Fish Oil Side Effects

Are There Any Fish Oil Side Effects?

Fish oil or omega-3 supplements have many health benefits but are there any side effects? Yes, the they are relatively non-serious when compared to some of the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

That said, they are not minor either and it’s always the smart consumer wh

The following are the reported side effects:

  • Belching up an undesirable fishy taste is common and unpleasant. Some assert it is due to the lack of quality and freshness of the fish oil from which the fish oil soft gel pills are made. Fish oil that’s oxidized is rancid. That said, until some get digestively accustomed to fish oil, the burp or aftertaste could be natural. This belch can be mitigated by taking your daily allotment with a meal
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Bruising easily
  • Occasional nosebleeds
  • Potential liver problems through too much Vitamin A if one is taking fish oil supplements not derived from the flesh of fish, which is where good fish oil should come from. Avoid cod liver oil and other fish liver oils due to this
  • Lesser quality fish oil supplements may have potentially high levels of toxis like mercury, dioxins, heavy metals and PCBs
  • Blood thinning. This strength of fish oil can be a weakness. Omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure and remove plaque and prevent platlets from sticking to artery walls

When taking very large doses, say around 12 to 15 grams, these issues could become exacerbated. The potential side effects of fish oil are relatively minor when compared to the health benefits of this dietary supplement so one should be cautious. Remember what Confucius once said, “The cautions seldom err.” Very true words.

It is recommended that you consult with your doctor before beginning any supplementation program.


As of now, the USDA does not have a list of the side effects of fish oil. Numerous clinical studies conducted all over the world have verified the many health benefits of fish oil.

Fish and fish oil supplements are among the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. At this point in time, thre is no established limit for omega-3 fatty acid consumption. However, it is know that there are vitamins and minerals that can be problematic when taken in quantities beyond recommended dosages. The following vitamins and minerals have established safety limits for human usage or consumption:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

The Potential Most Dangerous Side Effects

The best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish. And, because of mercury contamination and other pollutants in our fish, the Environmental Defense Network advises that certain types of fish should be avoided, some types should only be eaten once or twice a month and some types are safe to eat once a week. You should be careful when taking some north Atlantic fish that is fished in common shipping lanes.

Some fish, though, is recommended. South Pacific tuna and New Zealand hoki fish, a deep water fish, are excellent sources of fish oil. The more pristine the waters, the more pure the fish.

Molecular Distillation

The best fish oil supplements are purified and molecularly distilled to remove impurities and contaminants, like mercury. Distilled and encapsulated forms may also prevent any side effects. Environmental Defense states that fish oil supplements are an acceptable choice for ecologically concerned consumers and that most appear to be safe.

If your fish oil is not molecularly distilled, you run the real risk of poisoning! Molecular distillation removes dioxins, PCBs, mercury and heavy metals. This is something that cannot be dismissed. If you do, you run the risk of the most dangerous side effects: hospitalization, sickness, and a host of potential negative health effects.

Stick with pure, molecularly distilled fish oil. Some recommend switching from from a liquid supplement to a fish oil capsule or soft gel, which I recommend. This is believed to reduce or prevent common side effects. Capsules will be more slowly absorbed by the system and will not start to break down until they reach the stomach.

Probably the best information I found in my research is below. I will quote it in its entirety:

“Omega-3 appears to be safe, even at the high doses used in clinical trials. But large doses can have side effects. Perhaps the best source on that issue is the prescribing information for Lovaza. Sold by GlaxoSmithKline PLC unit Reliant Pharmaceuticals Inc., Lovaza is prescribed for ‘very high’ triglycerides. In Lovaza’s clinical trials, patients took four capsules a day with a total of 3.4 grams of EPA and DHA. The most common ‘adverse event,’ reported by about 5% of patients, was belching. Some 4% reported infections, compared with 2% on a placebo, but it’s not clear whether fish oil caused the difference. While some research suggests that taking fish oil prolongs bleeding time, no bleeding problems were reported in the Lovaza trials.”

Relatively speaking, those are fairly inocuous side effects.

Omega-3 Foods Precautions & Guidelines

The American Heart Association recommends people eat cold-water fish at least twice a week. But there’s an inherent danger to doing so. When you eat a lot fish, you also take in its toxins!How then can you obtain the benefits of Omega 3 without taking in the toxins? Is there an alternative? Yes — distilled, fresh water sourced, fish oil supplements — this is the absolute best source for Omega 3.

Another reason to opt for a fish oil supplement is that fish, while healthy for you, doesn’t have any fiber. For that reason alone, it should be eaten sparingly. By taking quality made fish oil pills, you get all the fish oil health benefits without any of the potential fish oil supplement side effects or dangers.

How To Choose Quality Omega-3 Supplements

Here’s what you want:

  • Make sure the fish oil is molecularly distilled. This ensures the fish oil is purified from toxins and contaminants. If you take non-molecularly distilled omega 3 sources, you run the real risk of ingesting toxins like mercury, dioxin, and PCBs
  • Purchase fish oil supplements that use fish with high levels of DHA and EPA (especially DHA)
  • Make sure the fish comes from pristine ocean waters
  • Buy only the purest fish oil you can that is manufactured in GMP-compliant facilities. This is the same type of authentication process prescription medications undergo
  • Take note of any other purifiying done by the manufacturer. (The company from whom I buy my fish oil supplement has their own proprietary process that they do after their standard molecular distillation. This makes their fish oil even more pure than molecularly distilled fish oil, as the table below certifies.)

Conclusion & Recommendation

After literally years of research, I’ve found distilled Omega 3 Fish Oil supplements from a  company that produces pharmaceutical-grade-type quality fish oil soft gels as they produced their products at GMP compliant facilities.

These standards ensure pharmaceutical-medication like quality. Their fish oil product, Omega 3/DHA, is a product that is scientifically formulated containing fish oil esters, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, DHA, EPA, and Vitamin E.

Look here at this table as to how pure their fish oil supplement product is. Their internal standards exceed those of the CRN, the European Pharmacopoeia and the Norwegian Medicinal Standard. (PPB means parts per billion and PPT means parts per trillion.)

This Certificate of Analysis (COA) validates this company’s sales material. By getting the best fish oil supplement in the world, and it is, you get a product guaranteed to be the purest and most healthy available.

I’ve been taking what I truly believe, and this COA certifies it, as the best fish oil supplement in the world. You can learn more about this best fish oil supplement here.

Yours in health,