Look into probiotics and fermented foods. I highly recommend finding an integrative or functional medicine practitioner to help you get inflammation under control. If burping is an issue, try enteric coated products.

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Riho March 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Hi Vin Kutty!
Thank you for answer and yes, I`ve done both. By the way my brother-in-law has completely gotten rid of his asthma and allergies (peanut, cucumber, apple, grass …) through a same natural product he’s been taking for some 9 months now. I decided let you know a little more about this test which is available for everybody. This is a simple dry blood-spot test for home sample collection. Leading laboratories analyze the sample to determine your fatty acid profile as a reflection of your diet. It takes less than a minute to complete, and you can access your results online anonymously after about 20 days. The BalanceTest identifies levels of 11 fatty acids in the blood with 98% certainty. You will learn your blood levels of omega-3 and your ratio of omega 6:3 for balance, plus receive report to increase your health and dietary awareness. There are six datas about body balance:
1. Your Protection (Fatty Acids Profile Value)
2. Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) Level
3. Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA) Balance
4. Arachidonic Acid (AA) Formation Efficiency
5. Cell Membrane Fluidity Index
6. Mental strength Index
Certainly there are much more information.

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Vin Kutty March 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Thank you, Riho. This is very useful. Sometime this year, we will publish an article about it here.

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mary March 28, 2014 at 7:55 pm

I just had a blood work-up and was told that my cholesterol is too high. My doctor said I could take Zocor or 1000mg of fish oil twice a day for 3 to 6 months. Which is better and more effective? Which would you say has the least amount of annoying side effects? And most important, which would you say works better? Thanks for your help. New territory for me. I am 56 and a little overweight and trying to get it under control.

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Vin Kutty March 29, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Hi Mary – Zocor (a statin drug) and fish oil do different things. Zocor is a stain drug that reduces cholesterol. Fish oil contains Omega-3, an essential nutrient. Omega-3 is not optional. Omega-3 reduces inflammation and if you take 3000 mg or so if it per day, it will also reduce triglycerides. Triglycerides are different from cholesterol and many scientists believe that they are even more telling of future heart health incidents. So Zocor and fish oil are both effective, but at doing different things. Fish oil definitely has fewer side effects. You need to make your decision with your doctor, but my choice would be fish oil and strict elimination of sugars, sodas, juices, processed foods and flour.

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Ms. K April 1, 2014 at 6:06 am

USANA Biomega III is the best fishoil I’ve taken in my life! It’s pharmaceutical grade and doesn’t have bad smell. It has lemon oil extract that when you burp, it literally tastes like lemon. Plus it contains 1 gram of DHA, EPA, and of course, Omega-3!

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Riho April 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Hi!
You must measure Omega 3 effect and Omega 6:3 ratio due to its importance! By the way- if you hold ratio 3:1 or lower then all life style diseases (skin diseases, asthma, allergies, diabetes 2, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and so on) are disapeared.

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Julie April 8, 2014 at 2:44 am

Hi, I had some leftover liquid fish oil in my refrigerator – about a tablespoon – & I drank it. It tasted pretty bad, but I figured it was only a small amount. Ever since then, about two weeks, I’ve been experiencing light diarrhea. What can I do to “cure” this? I started drinking kambucha, will that help?

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Vin Kutty April 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Hi Julie – I’ve never heard of someone experiencing two weeks of diarrhea from taking a tablespoon of old fish oil. Granted, if it tasted bad, it was probably rancid. But any gastric side effect of taking rancid fish oil should be temporary. It should not last two weeks. I suggest you go to your doctor and get this looked at. Kombucha may help, but check with your doctor first.

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yankel May 1, 2014 at 4:09 am

I TRIED SEVERAL BRANDS OF FISH OIL. ALTHOUGH I FEEL VERY ENERGETIC while on fish oil, I feel extremely hungry and could eat a house and still be hungry. i sometimes get these symptoms while not on fish oil , but when fish oil its much much worse

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Vin Kutty May 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Hi Yankel – it is unusual for fish oil to to trigger hunger. Usually, fats and proteins moderate hunger…and starch and sugar trigger it. Is it possible that you are eating more carbs/sugar at the same time?

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ready4bed May 19, 2014 at 2:56 am

I recently started taking 1/1200mg of omega 3 fish oil, skipped a day then took the next…partnered with a D-3 vitamin. I woke up with stiff joints ( every joint on my body ) and a stiff neck with swollen neck lymph nodes. I also am itchy, like hives popping up and itchy on my ankles and feet. I looked at the bottle and these vitamins are both expired2012. Could all the above be side affects from taking these? This is day two with these symptoms. Thank you for your help.

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Vin Kutty May 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Hi ready4bed – skin reactions are extremely rare side effects of fish oil. However, itchiness, swollen lymph nodes and stiff neck are not recognized side effects of fish oil, but we are all unique and we all react to things differently. Vitamin D3 does not cause these reactions either.

The first thing I would do is toss the expired bottles of pills. I’d also check with your doctor because the symptoms may have nothing to do with either of these supplements and could be an indication of something else.

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Mark May 31, 2014 at 12:32 am

Hi, I’ve been taking fish oil for almost a year now and just recently I discovered that fish oil can go rancid. Anyway the one I been taking has this fishy smell inside the bottle, I tried the ” bite and taste” test and while its not particularly revolting it does taste fishy but not enough to make me vomit. I have another bottle that I had just bought I did the same test on it but I realized that its got an orange flavor which masked the taste and smell, but definitely taste better than the old one. Now I’m contemplating on throwing the one that smell and taste fishy and well I hate the idea doing that since that would mean money down the drain. Though I’m not sure if it’s normal for a fish oil to taste and smell fishy, I would appreciate any answer you might have. Thank you.

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Vin Kutty May 31, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Hi Mark – if the fish oil is old and improperly stored, then yes, it can go rancid. It could also have started going rancid before you bought it. The retailer may not have handled the product properly or the manufacturer may not have used the freshest oil. The best way to prevent this problem is to make sure you get an IFOS 5-star rated fish oil. IFOS is a third-party fish oil testing program that publishes test results for everyone to access freely. Google IFOS Consumer Report and select any of the 5-star rated products. At least this way, you will be getting a product that was high quality at the time of testing.

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Riho June 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Hi!
Natural Omega 3 oil (fish and olive oil+D vitamin) I use can hold in the dark cabinet until two years unopened but after opening in the fridge forty five days.

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Sitora June 7, 2014 at 4:37 am

I am taking fish oil for two days Two spoon per day, and I am feeling pain in my stomach. Is it because of the fish oil?I thought fish oil is good for the stomach. Now I am confused…

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Vin Kutty, MS June 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Hi Sitora – it could be the fish oil or something else. Get medical help if it is serious. Fish oil occasionally causes digestive issues in some people. If your doctor clears you for taking more fish oil, start with a lower dose and see if that works.

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Riho June 9, 2014 at 2:28 pm

If you have gallstones or you have problem with gall then solve the problem and start with fish oil again.

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jhaky June 18, 2014 at 11:18 pm

After taking fish oil I got skin rashes. ..so sad

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Vin Kutty, MS June 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Hijhaky – if it was indeed the fish oil that caused the rash (a rare side effect in some people), it will go away in a few days. I would not give up on taking Omega-3 or eating fish! If you want to supplement, try another brand.

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Silvia June 22, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Hi, I have been taking a brand named DeepSeaPharma Krill Omega, which was recommended by our family doctor. Since I started taking one pill pr day I have noticed that I get stomach pain and that my stomach is bloated. I stopped for a while and then a few days ago I started again and it happened again. I really need the fish oils but I feel very uncomfortable and don’t know what to do.

It is 500mg which contains Omega3+D-vitamin -NKO Krill

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Vin Kutty, MS June 22, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Hi Silvia – it is likely that the oil is rancid. I would suggest another product. You should discuss with your doctor about options.

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Jake, Stl. Mo July 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Hi,

First of all, I would like to thank you for this very informative website and your responses. Also I would like to comment that I will be visiting my doctor about this condition later on this week, however, I’d like to get your opinion as well Vin.

I have taken Fish oil on and off for years now (currently I am 35 yo male), and have never had an allergic reaction to it, nor have I ever been allergic to fish or seafood. In addition I have had no allergic reactions to anything in my life that I can recall, except for opiates (Think oxycodone / percocet, vicotin etc.). In the past I took 2-3g a day of Sam’s club over the counter triple strength enteric coated fish oil (1g per pill) for many months at a time.

Fast forward to May of 2014 after not taking fish oil for around a year I made the decision to begin taking it again, albeit a more reliable source (I did lots of studying on IFOS and IKOS website as well as professional and consumer reports) to find the best available source for oil.

My first trial was with Krill Gold™ 1000mg by NutriGold® 1 pill a day. All was going well for about 2 weeks until I got a sporadic itchy rash / hives on my legs and arms and extremely itchy concentrated rash on my inner thighs (legs) right at my groin region. I was confused at first and thought I may be having a reaction to the summer heat or something else. To be safe I stopped taking the Krill oil immediately and in 5 – 7 days the rash cleared up and my skin was fine again.

Initial warnings (albeit personal) told me that it was something in the Krill that I was allergic to. I waited a month to begin taking a Omega-3 supplement again to ensure that it was not something else causing these symptoms.

Went back to the drawing board and after some more researching I decided to switch back to Fish Oil since I have had great success with that in the past. After researching IFOS and independent third party test sites, I decided to go with your OmegaVia Pharma-Grade Fish Oil, Enteric Odorless/Burp-Free, 60 Capsules. 1105 mg Omega-3.

Once again after two weeks of taking 1g (1 pill) per day I am back to having hives (itchy rashes) on my arms and legs and a very concentrated rash right at my waist line and inside legs (groin area) as well as the feeling that it is affecting my left eye as well (rash).

I am very confused and may be thinking that it is either due to the bio-availability of the pharma grade fish oil (equally with the bio-availability of the krill oil) being greater than the over-the-counter product I was taking before or, with the capsule itself (however the krill oil capsule was made of different ingredients and i do not think the bovine gelatin would do it as I am not allergic to red meat)? Possibly the Plant Tocopherols?

I do not think it is due to the fish oil being in Ethyl Esters form (as the krill oil is not and I have taken Ethyl Ester fish oil before). Since there are very minimal ingredients in the Omegavia fish oil I am very confused as to what it could be.

– I would like to add that I do use chewing tobacco and am a *heavy* drinker. I average 2-4 alcoholic beverages 3-4 times per week.

– I would also like to add that I have just come off of using an anti-depressant (citalopram 20mg per day, roughly for 8 months) 2 weeks before the start of using the Omegavia fish oil and was taking it daily during the consumption of the Krill oil.

– History of high blood pressure (but not severely high and high LDL cholesterol (300+ range since my early 20’s).

– I have not had a history of skin rashes or allergies before perse; but have had mild skin irritations in the past (very infrequently)

– Lastly I run 15 – 30 miles per week and cycle 20-40 miles per week; very active.

Sorry this is so long but I wanted to be as informative as I could and thank you for your time looking at this! -Jake

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Vin Kutty, MS July 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

Hi Jake – it is possible that you have developed an allergy to fish oil. A very small fraction of the population has the skin reactions you mentioned. It is usually not serious and it goes away with time. My suggestion is to go off the product (please call our customer service folks if you’d like a refund) and try re-introducing other sources of Omega-3 – lots of wild salmon. Do it now before the Copper River run salmon ends. Or other fish. See if you notice anything. Then try a different supplement with a different Omega-3 profile – may be our EPA 500 item. Take one pill every 3 days. Or take a low-dose Omega-3. You will have to play detective with the help of your doctor. That’s the only way to get to the bottom of it.

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Jake, Stl. Mo July 10, 2014 at 11:51 am

Vin,

Unfortunately I figured you would advise to quit. I will speak with my Doctor today in the hopes that I can use a daily anti-histamine or some alternative product. Thank you for your reply.

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assia July 12, 2014 at 1:19 am

I m taking triple strength omega complex of gnc with omega-3 1275 mg, omega-6 180 mg and omega-9 150 mg for weight loss along with low calories food,lemon green tea and walk 45 min morning and 45 min evening, Is the dose of omega3-6-9 correct?, should I also take multivitamins? I stop all sugar sodas. I also taking pills for blood presuure and my fasting sugar is also high that’s why I want to lose weight, my bmi is 29.8 I should lose 10 kg weight to delay diabetes millatus, can u give any suggestion?

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Vin Kutty, MS July 12, 2014 at 4:49 am

Hi assia – fish oil, low-calorie diets etc wont help you lose weight. Although omega-3, green tea and walking are fantastic for several other reasons. Yes, take a multivitamin.

Stop all sodas, sugar, sweet anything. Stop juices, fast food and refined grains – anything that contains flour. eat a lot of real foods like vegetables, meats, seafood, eggs, meats, fruits and nuts. Worry about WHAT you eat instead of HOW MUCH.

Weight loss pill don’t work. What you eat does.

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Zee July 13, 2014 at 2:58 am

Does fish oil 1500 that in GNC store cause fat? I took that for 14 days which is one pill a day , so that mean I took 14 pills. I got increase wight in short period about 25 lb during two monthes and the increasing still going. So what I’m going to do? Let me know and share me your experince please.

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Vin Kutty, MS July 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

Hi Zee – no, the GNC Fish Oil 1500 will not make you fat. If you have been drinking sodas, juices, and eating sweet stuff, it is probably what’s causing most of the weight gain. Just to be safe, have a doctor check your thyroid and other metabolic markers.

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Anya July 18, 2014 at 3:23 am

I am having some issues that I think might be related to fish oil. It’s vey embarrassing but what I have could be described as sticky bowels. There is a bizarre metallic odor as well.

I have been taking 6 capsules daily of Now Super Omega EPA, a total of 6000 mg fish oil or 3600 mg omega 3 fatty acids. I am wondering if this is causing these symptoms?

I am a 50 yr old female, 5’6 130 pounds. I am an athlete (weightlifter and runner) and was told to take 3-4 grams of omega 3s a day. My symptoms are only a recent problem and I have been taking this much fish oil for a while now. Is it possible the pills have gone bad? The expiration date says 2016. Or is it a cumulative effect of just taking too much? Should I decrease the dose or cut it out altogether?

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Vin Kutty, MS July 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Hi Anya – based on my experience, it is unlikely that this is due to the fish oil, assuming you don’t have issues digesting fats. Even if you have issues digesting fats, this is not what would happen. My guess for a dietary culprit is gluten. It is the poorly digested, highly inflammatory and very sticky (gluten is sticky like glue) protein from wheat that ‘comes out’ making things a bit sticky.

I suggest going off the fish oil for a couple of weeks. No harm will be done. Then see if the condition improves. If the problem resumes when you restart the fish oil regimen, then you can say with better certainty that it is indeed the fish oil. Then try taking a lower dose along with supplement that provides lipase enzymes – plenty of them on Amazon.com to see if that helps fat digestion.

Please keep your doctor informed in case the metallic odor is an indication of iron/blood. It may just be something in your diet other than fish oil, but until you have ruled out something more serious, don’t assume it is just diet related.

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Anya August 8, 2014 at 12:47 am

Hello Vin,

Well I did an experiment, cut out the fish oil for a few days, the symptoms went away. Then I started back on them, this time only two a day, and the symptoms came back. So I took them out again and the symptoms disappeared. So obviously I have an intolerance to fish oil even in small amounts. I had the same problem with another brand so switched to this brand and was able to take for a couple years without problems. I guess I will have to get my Omega 3 in another way which will be hard because I don’t eat any type of fish or seafood.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Hi Anya – looks like you got some answers with your experimentation. Try Omega-3 eggs – that may be an option.

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deb July 21, 2014 at 5:22 am

I have been taking fish oil for a few weeks
Skin is yellow-orange

Take 1 a day is it normal? I thought I was getting a tan.is it normal?

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Vin Kutty, MS July 21, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Hi Deb – fish oil cannot make your skin yellow-orange. However, taking astaxanthin supplements or eating a lot of beta-carotene (carrots etc.) can give it an orange hue. If it lasts, go to your doctor to rule out anything serious.

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Olivia Lovely August 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm

After reading all the comments above, I realize my major problem is addiction to sugar. How does a person break that? I have successfully gotten off wheat and gluten but can’t seem to resist the sugar, to the point of “sneaking” it. Help!

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Vin Kutty, MS August 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Hi Olivia – lots of people are addicted to sugar. It’s not an imaginary disease. And it’s not in your head. Try Diane Sanfilippo’s program. This link normally works but it seems to be glitchy now: http://balancedbites.com/sugar-addiction-detox
I do not agree with most of what she has to say about Omega-3 but she is totally right on this subject.

Sugar detox is not fun but worth it. And it is very easy to go back to old habits.

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Tom August 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Hi,

May I please ask a serious question?, When I sometimes take Nordic Naturals cod liver oil “Nordic Naturals Arctic-D Cod Liver Oil 237ml”, about 30 minutes after taking it, I start to feel really dizzy and bad.

Any idea on why that is please?.

Thank You.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Hi Tom – I don’t know why that is. But I suggest you talk to your doctor about it. I suspect your doctor will simply ask you to stop taking the product. On the surface, it is the simplest way to stop the problem. But Nordic Naturals is a good company and they have other products you may want to try. Call up their customer service line and see if they can help you choose something else.

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Tom August 23, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Hey Vin,

Thank You very very much.
May I please just ask you one more question regarding fish oil?

Yeah, Nordic is one of the best out there, but could it be possible that the other Omega’s (Omega 6 & 9 ) in the product may be causing the negative effect?. Each 5ml contains a total of 5000mg cod liver oil, BUT that 5000mg also includes the other omegas 6/9/etc. There’s only ‘1260mg Omega 3′ per every 5ml out of the 5000mg.

So, could it be the other Omega’s (non 3) could be causing the negative effects?. Also, the negative effect only happens when I take more than 5ml.

But also, when I took 5g of MorEpa Platinum, I did not get any negative reactions. (problem is it’s was too expensive)

And, even with Eskimo 3 Brainsharp, when I took more than 5ml I got the same negative effects as the cod liver listed above.

So may I please ask you, please could you give your input on this please?, Thank you very very much.
Thank you. :)

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Vin Kutty, MS August 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Hi Tom – Omega-9 is harmless…actually it may be really good for you. Omega-6 is harmful in excess but it is essential for survival. If you eat a lot of Omega-6, you would get fat and develop inflammatory conditions. But neither should cause you to have immediate side effects. Still, may be you should try Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega in liquid form…it has less 6 and 9.

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Tom August 26, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Hi Vin,

OK, Thank you. But, could it be the Vitamin A,E or D in it causing the dizziness/bad vision if I take over 5ml?

Thanks.
(Note: MorEPA platinum included Vitamin D also, but did not cause any negative effects (dizziness/bad vision), but the Nordic Naturals Cod Liver oil & Eskimo 3 brainsharp.)

Thank You.

Moataz samy August 18, 2014 at 5:45 am

Hello, i am making a diet and i lost 28 kg does the product Jamieson omega 369 is good for me or not … some friend told me that it reduce belly fat is that right

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Vin Kutty, MS August 18, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Hi Moataz – fish oil will not reduce belly fat. More here: http://www.omegavia.com/fish-oil-and-belly-fat/

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Nils August 30, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for an informative website. The information about taking fish oil with other fats is helpful. I notice most of a difference when I take it with a little coconut oil and avocado oil.

Two questions, if you have time to answer them:

1) I like the idea of taking high-EPA fish oil, and I see that your company offers that product, but was wondering if it’s available in liquid form (for those who’d rather take it by the spoonful, and avoid capsules)?

2) On your page about krill oil, you mentioned that one benefit of krill is that it provides EPA and DHA bound to phospholipids. I’m curious if taking a spoonful of lecithin (which is also high in phospholipids) along with fish oil might have a benefit?

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Vin Kutty, MS August 30, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Hi Nils – we don’t have a high-EPA liquid product. I don’t think there is a liquid EPA-only product available, but there are many that are higher in EPA than DHA.

Taking a spoonful of lecithin with your fish oil will have absolutely no additional benefit. The Omega-3 has to be bound to the phospholipid on a molecular level. Krill oil provides this superior molecularly bound Omega-3, but the concentration of Omega-3 in krill oil is so low that it is a waste of your time and money, in my opinion.

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Sunmit Gandhi September 23, 2014 at 8:11 am

HI Vin its a very good site very helpful

I have used Brain Wise Syrup
DELICIOUS OMEGA-3 SMOOTHIE TO HELP MAINTAIN ACTIVE BRAIN DEVELOPMENT AND EYE FUNCTION
BrainWise tackles these problems by using the WisdOM-3™ process to emulsify the finest fish oil with prebiotics and a mouth-watering blend of 8 different fruit purees and juice concentrates to produce a ‘smoothie’ like fruit cream.

In fact BrainWise contains all of the beneficial antioxidants from a full handful of the fruit that goes into making every teaspoonful.

That’s why we say BrainWise provides effective nutrition, made easy…for kids!
Effective

High in EPA and DHA Omega 3s
Antioxidant content of a handful of fresh fruit
No artificial flavours, colours and sweeteners
Contains prebiotics to support friendly bacteria
Emulsified by WisdOM-3
Easy

Delicious real fruit taste
No fishy aftertaste
Mix in juices or water
Recommended daily intake:

BrainWise – AGES 2-4 Take 1 teaspoon (5ml) daily.
AGES 4-12 Take 1-2 teaspoons (5-10ml) daily.
ADULTS Take 2-4 teaspoons (10-20ml) daily.
BrainWise can be taken directly from the spoon or mixed in with water, fruit juice or milk.

Nutrient Average/5ml serving
Total Omega 3 fatty acids 600mg
Eicosapentaeonic acid (EPA) 250mg
Docosahexaeonic acid (DHA) 190mg
Total Anthocyanins 15mg
Natural Mixed Tocopherols 12.5mg

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Rachel Mikkelsen September 26, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I would love to be able to take Omega-3s and eat seafood, but whenever I take fish oil, even at low dosages (1,000 mg once a day), it’s like my body cannot process them. My sweat and urine will reek of fish and I get super nauseous. Anyone know why that might happen and what I can do to get my body to digest fish oil?

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Vin Kutty, MS September 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Hi Rachel – if your body is fine with wild, cold water fish, then eat a lot of that. I suspect you may be taking old rancid fish oil. Find a small Omega-3 pill that contains a lot of Omega-3 but not a lot of oil. The lower amount of oil may make it easier for you to digest it. Our sister company makes something that fits the bill: http://www.amazon.com/Pharma-Grade-InnovixLabs-Concentrated-Burp-Free-Capsules/dp/B00F5ZV6W6/ Take it with a meal to see if it helps.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 26, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Hi Tom – it is highly unlikely that it is the Vitamins A, E and D.

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Tom August 26, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Hi,

Okay, Thank You very much. But if its not that, then what could it be?.

Thanks.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 26, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Not sure, Tom. I guess the good news is that you have other options for Omega-3 that do not make you feel bad.

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