30 Sec Answer: Fish oil supplements should be avoided by people with certain health conditions, such as those with bleeding disorders or allergies to fish. Pregnant women and nursing mothers may also want to consult their doctor before taking any fish oil supplements.
Fish oil has long been lauded for its many benefits, from helping to reduce inflammation to providing omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health. However, not everyone should take fish oil supplements. It’s important to understand the risks and potential side effects associated with these products before adding them to your supplement regimen. Here we look at who should avoid taking fish oil and why.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is a dietary supplement made from the tissue of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, and tuna. These fish contain high levels of two types of omega-3 fatty acids—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—which are essential fatty acids our bodies cannot produce on their own but must obtain through diet or supplementation. Fish oil can come in liquid form or in capsules; it’s often used as a source of omega-3 fatty acids for those who don’t eat enough fish or have difficulty obtaining it due to cost or availability.
Who Should Not Take Fish Oil?
People With Bleeding Disorders
Those with a history of bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease should avoid taking fish oil because it can increase the risk of bleeding due to its antiplatelet effect. This means it inhibits platelets from clumping together which could result in increased bruising and other signs of internal bleeding.
Those With Allergies To Fish
Individuals with an allergy to seafood should avoid consuming any kind of fish oil product since it may cause an allergic reaction. If you experience symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing after ingesting a fish oil product, seek medical attention immediately.
Children Under The Age Of 12
Children under the age of 12 years old should avoid taking fish oil unless instructed otherwise by their healthcare provider since there is limited research on safety and effectiveness in this age group. Additionally, young children may be more likely to choke if they accidentally swallow a capsule containing liquid fish oil instead of swallowing it properly while drinking water.
Individuals Taking Blood Thinners
Individuals taking blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) should not take fish oil supplements since these medications already prevent clotting which can be further inhibited by the antiplatelet effects of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils. This could lead to increased risk of bleeding episodes.
Pregnant Women And Nursing Mothers
Pregnant women and nursing mothers should consult their healthcare provider before taking any type of fish oil supplement since there is limited evidence about its safety during pregnancy and lactation periods. High doses of DHA have been linked to an increased risk of preterm labor in some studies so pregnant women should be particularly cautious when considering taking a supplement like this one.
Individuals On Medication For Diabetes Or High Cholesterol Levels
Individuals on medication for diabetes or high cholesterol levels should talk to their doctor before starting a course of fish oils as these supplements can interact with certain medications and alter their efficacy in controlling blood sugar levels or reducing cholesterol levels in the body respectively.
It’s important for individuals to discuss any supplements they’re considering with their doctor first before adding them into their routine – especially if they have any existing health conditions that may put them at greater risk for adverse reactions when taking certain substances like fish oils. Ultimately, whether someone should take fish oil depends on several factors including their overall health status and potential interactions between medications they are currently taking and the supplement itself.