Fish oil supplements, generally in a soft gel or liquid form, are consumed by millions all over the world for the full range of health benefits that the oil offers, primarily benefits related to cardiac health. But while several studies have shown that fish oil offers some health benefits, the potential for side-effects cannot be entirely ignored.
Just like any other supplement, it is crucial to know the benefits as well as the possible side-effects of the supplement to ensure whether or not you should consume the supplement. In this post, we will talk about the side effects of fish oil to help you make an informed decision.
Side-Effects of Taking Fish Oil
Some of the most common fish oil side effects include-
Fishy Burps- One of the most common and often joked-about side-effects of taking fish oil are fishy burps. A lot of people complain that the fish oil supplements result in burps which have a strong taste and smell of fish.
While this can be annoying at first, your body gets used to the supplement, and the burps reduce significantly. Moreover, a lot of fish oil supplements like Deus Vita Elite Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil are naturally flavored to further minimize such burps.
Diarrhea- When you first start consuming fish oil supplement, the oil, as well as the other ingredients added to the supplement, are not readily welcomed by your body. This can often result in diarrhea as the body tries to correct the digestive system imbalance.
Therefore, it is recommended that you should always start with a single serving of the supplement to allow your body to get used to the supplement. While the diarrhea problem doesn’t last for more than a few days, one should consult a medical professional if the problem persists longer.
Acid Reflux and Heartburn- Your digestive system can also result in acid reflux and heartburn in the initial days when you first start consuming fish oil supplement. However, this occurs when you consume a lot of fish oil supplement at once.
While it is entirely alright to start with a dosage smaller than the recommended dosage amount, one should avoid its over-consumption prevent side effects of fish oil pills.
Weight Gain- Some of the users had also complained that they started gaining weight when they began consuming fish oil supplement. If you see that your weight is gradually increasing once you have started consuming the supplement, you should immediately consult a medical professional to know the actual cause.
Moreover, it is highly recommended that you should only take fish oil supplement of reputed brands, like Optimum Nutrition, Cellucor, or PacificCoast NutriLabs to avoid such side effects of fish oil.
Stomach Ache- Gas in the stomach can make you feel that the stomach is bloated. The bloating can sometimes be painful too. However, such side effects occur when you start consuming the supplement, and the body is trying to get used to it.
You can stop consuming the supplement for a day or two to allow your stomach to recover. As always, consuming the supplement in recommended quantities can help avoid such problems.
Metal Poisoning- Fish oil contains mercury which can severely damage internal organs, especially the heart and liver. However, reputed supplement brands ensure that their fish oil goes through some refining cycles to eliminate mercury and other harmful metals from the oil.
Metal poisoning due to fish oil supplement is very rare and will only happen if you purchase a cheap, poor quality supplement.
How Much Fish Oil Daily?
As you can see, most of the side effects of fish oil can be avoided if you consume the supplement as per the recommended dosage. So, how much fish oil you should consume on a daily basis?
It is highly recommended that you stick to the recommended dosage mentioned on your fish oil supplement. While you can reduce the dosage in the initial few days to let your body get used to the supplement, do not consume more than the recommended dosage.
As per US FDA, you can consume up to 3 grams of fish oil in a day without any significant side-effects. 3 grams of the oil is generally about 3 x 1000mg soft gels of the supplement in a day. Make sure that you do not consume more than this recommended dosage, and you can easily avoid side effects of fish oil pills.
It is also important to note that minor side-effects, like fish burps, diarrhea, heartburn, and acid reflux are very common and do not last for more than a few days. But of the problem persists longer, you should immediately consult a healthcare professional. Also, make sure that you only buy a fish oil supplement from a reputed brand. You can go for soft gels or liquid fish oil supplement as per your preferences. While soft gels are easier to consume, liquid supplements are known to be more efficient.
These are some of the most common side-effects of fish oil supplements. It’s your body after all, and it is your responsibility to make sure that you are acutely aware of everything that you consume. Pick a fish oil supplement carefully and stick to the recommended dosage and you’d be able to successfully avoid most of the side-effects. In the case of you are finding it difficult to select a fish oil supplement, we have reviewed some of the best ones on the market.
Apart from fish oil supplements, we have also reviewed several other supplements, like Creatine, Fat Burners, Pre-Workouts and B12 supplements to help you select safe and effective supplements.