fish oil and side effects

Did You Know?

Those who are allergic to seafood should never take fish oil supplements.

Fish Oil and the Side Effects

In any fish oil supplements, the fish's skin and fatty stomach area is steamed and then the oil is extracted in a form that can be taken by teaspoon or enclosed in a gel cap for easy and taste-free swallowing. Thousands of people are taking fish oil supplements every day looking to gain substantial health benefits, yet there are some people who should not take fish oil supplements because of mild or sometimes deadly side effects.

On the lesser troubling end of fish oil supplement side effects is the fishy aftertaste that can occur if gas in the stomach leads to burping. After the fish oil supplements gel coating dissolves in the stomach acid, any burping that occurs does have a fishy taste that is rather unpleasant. The best way to avoid this is by taking the supplement during a meal.

Mild Laxative

Another minor side effect is that some find the fish oil acts as a mild laxative. This is not necessarily a bad thing because it helps regulate bowel movements. A high percentage of people do not eat a proper diet and often deal with constipation anyway.

Look for the Mercury-Free Label

Fish oil supplements often contain vitamin D, a vitamin helpful with the absorption of calcium from the dairy products we eat and even in natural sunlight. Those who take additional vitamin D supplements may overdose on the vitamin. An overdose of vitamin D can lead to hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is the result of excessive amounts of calcium found in the bloodstream. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include nausea, vomiting, weight loss from lack of appetite, constipation, and abdominal cramping and pain. If someone is determined to have hypercalcemia, they will need to be put on a strict low-calcium diet, stop taking any supplement with vitamin D, drink extra water, and avoid all contact with the sun until calcium levels return to normal.

Never purchase fish oil supplements that are made by a generic company. Look for fish oil pills that are stamped with a "mercury-free" label or state they use molecular distillation to process the oil. Less expensive fish oil supplements may bypass the filtering process that removes mercury from the fish oil. Mercury poisoning can be a real danger to everyone who isn't cautious.

Those who are allergic to seafood should never take fish oil supplements. Fish oil supplements obviously contain fish and taking them could be deadly. Instead, those who are allergic to seafood and are interested in taking Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplements should look into alternate versions that are made from flax seed.

Finally, fish oil is known to help thin blood. Any person taking anti-coagulants should avoid fish oil supplements because they would be thinning the blood to dangerous levels. Instead, these people should talk to their doctor who can then come up with a safe dosage of anti-coagulants that will allow them to still take fish oil supplements for their health.

Many people will have no problem taking fish oil supplements. It is still advisable to talk to your doctor to ensure you are not risking your health by adding a fish oil supplement to your diet.