Is There Any Danger When Taking Omega-3?

Is There Any Danger When Taking Omega-3?

Omega-3, just like any other vitamin or supplement, should always be taken with care. It is highly advised that you speak to your doctor or GP before taking any new supplements or vitamins; even if they are considered natural and considered relatively safe. Even the ‘safest’ supplement to take might not be for everyone and cause an allergic or negative reaction in some people. Omega-3 is no different; as safe as it is believed to be, it can still cause some side effects when you first begin taking the fish oil. In addition, omega-3 fish oil (supplements) will not always be suitable or safe for everyone to take. This is generally based on dietary restrictions, allergies, medication mixing, and pre-existing health conditions. Therefore, the best way to ensure that omega-3 (fish oil) supplements will be suitable for you and your needs and stay safe is to speak to your doctor about them first. They will be able to advise you on an alternative course of action should they not be suitable for you for whatever reason. However, this situation is rare, so long as you know about the possibilities of side effects (in the beginning), you should be okay with taking omega-3 supplements- with no issues. Side effects, mixing supplements, reactions and allergies are unfortunately all possibilities - with any supplement including omega-3, so that's always something to consider…

What vitamins should not be taken with omega-3?

If you are already taking multiple vitamins or supplements then you might want to make sure that taking omega-3 on top of your current ‘vitamin or supplement stash’ is not going to counteract and cause you any issues; like side effects or reactions. Now, in most cases, you can take fish oil (omega-3) with most supplements and vitamins safely without any issues. Several supplements are known to boost and even complement the benefits of omega-3 (fish oil) when taken together. 

  • Vitamin D + Omega-3 - Vitamin D is known to help regulate the amount of both calcium and phosphate in the body; whilst omega-3 is good for the brain and the heart. 

That's why you can find a lot of omega-3 supplements with a supporting Vitamin D complex. The two substances can work together to support bone, heart and brain health; all without causing any disruptions or reactions. However, some vitamins should NOT be taken alongside omega-3 (fish oil)...

  • Ginkgo Biloba + Omega-3 - Ginkgo Biloba can be used to help support cognitive function, by aiding in cognitive impairment however it also has the possibility of causing blood-thinning in the body - so can omega-3. Therefore taking both simultaneously can increase the risk of your blood having difficulties clotting or trigger uncontrollable bleeding!

Both Ginkgo Biloba and omega-3 can cause blood thinning inside the body therefore mixing the two is highly discouraged. In addition, if you suffer from any (excessive) bleeding-related conditions, you will want to speak to your doctor before taking either of these supplements. Whilst omega-3 might not be known to increase your risk of significant bleeding (even in people being treated with antiplatelet or antithrombotic medications) it’s still advised to get some medical advice first. Just to ensure that they will be suitable for you to take alongside any medication for pre-existing conditions or illnesses. The chances of omega-3 not being suitable or causing you any significant health issues or reactions are low; although what might be more common are minor side effects that you could experience when you begin taking the supplement

What are the side effects of taking omega-3?

The known side effects related to omega-3 or fish oil consumption are usually very mild and will not have any long-lasting impact on your health. Omega-3 side effects usually include the following…

  • (VERY COMMON) An unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth after oral consumption
  • (COMMON) Strong mouth odour or breath (believed to be very fishy)
  • (COMMON) Altered sweat odour; usually considered to be very strong and unpleasant
  • (COMMON) Gastrointestinal symptoms like heartburn, nausea and diarrhoea. 
  • (UNCOMMON) Mild headaches but should not persistent. 
  • (RARE) Heightened risk of prostate cancer linked to high blood levels of long-chain omega-3

The majority of these known side effects are mild and common when beginning any new supplement or vitamin. The changes to your body odour and breath might be a nuisance but should only be temporary. The same with any mild headaches or gastrointestinal symptoms they should not last longer than a few days whilst the body adjusts to the new supplement. The rare possibility of omega-3 being linked to prostate cancer is not common but do voice any worries or concerns you might have with your GP or doctor first if you are considering taking omega-3 fish oil supplements. Most side effects are mild or should not last long. However, if you've been taking omega-3 for a few weeks and side effects persist then speak to your doctor so they can advise you on the next course of action. 

Who should not take omega-3?

To once again clarify, omega-3 is not necessarily considered a dangerous or unsafe supplement so long as it is taken correctly and on your doctor's recommendations. If you are taking blood pressure medication then you should also speak to your doctor before taking omega-3. Also, individuals with blood clotting or bleeding disorders who are taking their prescriber medication should get their doctor's approval beforehand. Whilst effects or reactions are not common, professional medical advice is always advised to ensure you stay healthy and any health conditions you are taking medication for are not uninterrupted. 

That is it for another Health Insider Blog post! If you find our content helpful, we recommend you bookmark this blog page to make sure that you can easily find it again when you have any questions that need answering omega-3 supplements. If you ever require additional help with your query then you can send our experts a DM on Instagram where we aim to get to you as soon as possible!