Fish Oil Side Effects & Potential Benefits Of Supplementing*

If you have a bleeding disorder or take medications classified as blood thinners, out of an abundance of caution, Kelly recommends talking to your doctor about any supplements, including omega-3 fish oil supplements, you take (or are interested in taking), since they can have a blood-thinning effect at extremely high doses. Again, 10,000 milligrams of EPA plus DHA daily (that’s 10 grams) has been shown to be safe according to research. The cautionary linking of fish oil to blood thinning started decades ago simply because of the way omega-3s interact with platelets, which are cell fragments in the blood that play an integral role in clotting, Kujawski says.

Ferira says this potential side effect has been blown out of proportion. “Way too much of any good thing, even water, can have potentially negative effects on our health. But in this case, a textbook physiological mechanism, that omega-3s can impact platelets, has been used to broadly fearmonger against completely safe doses of omega-3s found in supplements.” She goes on to say that, “In reality, the blood-thinning effect of fish oil actually occurs at absurdly high levels of EPA plus DHA, 10 grams plus, which by the way, no supplement even comes close to containing. Omega-3 supplements are playing in the 200- to 1,800-milligram range of EPA plus DHA 99% of the time.”

Ferira explains that the scientific case for omega-3s’ safety is a strong one. “I’m talking about 80-plus research studies demonstrating the safety of low, medium, and high levels of daily EPA + DHA consumption. It’s time somebody debunked this myth that is genuinely scaring people away from using a truly helpful tool (i.e., fish oil supplementation) for whole-body health.”*