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Your source for fish oil health benefits, side effects, uses, and remedies.

Fish Oil Side Effects

Side Effects of Fish Oil

Fish oil supplements vary depending on the brand, dosage and the user physical conditions. Low dose fish oil extracts are found to be beneficial to healthy, older or sick subjects, but long-term use of high dose fish oil may lead to harmful side effects.

The most common side effects of fish oil supplements include fishy odor on the breath, stomach upset, gastrointestinal problems, and greasy stools. To avoid the unpleasant fish oil taste and gastrointestinal side effects, researchers suggested using enteric coating to prepare the fish-oil supplements. (Enteric coating protects your stomach from direct contact with medications that can cause severe stomach irritation.)

A more serious side effect can be an increase in LDL cholesterol, a harmful form of cholesterol. Large doses of fish oil supplements may also cause weight gain and decrease the absorption from the stomach of vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Those with diabetes should take fish oil supplements with care as they are reported to increase blood sugar.

Taking large amounts of fish oils over a long period of time may increase the risk of mild bleeding resulting in nosebleeds and bruising. However, some people have reported that these symptoms quickly go away once dosages are lowered.

Sometimes these reactions develop as a result of poor quality in the supplement manufacturing. Often switching brands can correct this problem. Other times, the body has problems processing oils in general due to poor bile acid production or other intestinal problems. Reducing the dose immediately and reintroducing the amount taken, over time, can correct these problems.

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