Side Effects of Taking Fish Oil Supplements

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The side effects of taking fish oil supplements include fishy burps, upset stomach, diarrhea and possible interaction with prescription blood thinners. Consult a doctor before starting a regimen of fish oil supplements using advice from a licensed dietitian in this free video on nutritional supplements.

Part of the Video Series: Nutritional Supplements
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with Marquette Nutrition and Fitness and I'm going to talk to you about what are the side effects of taking fish oil capsules. Fish oil capsules that are sold for the most part now are Interra coated meaning that when you swallow them you won't actually develop fish burps or you won't have that fishy taste in your mouth. In previous years when there were fish oil capsules that didn't have the Interra coating people would often complain of burping up the taste of fish or just really having the strong taste of fish when they tried to take those capsules so that was the first initial side effect reported with taking fish oil capsules but again that has largely been eliminated with the use of Interra coating. The other possible side effect is actual stomach upset or diarrhea. Now this is something that is very rarely reported but it has been noted to happen in some people that are very sensitive to any type of seafood and then fish oil capsules may actually cause diarrhea or some nausea, some gastrointestinal upset. The other potential side effect of fish oil is in people who are taking blood thinners. Fish oil itself does have that ability to prevent the formation of clots or of people commonly referred to that as a blood thinner so if you are already taking an anti clotting medication such as Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, anything like that you want to make sure that your doctor knows that you plant to take fish oil or that you are already taking fish oil so that the dosage can be adjusted accordingly because if your blood is too thin. For example if there is not enough clotting factor and you were to have an accident there is the very real risk that you could bleed to death so you want to make sure that you communicate with your primary care physician if you are on any type of medication that they know that you want to take fish oil that they know that the dosage is adjusted to make sure that you do still have some clotting ability, that you don't have a risk of bleeding to death should you get into an accident. But in general fish oil is very safe to take. There are very minimal side effects with someone who is not taking any type of anti clotting medication and again about the only thing that has been reported is possible diarrhea, a little bit of gastrointestinal upset and some small amount of nausea.


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