ADD / ADHD Treatment, Dyslexia Treatment, Food and Drink

Fish Oil Side Effects

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fish oils have been promoted not only for dyslexia and ADHD but also heart disease,high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, bipolar disorder and cancer. In some cases there is good evidence to support fish oils as a treatment and in others the evidence is unclear. But what are the health risks of taking fish oils? Lots of producers of fish-oil capsules promote large dosages of supplements so are there any side effects from fish oils?

The US National Institute of Health classifies low intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish as “Generally Regarded as Safe”. However they do highlight certain fish oil side effects that may trouble some people. The omega-3 in the fish oil may increase the risk of bleeding when taken in large doses. The bleeding can take the form of strokes, nosebleeds and blood in the urine. As the fish oils seem to decrease platelet aggregation, bleeding times may be longer.

A major worry with fish oils and the fish they are created from is poisoning from heavy metal and other pollutants. Mercury, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are found in some species of fish. However, mostly this fish oil side effect is associated with eating fish directly as the oil, even in contaminated fish, carries little of the pollutants.

Stomach upset are a common side effect of fish oil supplements. Diarrhea may also occur, with potentially severe diarrhea at very high doses. There are also reports of increased burping, acid reflux/heartburn/indigestion, abdominal bloating, and abdominal pain. Fishy aftertaste is a common effect. Gastrointestinal side effects can be minimized if fish oils are taken with meals and if doses are started low and gradually increased.

People with low blood pressure or those taking blood-pressure reducing medicines should take care. One of the reported side effects of fish oil is a reduction of blood pressure. The impact on blood pressure appears to be dose dependent.

Vitamin E plays a part in metabolizing omega acids so large doses of fish oil place high demands on the body’s vitamin E supply. To avoid this fish oil side effect, vitamin E is added to many commercial fish oil products. As a result, regular use of vitamin E-enriched products may lead to elevated levels of this fat-soluble vitamin. Fish liver oil contains the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and therefore fish liver oil products (such as cod liver oil) may increase the risk of vitamin A or D toxicity.

One side effect of fish oils and their fatty acids is an increase low-density lipoprotein levels (“bad cholesterol”) by 5-10%. This is dependent on the dose used. The oils have also been noted to have an effect on blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 / Adult Onset Diabetes but this is short-term and no long-term effects have been reported.

Overall omega-3 and 6 rich fish oils have few side effects and can be considered safe the vast majority of the population.

Source: Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil, alpha-linolenic acid from the NIH.
See also: The Omega-3 Diet, ALA to DHA: The Fish Oil Alphabet and The Incredible Brain: A Miner Recovered.


  1. ML

    what about side effects on already-depleted fish stocks? Is there any evidence that fish oils are more beneficial than the same fatty acids from vegetarian sources?

  2. Diane McFarland

    I too have diarrhea. 3weeks now. My Cardiac Doctor increased my dose from 1000mg to 4000mg daily. Will these cramps and diarrehea go away. Someone suggested enteric coated pills. My wt155lb. 58yrs old.

  3. Was having anxiety and depression. I have never had either before. Saw side effects of anti-depressants on mom and did not want any part of that. Was told about Omega 3 fish oil. I feel great now. Like my old self again. I am a believer and people around me can tell a huge difference.

  4. Bill Smith

    My wife is taking 12,000 mg of omega 3 fish oil per day. She has bad diarrhea. Has anyone had similar experience? And did youy diarrhea cease when you lowered you intake? Please email me directly. Many, many Thanks, Bill Smith

  5. Delondon Delancrei

    I took a fish oil pill which the only difference i can remember out of my regular outine. Over the next two days i felt my hands tight, my palms and under my finger tips just really tight. I only notices subtle goosebump like ….goosebumps…over the top of my hands and fingers right down to the finger tips. Now…my hands are peeling. Flaky and dry. When my hands are wet and moist the skin can be peelin goff as though I had gonew tanning. Could this be an allergic reaction? My feet are fine by the way. It’s just my hands. Anyone got some help?

  6. Cheryl Michael

    I started taking 2000 mg of fish oil daily for dry eyes. In conjunction to the fish oil I have been taking concerta, wellbutrin, & kolonopin for depression, anxiety, & adult ADHA (51 years old) for the past 5 years. Since I started taking the fish oil I have gained 15 pounds in 6 months. Has anyone else experience weight gain as a side affect?

  7. samantha

    I started taking salmon oil abou 3 days ago and i was taking 2 pills close together a day for 3 days, i started feeling dizzy and sick to my stomech i also got a rassh on my kneck that caused pain and severe itching i am starting to get worried please email me back for answer.

  8. Deb

    I am taking 2000 mg concentrated fish oils with omega 3 daily. I have developed a burning and itching feeling in my vagina. It is not a yeast infection. I have took medicine for that and it did not go away. could this be causing this?

  9. anne kirby

    I suffer from IBS and take Mezalazine dailyas signs of Crohns disease also. I have recently started to take 1000mg of fish oil concentrate per day. I think my IBS has gone worse. Is it possible or could it be something else>

  10. BettyBoops@CItyBay

    Istarted taking fish oil about 3 weeks ago,taking only x1 pills a day, I started feeling dizzy, felt tightness of my hands,palms, under fingers with itchy like ants tinggling sensation. I was worried so I searched,think what was changed in my daily food or supplements in take,and it was only the fish oil daily intake was the added one.

    Most of these so-called “supplements” (which are quite expensive and marketing BTW) are totally worthless. If you eat a balanced diet (including real fish) you get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.

    No one needs 7,000% of the daily recommended intake of Omega-3. Your kidneys will just piss out the 6,900% that you don’t need.

    I still do my regular workouts at least x3 times a week walking for 30mins-1hr no calorie counting nor beleive to marketing propagamda & selling.I loosed 10kg in doing routine mild exercise and eat balance daily foods needed of our body. I have to stick with my routine healthy habit.
    Hope this input will help those who had the same experienced with me. Take care and wish all of you a healthy and good year ahead.

  11. Mike

    “No one needs 7,000% of the daily recommended intake of Omega-3. Your kidneys will just piss out the 6,900% that you don’t need.”

    If you’re pissing out omega-3 fatty acids, SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG, GO TO A DOCTOR! There should be no fat in urine, excess fats are stored in the body.
    And to anyone here who is worried that your omega-3 supplement is causing problems:

    Try switching to a capsule that contains fish oil from Alaskan waters (*these are less likely to contain contaminants like Mercury*)


    Eat more fish in your diet instead of taking the supplement. 2-3 servings of salmon per week will get you equivalent levels that come from the omega-3 capsules.

  12. I feel dizzy, should I start taking less? I take 1000 mg 3 times a day with meal…fish is icky unless it’s cooked right after you catch it. I can only tolerate it fresh. What to do?

  13. Paul

    I have taken Lamberts fish oil for 9 months it was great for my Rheumatoid but I felt quite hyper and had anxiety attacks and strange dreams whilst on it. I gave up 2 months ago because of this. All these symptoms are gone now. My Rheumatoid however has got worst. I tried Flaxseed for a couple of months but felt depressed despite RA symptoms getting better.Gave it up and felt better.

  14. barbara

    since starting with 1200 mgs. of fish oil daily I’ve noticed I have very cold hands and there a connection to the fish oil or should I explore other explanations?

  15. Jackie Green

    I have been taking Omega 3 Fish Oil for about a month,I started feeling tired and sleepy all the time, The Omega # is the only thing differant I am taking. I’m a very active person and I don’t like feeling this way. I’m 81 years old and very independant, I still drive and do my own thing. So do you think the Omega # might be the cause of my feeling this way? thanks Jackie B

  16. Mary

    I was hospitalized when I took just one cod liver oil pill. I did not know one could be allergic to it. I started vomiting within an hour of taking it. Then I started to bleed from the other end. I lost a lot of body fluids, and had to have them replaced at the hospital with an overnight stay! Will never take cod liver oil again. I learned a very expensive and dangerous lesson. It almost killed me. Take with caution!

  17. Anne


    I have experience the same yeast-infection-like symptoms since taking fish oil. I have also developed a different smell in my vagina. I didn’t link the two till just today!

    I plan on stopping the supplement because of this.

  18. FrazzleDazzle

    Ohmygosh folks, what kinds of fish oil are you all taking? dizzyness?????

    One, if you get stomach aches from taking them, take them with food, and/or take the enteric-coated ones. The extra fat may be taxing on your gall bladder, don’t let it deal with it alone. 12,000 mg a day is 12 grams. That is a really HUGE dose. Large doses do thin the blood, so before taking omega oils, talk with your doctor first.

    Two, make sure you take a high-quality pharmaceutical grade formula. The higher EPA versions work better for mood/concentration according to the studies done, and can only be usually found online, as I live in a large town and have not found the best formulas in any store.

  19. Deanna

    how long will the will the side effect of blood in urine, or prolonged menstral flow, continue? I am currently taking 3000mg/day, per my physician.

  20. Miriam

    I took one 600mg tablet a day for two days and wow….my feet started burning, my skin started itching my knees felt heavy…whats happening here… Anyone else had any muscle problems….help

  21. mccalie

    I started taking double-strength fish oil capsules as I have HTN, palpitations and CV disease runs in my family. I only took it for about a week and in the evening, my face would feel flushed and the palms of my hands would feel very warm. Is this a fish oil side effect?

  22. lisa

    I started itching terrible a few months ago,I thought it was from a few new things I had switched to and then switched back to see if it was that(detergents,soaps)but still itched. then remembered I started the fish oil pills a few months ago ..does anyone else have the problem with itching from the pills?

  23. Blech!

    I took fish oil for a little more than a week, skipping days here and there. I took it with food as directed. Nausea and gastric discomfort began as mild and became worse every time I took a pill. On days I skipped I felt fine. Ended up at the Dr. today with sharp stomach pains, heartburn, a feeling of being very full (even though I hadnt been able to eat since lunch yesterday) and severe abdominal cramps. Took the last pill yesterday morning and still having cramps the next night, tho the sharp pains and most nausea are gone. Dr told me to stop taking the supplements “for a while.” Never taking this stuff again!!

  24. Bob

    I have been experienceing abdominal pain after taking fish oil supplements. It started about 3 weeks ago. I had been taking the oil for about 4 months. I will stop immediately and see if that helps.

  25. Your friend D


    Lemme confirm it for ya – been mounted on the porcelain throne most of the time since starting 2000 mg a day for rheumatoid arthritis. I’m leaving the fish oil to the fishes. This just ain’t happenin…

  26. Fish Oil Freak

    I take Walmart’s Spring Valley brand: “Fish, Flaxseed & Borage Oil” combination. It has omega 3, 6 & 9. Borage Oil has GLA in it, which is the only omega 6 that acts like an omega 3. I find the combination works far better at reducing inflammation then Fish Oil alone. It has also cleared up my skin as well as my teenage son’s skin. I think clearer and do not get as depressed. I was taking an antidepressant for awhile, but it was making me gain weight. Fish oil reduces the “bad” cholesterol, so it actually helps you lose weight. I quit taking the Fish/Borage Oil for awhile and my PMS increased, as well as the cramping associated with it. It will take 2 to 4 weeks of daily use to see any improvement in arthritis, depression, dry eye, acne…. etc. And it will take at least a week for it to leave your system. So don’t expect one pill to perform a miracle. (Although one pill may be enough to cause an adverse reaction if you are allergic to fish.) Walmart’s brand was rated high by Consumer Reports as far as being mercury free and having in it what it says it has. If you take it right before you go to bed, you will not taste the fishiness, and no, fish oil does not make you stink. Think of it as a “cleansing oil”… like the way goo-gone will clean oil based paint from a paint brush. Fish & Borage Oil will do the same for your blood, which will benefit your ENTIRE body. (NOTE: Those on blood thinners should not take any supplement that will further thin the blood. However, if your doctor recommends an aspirin a day… try Fish/Borage Oil first. Aspirin will deplete your body of important nutrients.)

  27. kathy

    hi i just wanted to say i started taking omega 3 fish oil recently and am having wierd reactions to it. i only take one pill a day (1000 mcg) my stomach starts to hurt and i get diareah and i feel tired and fatigued so i have to lay down. i think im just going to stiuck to my multi vitamin and eliminate the fish oil. has this happened to anyone else?

  28. Julie

    I have noticed my joints hurting since I started taking three, omega 3 fish oil pills daily, was wondering why this is?? If anyone can explain it would be great..?

  29. Gary

    Started taking 3g fish oil per day starting Mar 21. No ramping up or anything. Was okay until Mar 28 and then suddenly, started feeling light-headed, forgetful, very anxious and dizzy at times. I zoned out a lot and had difficulty focusing or concentrating. Not much helped.

    I stopped taking the pills on April 6. (3 days now) but the symptoms are continuing and maybe getting worse. As if my blood pressure is low or something like that.

  30. Starlet Hayes

    I’ve been taking Spring Valley brand Omega Fish Oil with Enteric Coating for 3 weeks. It has 1200mg Fish Oil, 684mg Total Omega Fatty Acids, 410mg Omega-3 EPA & 274mg Omega-3 DHA. All it has done for me is cause severe diarrea, severe abdominal camps, nausea, heartburn, acid reflux and an increase in the amount of Maalox I take. On the other hand, it decreased my PMS. I’ve decided I can live with my PMS, but can’t stand a raw behind. TAKE @ YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!!!

  31. redeye

    have had slight bleeding in the white of my eye and wonder if this could be an effect of fish oil.
    has anybody experienced this?

  32. Ruby

    I started taking Omega Fish Oil for dry eye, but noticed, burping and pain in the abdomen. Do not take it if you have acid reflux.

  33. Dianne Dailey

    After taking 900 mg of fish oil for a couple of weeks, I began to have a light headed feeling bordering on dizziness. I also got sharp pain in the side of my head making me feel like I was going to have an aneurism or stroke. Could this be from my blood getting too thin from the fish oil? I am stopping the fish oil to see if the light headed feeling goes away.

  34. Suzanne B.

    I am now realizing that this must be the cause of my weight gain. I went from 129 to 134 in a matter of two months on fish oil. I have INCREASED my exercise level from 3 times per week to 5 with one new day of weight training. I have not changed anything except for taking the fish oil. Frustrating!!!!!

  35. Dave T

    Response for Julie re: joint pain on taking fish oil. I have the same problem I believe. I am doing a series of my own tests to confirm this one way or the other. I found this hard to believe since my expectation was for “improved” joint peformance, not reduced! I am (was) taking about 2 capsules a day or 2000 mg. Not sure how this forum works or if you will see my response Julie but good luck.

  36. Mike

    Fish Oil pills always made me get a yellow blotchy patch of skin somewhere on my body. Whenever I’d start taking a few pills, I’d get it. Whenever I’m not on fish oil pills, I don’t get this. It’s weird. I haven’t found out anything about it online. Anyone else notice this condition? It was always a small yellow patch, but very noticeable.

  37. I have been taking Nature’s Code Fish Oil(concentrate 1200mg) for approximately three weeks and I have been gaining alot of wait. I even go to the gym approximately 4 times a week and I am not losing any weight and I am gaining and I feel miserable. Please advise me what to do.

  38. Pat

    I took Omega 3 Fish Oil purchased at a health food store for a couple of years. Then I purchased Spring Valley Omega 3 Fish Oil 1000 mg. I noticed that I often had stomach discomfort and felt slightly nauseated, but did not connect this with the Fish Oil. One day I had severe stomach pain and vomiting. Family took me to the emergency room. The cat scan showed blood around my kidneys. The doctor said he had only seen that in someone who had been in an accident. He also had no idea why I had big pink blotches of skin on my thighs, back and stomach. I felt better and insisted on going home. Decided not to take any more fish oil. Stomach is fine now and skin blotches have disappeared. I’ll avoid fish oil. Still paying for the hospital and doctor bills!

  39. jules

    Since I have been taking fish oil I have gone from 139 to 154 lbs while increasing exercise and limiting calories. Just now figuring out this must be the cause for weight gain.


    I just started taking Fish Oil
    I take 1200 mg and I have noticed that I start to get drowsy. Everyone around me takes this and they all say how benificial it is to them but I dont like it. It is almost instant that I start feeling tired.
    Any one know what I am talking about?



  42. Shannon

    My husband and I have been taking Omega-3 Fish oils and have been noticing we are both feeling dizzy, tired, and “spacey”. We researched and have found that is a common side affect. You can find more information on the side affects at

  43. GatorGirl

    I’m petite and naturally skinny (yet have curves) and I started taking Fish Oil pills last Fall, around Sept I think-I noticed that my boobs felt bigger once I started taking them, but thought maybe it was in my head-

    Then I’ve noticed over the year my clothes are tighter and I look bloated, even though I’m an XS-S (0-2) things look different on me-I found this site and I swear now it’s the pills-

    Maybe taking with BCP it does something, not sure but I’m stopping for now and will just eat more fish and Omega 6-

  44. Jim

    To the people that say they have gained weight when taking the fish oil (BUT THEY ALSO SAY THEY ARE EXERCISING), did you ever consider that when exercising and building muscle, you will gain weight as muscle weighs more than fat.

    Also, keep the fish oil in the refrigerator so it doesn’t become rancid. If fish oil becomes rancid it might cause some of the negative effects some people are seeing (sick feeling, burping, bad tastes).

    Just my humble opinion…

  45. Cathy

    I started taking fish oil 1200mgs 2x’s daily and developed a severe headache. I would take them in the early evening with food…I would wake up EVERY day with a migraine headache and the “spacey” feeling all day. This continued until I stopped taking them. (Diahrrea also).. within a couple of days, my energy level is back, headaches are GONE. I would have a headache MAYBE a few times a year…coincedence that I had one daily on fish oil?

  46. Deb

    I too started to notice I had felt a bit spaced out and somewhat dizzy when I take fish oi. I got online to research side effects. It’s alarming, not feeling quite all together and wonder if this is because of the fish oil 1000mg. I’m taking nothing else. I am hypersensitive to meds, so start experimenting gradually. I had taken fish oil a few months ago because I was reading about all the benefits. I was feeling strange brain freezes so I took a break for a short time and everything seemed back to normal after I stopped. I started them again recently. Immediately the spaced out and dizzy feeling is back after 2 days. I will stop taking them. With all things we have to weigh the benefits.

  47. beth

    i’ve been taking fish oil for the past 4 months and ive experience the worst stomach cramps and heartburn. I’ve been to the doctor and they couldnt tell what it was but now i know that it could be the fish oil pills that i have been taking. Im going to stop taking them and see if that helps.

  48. Kim

    With all natural supplements, there is an amount of time where one will experience a detox. Natural remedies are not like meds, which make you feel better right away. Natural supplements don’t “cover up” the ailment. The bad stuff in your body needs to come out before the body can heal. This time varies with each individual. I’ve been on fish oil for a little over 3 months and I’ve been going through a detox as well, but see the benefits of continuing to take this supplement. My little annoying grays that were growing in at an alarming pace, are now gone and my natural hair color is back, the breakage is growing out healthy, strong, shiny hair, my skin is also peeling, but new healthy pink skin is right underneath. It’s a process. It’s not for the weak or the impatient. One must have the patience to endure in order to reap the benefits later.

  49. Me

    Im So Taking This Huge Bottle Back lol
    I Was Trying To Avoid High Blood Pressure Meds.
    Also Id Like To Add The Person Directly Above Me Is Dumb Seriously DETOX?

  50. Kim

    Addressed to “Me”: Yes, DETOX. Call me dumb all you like. Maybe if you took the time to EDUCATE yourself, you’d find that “detoxification” is only a foreign concept to your little mind and you will actually LEARN something that can benefit your health. Sadly, your brain is probably at its capacity.

  51. Tammy

    This is for Beverly, who back in March wondered if taking Fish Oil Supplements had anything to do with being diagnosed with ITP. I just wanted her to know that about 7 years ago, I was taking high doses of fish oil and vitamin E and was also diagnosed with ITP. Makes you wonder if the Fish Oil Supplements caused it.

  52. Karen

    My doc mentioned fish oil as a good way to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, so I took his advise and tried it……..boy was I sorry… approximately 4 days of taking 2000 mg I noticed that my hands had a tightness feeling and that every bone in it felt achy like arthritis….I thought that had maybe been as a result of moping, and wringing it out the day before, but then other weird things started happening such as: stomach cramps, diarrhea and a feeling of bloating, but it did not stop then…after taking these fish oil capsules religeously for seven days, WITH FOOD, I noticed more bloating/gas and lots of mucus in my stool – along with diarrhea and terrible stomach cramps (sounds like IBS, but Inever had these trend of symptoms prior to taking these pills. Now, I am a person who will try some things once,maybe twice, but you have got to be kidding me!!!! You’re better off eating at Red Lobster or raising your own Tilapia……..
    In conclusion, I’ll stick with REAL FISH, not some man-made sh*t.

  53. Judy Collins

    Hi, been reading about side effects of fish oil as have been feeling quite ill and had lots of tests and now booked in for a colonoscopy to see if i have bowel cancer, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome or polyps. Lots of bloating, had to let my pj’s and slacks out, lots of pain and stomach cramps. My naturopath put me on 4,000 mg as an antiflammatory and I was fine before that. Think I will delay the hospital stay and change my diet to let my body recuperate, plus save myself the expense of about $1,000.00
    You are my saviour

  54. Brit

    I took fish oil for a few days and all asudden my skin broke out real bad, my dad thinks its a rash- i havent took them for almost two weeks now and my skin is still bad, im not allergic to anything so far that i know of, so could this be an allergic reaction?

  55. mp

    I have been taking 3000 mg.Omega 3 pills for 8 yrs. Though it has not made much difference in my cholesterol if you can stand the side effects it is worth taking it because the risk of stroke or sudden death is minimized. My parents in their 80’s are also taking it.

  56. Dominic

    I have been taking 1000mg of fish oil for 1 month. Since then I have been able to walk on water, fly like a superhero, and see through walls. Aside from that no noticeable change in my IDB.

  57. Ruth

    Due to a knee injury caused by negligence of another secretary, an orthopedic surgeon recommended glucosimine and 1,000 mg fish oil daily. After taking for a week, I’ve developed HORRIBLE cramping, stomach, bladder pain and mucous in bowels. Rather than diarrhea, I’ve developed a blockage and may have to go to emergency room for help. I will NEVER take fish oil supplements again!! That is the only thing which has changed in my diet and I was FINE before that!!!

  58. Donna

    I have been taking Omega 3 fish oil since about March. When I had my cholesterol tested in February, it was 250. Had it re-checked in July and it is down to 218. It did give me some diarrhea, but this is tolerable.

  59. Jeff

    I’ve been taking 1.2 Grams for 5 weeks now and my lover has noticed an increase in the size of my penis. I thought I felt a swelling but just brushed it off and in a few minutes it passed.

  60. Amanda

    I started taking fish oil pills, and all my joints started hurting. I mean I am 27 years old I have never had joint problems! I mean I actually had the symptoms of RA. My finger was swollen too. Ive
    been to the doctor and she is sending me to a specialist but my symptoms are starting to clear up two weeks later. Still weird stuff going on. I noticed two other people above having joint problems as a side effect of the fish oil. I just wanted to add my story too.

  61. Nicole

    I LOVE,LOVE, LOVE taking fish oil! It is truly amazing… I have struggled with ADHD all my life and let me tell you it has helped me so much. I stop,take the time and focus. I don’t feel anxious anymore. When i work out It helps also. It is an anti inflamatory. I’ve been taking it for about 7 weeks. I am a 32 year old single mom with some stress here and there and yes It helps with that too! As for side affects.. My skin is a tad bit oily HA HA HA (fish oil) but, hay I do not mind its better to have oily skin than dry that’s for sure! It was heaven sent. Thank You God!

  62. James

    I’m taking care of a patient who jusy recently started taking fish oil supplements. He started complaining of discomfrtable throbbing pain in the genital area. Is this come on as a side effect? He’s stopped taking it and the pain has resolved.

  63. Joshua

    Who in their right mind would wait 4 plus months with symptoms before seeing a doctor or talking to anyone about it? If you take a pill and it makes you sick…it happens. If you take the pill again and it makes you sick….coincidence. If you take a pill for a third time and it makes you sick I think its starting to develop a pattern. Idiots.

  64. TLC

    Started taking salmon oil last night with a single dose of 1000mg. and today too after lunch. Up till now have yet to experience any side effects…I feel normal and fine.

    Was wondering whats the difference between normal fish oil and salmon oil. Aren’t they both suppose to have the same benefits?

    Will update u guys soon.

  65. Lee

    Who in God’s Name ever said fish oils are anything fantastic? They thin your blood and no body knows what amount to take.Too much fish causes stomach cancers.Look at all the negative effects on the above comments.Who are behind the “good reports”? Do they have a vested $$$ interest like most that tout supplements?

  66. TLC

    Hii Lee,
    Am a pescetarian and have been healtlhy. I didn’t experience any side effect after consuming the salmon oil. Have read those articles on the fish oil side effect online… they are far too many. But honestly, who could guarantee that our food and supplements are safe esp with so much of pollution nowadays? We, humans are the culprits of such disaster.

  67. Kathy

    I noticed that since I started taking Fish oil I feel very bloated and extremely aggitated. I only feel this way when I take it and start feeling better when I don’t.

  68. Darrell

    Ive had some bad side effects to which lead me to google it and end up here and am shocked to see so many people with the same complaints of upset stomach and light headedness and what id probably call brain fog just after taking 2 x 1000mg capsules for 3 days.Ive been off it for just over 24 hrs but am still feeling only marginly better.

  69. Lee

    Maybe one 1000mg capsule providing 180epa/120dha once a day,like a one a day vitamin but that would be it.Grizzly bears eat a lot of salmon,but that does not stop their aggression( don’t know about their other issues such as health and I.Q.)

  70. Gabby

    Have been taking 3000 mg daily of salmon oil. Experience no side effects. Observed that my weight drop together with daily gym workout. Its really great !

  71. Emma Aguirre

    I have developed some itchness all over my body…it starts by little prickly spot and then starts itching badly…mostly in between my fingers, elbows, and sporadically all over my body… I started taking Omega 3 product about 2 months ago and now going back to when my itchiness started it is about the same time…I am allergic sometimes to lobster and shrimps and intravenous iodine…could there be a possibility that the Omega 3 would be causing my itchiness?

  72. lavina

    i am taking omegaterol fort shark fish oil, i have been taking it for 2 years now once daily at night, i stopped it suddenly recently, does that result in weight gain?please i really appreciate your reply. thank you

  73. Im not sure if this was from the fish oil I was taking per my doctors advice for high cholesterol, but I have been itching just terribly, very, very intense to the point that I want to cry and scratch myself raw…It seems to spread the more I scratch, to all parts of my body at one time or another…It usually is worse on my forearms, legs, and ears, but its itched everywhere at some point…as the person above me said, its like a prickly itch and it seems to come from within, and not be a skin thing, cuz no amount of scratching relieves the itch..Ive tried benadrl, sarna anti-itch lotion, aveeno, etc…NOTHING worked…The doctor thinks it may be the fish oil and its been 4 days and ive only itched once, and im not sure if that was from the dry skin and scabs my previous itching left behind..

  74. Shawn

    The average american diet ratio is 20 omega 6 to 1 omega 3 (20:1) when the recommended target is 4:1. Reasons why are from seed oils like corn oil, vegetable oil (which usually is corn oil), sunflower oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil which are found in most junk foods like chips, fast food restaurants, and most things in any conveniance store. The ratio for these types of oils are around 70-100:1! Omega 6 packed foods are pro-inflammatory which can lead to things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, and generalized pain. Since the american diet is around 20:1 this is a pretty good reason why millions of americans are on high blood pressure medication, high cholesterol medication (Lipitor is one of, if not the number prescribed medication in America), and aspirin (around 300 billion sold per year… which only temporarily relieves the problem). Most of these things are from years and years of mistreatment to your body so it’s not going to be one day miracle. Fish oil is a supplement out there that can help bring your ratio closer to 4:1. Make sure you do your research before just buying any type of fish oil. Pharmaceutical grade is the best kind to get which you probably won’t find in a store. The next best kind is a molecularly distilled brand which it will say on the label. I would also recommend to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements because lots of people are already on different types of medications that may cause side effects on top of the possible side effects. Also, don’t start off by taking 3000mg or more per day, start small and let your body accept something new and 1200mg is probably good enough per day unless you just love to pound down tons of corn oil filled foods every day. If you’re not happy with a fish oil supplement then just start eating more vegetables (1:1), fruits (3:1), sweet potatoes (4:1), grass fed omega 3 meats (3:1), and fish (salmon 1:4). Amazing how just eating well can be the solution!

  75. I tried taking Omega-3 Fish oil at 1000 grams
    twice daily. At first I felt really good. Than after two weeks, I started getting migrain headaches, took lots of ASA, Tyenol. The headache would not go away, I am going off
    the fish oil for me. The headaches are not worth the pain, I am going through.

    Posted by Robert J. September 16th, 2008 at 8:48 P.M.

  76. My Doctor told me to try omega 3-fish oil. I have gone through 2 weeks of it at 2000 grams a day. I have no artritus, but it is giving me Headace from HELL!!!, I have no other choice but to go off of it completly. ZAlso it made me gasy, lots of farts. lot of underwear. I am just praying for this migrain to go away, frustrated in Hamilton, Ont CANADA
    any other help (

  77. Gabby

    have been taking it now for almost 1 month, no side effects … in fact i lost in total 4.5 kgs in just 2 months together with exercise. Its really great and I love it.

  78. Denise G


  79. Brandi

    Some of the negative side effects due to the fish oil maybe because of an allergic reaction and not everyone will experience the same way. Just like any mediation or supplements you should consult with your physician about a proper dosage. Just to be on the safe side.

  80. Wow I thought it was in my head…I have also gained weight and it’s mainly in my boobs! And I do feel very bloated also. I work out three times a week thinking it was muscle increase and it wasn’t my weight trainer tested and measured me and I put on 2 pounds of body fat this is in 6 weeks! She asked me what I changed in my diet and I said nothing. Except I said I started taking fish oil…love the boobs but can do without the bloating…and yes headaches and in the beginiing the itching..I plan to stop today

  81. Gabby

    wow, I’m so envious of you Sarah ..about your increase in boobs size… I have lose 5 kgs in 2 months with exercise and daily dose of salmon oil. But my weight keeps dropping ..I’m 5’4 and weigh 50 kg… not good for me as very soon I gonna be underweight.

    I’m stopping my daily routine of running.

  82. I have been taking 1 1200 mg fish oil every am with coffee and a couple of crackers. I have had psorisis on my hands for over 20 years. They have never looked and felt so good. The side effect I’m really concerned about is the horrible stomach pain and diarrhea. Have had this for the past two weeks. I stopped taking them 3 days ago. How much longer can I expect to have these symtoms?

  83. Kasey

    Charlotte: Your stomach pains and diarrhea should dissipate shortly; however, your psoriasis will come back if you stopped taking the fish oil. The stomach problems you experienced are temporary. Every one of my family members, including myself experienced it when we first started taking it, but it eventually passed and we continued to enjoy the benefits of fish oil without the continued stomach problems. These are not “side effects” as everyone believes. They are part of a detoxification process the body must go through when starting a holistic regimen. If you stick with it, it will eventually pass. Hope this helps.

  84. Monica

    I have someone that has come to me asking if anyone has had any side affects of anxiousness and eyes bugging out from taking Omega 3 in any brand? Could you reply please?

  85. Kasey: Thanks for the encouragement. Do you know if putting the fish oil in the freezer would help. I read that it helps by not disolving in the stomach but more in the intestine. I will continue on so that my hands remain in great shape. Thanks again, Charlotte

  86. Kasey

    Charlotte: I never heard of freezing it so that it dissolves in the intestine, but I don’t see the harm in that. If you try it, let me know if it helps.

    Monica: I have only heard a few of my family members mention of the opposite effects of anxiousness after taking the fish oil, in that they felt more calm and less anxious.

  87. Missy

    I started taking 1 1200mg. enteric coated Omega 3 fish oil pill a day. After about a week I started feeling bloated and had very bad cramps like you do when you get a stomach virus. Had a little diarrhea. Stopped the pills. Started feeling better in a couple of days. I still don’t know if the cause was from the fish oil or just some stomach virus. I did notice that the arthritis in my neck and fingers felt better and is now acting up again. I am not sure if I am going to start taking them again.

  88. Teresa

    I was told my liver enzymes are slighly elevated / over the high normal. My ALT/ AST both are elevated by 3-4 points. My Rheumatologist told me to get off of it immediatley as I’m on enbrel for RA; also I’ve been taking Alph Lipoic Acid (ALA), of which can also increase enzymes.

  89. Judy Geralds

    I started taking a fish oil capsule on Monday and stomach problems began Monday–acid reflux, loose stools, stomach cramps. How long will upset stomach continue. Should I take my thyroxine and evista in the morning on an empty stomach and fish oil with evening meal?

  90. Monilou

    Can anyone recommend which brand to take. I did notice that some people are having some luck in taking the fish oil and I would like to know which brand they used. I want to start taking fish oil for anxiety and heart health. I also heard it good for weight lost.

  91. Kasey

    Monilou: I take nature’s bounty. No fish burps.

    Also, one should note to take the fish oil separately from all vitamin supplements and medications. When the gel cap dissolves the oil creates a coating in the small intestine and can inhibit the absorption of any meds or supplements taken at the same time. This happened to my mother, but once she started taking it separately, she was fine.

  92. John

    Anyone get extremely hypersensitive when taking fish oil? It makes me absolutely crazy full of anxiety and I become hyperaware of everything around me, have a horrible mood, and become way too emotional (teary eyed all the time). My muscles also get really, really tense. I had to get on an antidepressant to lessen these withdrawl symptoms until it took weeks to return to normal.

  93. colleen keane

    wow, im so glad to see others have gained weight with fish oil so i know its not in my head.. what could be cause of this? besides the calorie intake, i calculed my calories and had trouble losing weight when taking fish oil pills.. so it wasnt like it was the addeded calolries.. anyone know?

  94. Jayne

    I have been taking 1250mg twice a day for about a month. I have noticed my period is prolonged and very heavy. Wish it would go away. I also develped a red spot on the white of my eye. I have never had either two of these problems. I stopped taking the fish oil 3 days ago but bleeding is still heavy. I am trying to drink lots of water to flush out my system. I will be staying away from fish oil like many of the rest of you.

  95. Monilou

    Kasey: Thanks for the reply.

    I purchased GNC brand of fish oil and boy oh boy. After taking it every night for about three weeks now I’ve started to feel very achey in my muscles, especially in my legs. Also in my toes, and fingers (it took about three weeks before it started). Until reading some of the entries, I NO ideal it could be the fish oil caplets. I will STOP taking them ASAP! I can’t stand feeling as though I have RA.

  96. Lee

    No one should take more than 2000mg a day (360 mg EPA & 240 mg DHA). If you experience diaria or any other side effect just cut back on the dosage until your body adjusts to an invasion of this magnitude. You should’nt take salmon oil because salmon is endangered. Regular fish oil is just as good. Buy fish oil thats taken fron non-threatened species of wild small plankton feeding fish. I buy “Spectrum” brand fish oil. It has no mercury, PCB’s or lead. Keep refrigerated.

  97. Jeri

    I have also gained some weight since starting fish oil, not sure if it is because I’m actually eating more or a combination of that and fish oil. My doctor recommended 4 to 6 grams a day for joint pain because I recently quit drinking alcohol, but I noticed knee pain developing that I never had before. Also I have some problems with leaking urine, just when I cough or move suddenly, a little comes out (sometimes more than a little which can be embarrassing). Does anybody out there have any problems with urine leakage? Recently I stopped taking the fish oil for a week or so because, ironically, I had a mild case of food poisoning from eating some bad fish and couldn’t keep anything down. I noticed I no longer leak urine when I’m not taking the fish oil. I think I may stop or reduce the dosage of fish oil.

  98. colleen

    does anyone know if its completely impossible to gain weight with fish oil pills if i am of course counting the calories in my diet? i usually eat 1600 cfals per day and count the extra 75 cals from the fish oil, yet ive found it harder to lose weight.. is it in my head or is it possible there is soimething the fish oil pills are doing that are causing weight gain or weight stalling?

  99. Niki

    Hmmmmmm…… some of my suspicions have been put to rest since reading all this feedback. I’ve been itching so badly sometimes if feels like me skin is crawling! I have also had heart palpitations. After months of taking the cod liver oil, I am going to stop and see if these side effects subside. Thanks to all who have posted here 🙂

  100. steve

    my husband has been taking fish oil, kal omega 3, 180mg epa & 120 mg dha, 1 per day for at least 2 yrs. he has developed a very itchy scalp and now has a very intense itch all over his body. we saw a dermatologist a yr ago who said it’s sebboria.?? meds didn’t help.he also tried zertek and many different lotions and creams for the itch (with & without)chemicals.nothing has helped. after reading this website,we’re wondering if it’s the fish oil.

  101. steve

    in addition to my intense itching, my LDL is elevated and my vitamin D was below normal according to blood work results. i have also gained several pounds. sounds like many of us have had similar problems.

  102. Jeri

    In response to Steve with the seborrhea problem. I had seborrhea really bad as a kid, eventually it subsided, but not until my 30s or so. I also have had a little bit of signs of seborrhea returning (itchy areas on my scalp which after scratching them they start to exude a little sebum, which dries to a white crust which resembles dandruff) since taking fish oil. As a kid, I used to have itchy seborrhea on my scalp, eyelids and behind my ears which I scratched into open sores. The ears and eyelids subsided early on but the last of the scalp irritation finally went away only when I used a shampoo and conditioner containing hemp oil. After that I was able to get perms and the like if I wanted to, because previously no hairdresser with any sense would put perm chemicals on my scalp while there were open sores there. From time to time I get an especially itchy area but if I can keep from scratching it, it goes away. Anyway, try a product containing hemp oil, it might help. Also, products containing aloe vera gel, or the gel itself, really helps my scalp and keeps it from getting itchy at all.

    Also I’m noticing that my joints actually feel better now that I’ve stopped taking the fish oil for about two weeks. I quit drinking alcohol almost six months ago and was told to expect a lot of joint pain for a while, so it’s kind of hard to tell what cause and effect is going on. But I think the fish oil did not help my joints at all and maybe made them worse. I took it for a few months, heavy doses according to my doctor. And I’ve also noticed heart palpitations while taking the fish oil, even though I’m on two blood pressure medications. And there was that thing about urine leakage which I wrote in about earlier, has anyone had a problem with that? I still leak a little bit but I think the fish oil was contributing to that problem as well. The thing is to try to figure out what is different in diet or supplements and when the symptoms started, and although it seems unbelievable that something that’s supposed to be good for my heart, skin and joints actually causes problems in all these areas, all these problems were worse when taking the fish oil.

  103. Bob

    After taking the Fish Oil Suppliment and getting the loose-bowel, cramps, and in the fog type feelings, it was nice to see I’m not the only one. It was suggested by my Dr. after seeing my LDL slightly elevated. But no dosage was prescribed. So for now, I’ll increase my intake of Fish portions than deal with these side effects.

  104. ferdy

    I started fish oil capsules (1000 mg) a week ago and have a severe itching problem on the back of my head and face at the hairline. There is no sign of rash, although moderate redness.
    Can this be related to fish oil or is it a coincidence? Thanks, Ferdy

  105. ive posted this a few times. im really wondering does anyone know why weight gain would occur with fish oil pills? ( not because of the calories because I am counting them in my normal calorie intake when i dont usually gain weigth) im really curious can someone please tell me why so i can know if its in my head

  106. my dr has advised me to take 4000 units a day to raise my good cholestrol. I have developed itching mostly on my body & my back & stomach. I have tried everything to stop it , even washing my clothes in woolite. it started about the same time I started taking the fish you think it could be the fish oil. I have gained some weight also and I have gas a lot. Please let me know. I am going to stop it to see if that could be it.

  107. Kaitlin

    I have been taking Spring Valley Omega 3 Fish Oil 1000 mg every day, once a day, for the past week. I did not notice much of a difference until the past three days. I began to feel sick to my stomach, dizzy, light-headed, and had a pounding headache. The one day I did not take the fish oil, I was fine. At first, I attributed that headache to overworking myself at the gym, or not getting enough calories. However, no matter what I ate, the headache and dizziness would not go away. The only thing that seems to help the headache is chocolate. Anyone else experienced this? After reading about all the people experiencing weight gain, dizziness, and other negative side effects, I think I will cease taking my Omega 3 vitamins and see if that is the culprit.

  108. Jackie

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone out there who posted!! I was going to go buy some fish oil pills today, for weight loss help, but after reading all your responses i believe, I will stay away from that!! I hope everyone feels better!!

  109. Holley

    Started taking fish oil on a regular basis about a week ago. I’m also taking birth control pills. My period came a week early and is HEAVY and I have horrible gas. I’m quitting cold turkey! Was taking it to help ease knee joint pain from an old basketball injury (and it worked), but this other side effect is driving me up a wall! Does anyone know how long it takes to leave the system? I took only 1 pill yesterday before I put 2 and 2 together and came up with “fish oil”.

  110. Laura

    I’ve noticed that my hair and skin feel extremely oily since starting the fish oil. My eyes are also watering a lot more than normal (and do feel kind of “bugged out” as referenced above). I finally put 2 and 2 together and found this website. My hair and skin were normal, but now the oily feeling is unbearable. I’m stopping the fish oil immediately.

  111. Naresh Malhotra

    I am taking 4 capsules of Sea Cod (300mg) for the last one month and now i have itching on my legs and hands very badly. Is it due to capsules?

  112. Edwin

    Doctor recommended fish oil for high cholesterol. I started off taking (Spring Valley) 3000 mg a day and have used them for about a month – 59 years old. Since starting I am experiencing a right side ache/groin discomfort, joint discomfort, sore back muscles, bloating, & nausea. I have been to the doctor for this (sore back) and was given an anti-inflammatory. I want to thank everyone for their feedback – you may have solved my problem. I have stopped using fish oil for now.

  113. Tina

    First I want to thank my best friend(Eve)for finding this site for me. It’s good to know I am not loosing my mind. I started taking fish oil about a month ago and developed joint pain in my ankles that started to move up to my knees with a tingling sensation. I also had a tight feeling in my scalp that would drive me crazy. I was loosing my hair more than normal and the last couple of weeks it was coming out in clumps in the shower. My fingers felt swollen and my wrists and thumb ached. I experienced weight gain, bloating,tired and feeling depressed. I felt lightheaded and dizzy. I too am stopping the fish oil.

  114. Heather

    Thankyou to all the people who have told of their side effects, I too have had all over body itching, high liver enzymes, weight gain and yes I excercise and eat sensibly but remain bloated. Retaining fluids. My thick hair is a poor memory as I lost so much whilst on fish oil.Light headed and dizzy, poor concentration and tired all the time. To those who don’t have side effects lucky you, (or are you selling the stuff) but I’m not taking the fish oil anymore. I did’nt understand what was wrong with me until I read this page,even the Dr. did’nt know so thankyou to all of you again , NO MORE fish oil for me.

  115. Thank you to all who have told of their side effects of fish oil (omega 3). I too have sufered from severe side effects from 1000mg/day – the lowest recommended dosage. I even changed brands to make sure it wasnt the brand. the following are the side effects i experienced every time i took one (1) of these “miracle” pills: stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, severe dizzyness, severe migrane, diarrea, weight gain, servere joint pain like rheumutoid arthritis, spaced out. I hope that whoever is marketing and selling fish oil pills does further research. Due to the side effects i experienced i considered fish oil pills even dangerous.

  116. I took 1 capsule of Rexall Omega-3 fish oil and within 1 hour, my hands blew up to twice their size, turned lobster red, and I started itching all over–especially on arms and scalp. I have never been allergic to ANY fish. Took a Benadryl to counteract which helped. I will NEVER take this again !!

  117. AmyLee

    Ok so here’s the story…

    I have suffered from fatigue/ME type symptoms for 15 years and I’m only 24!

    May 2008…Fed up with feeling poorly all the time, so thought a change of lifestyle would help. In bed before 9pm, healthy diet, exercise, and started taking Cod Liver Oil!

    August 2008…found out I had an Under Active Thyroid! Yay! Finally know what’s wrong after all that time! Started taking Thyroxine! But during this month I felt awful for a long time and was worried I had a reaction to Thyroxine. Bed ridden for a month!

    September 2008…after feeling relieved from knowing what was wrong with me and feeling a tiny bit better I let myself go a bit…started eating the food I loved and stopped taking the Cod Liver Oil.

    October 2008…Felt amazing! Couldn’t believe it! Never felt this well before. The fatigue had gone and I was back to the ambitious busy person everyone knew!

    January 2008…Two weeks ago, after indulging a little too much at Christmas, my partner and I decided to start our healthy living again. So I started taking the Cod Liver Oil again. Within a day I felt tired, dizzy, bad stomach, joint pains, pins and needles in my arms and hands, where my hands would go completely numb. After 2 weeks of this it started to worry me that I was slipping back health wise, so frustrating as I was starting to feel so well. Then it dawned on me…the cod liver oil! I’m pretty sure it must affect my Thyroxine somehow, plus causes these horrible symptoms! Then after seeing this site, I’m pretty certain that’s what it is! Stopping them today!

    Comments would be appreciated…thanks!

  118. Lorey

    Thanks to everyone that posted. I searched for info on the web for stomach upset, diarrhea,swollen hands,achy joints over all feeling of fatigue….and wouldn’t you know it I started taking fish oil just over a week ago. I will not be taking them anymore.

  119. Shannon

    Beware of Hemp Milk. It contains 1200mg per serving. Along with 2.5cc of Nordic Naturals a day, my daughter was probably getting 3-4x the normal dose. How long does it take to get this stuff out of the body?. She had real bad bloating & cramping.Hope someone can explain how long it stays in the body for. Thanks so much!. Shannon

  120. Judy Scaccia

    I have been taking fish oil for years and noticed a weight gain also but did not connect to fish oil – I eat healthy – veges and all – recently I added Krill to my oils along with salmon, cod and regular highly refinded fish oils with CoQ10. It was just too much – I think I developed gout from adding yet another supplement. So now I have cut back on the salmon and dosages I took. Gout going away? Did any of you develope Gout? Have not seen that one yet – but you always gain info from reading others experiences. The fish oil has not helped my high bp which remains at stroke level – all the side effects of fish oil cannot match the side effects from BP meds – I threw them all away. They are poison. Coughing, wheezing, itching,nitemares and the fact that beta blockers, and channel blockers and all the rest of this poison will kill you faster than the high BP is a fact. Fish oil has not lowered my bp but has helped with sore joints and skin – I am 67 and look way younger – if it were not for the fact I have two broken ankles, I would be exercising more. Good luck on fish oil – you do not burp from it if you get the refined oils from Bio Solutions. It is highly recommended – expensive but not as toxic as some you buy – I have never had stomach pain, diarrhea or anything from Bio Solutions products – they are wonderfull. But I would like to hear from anyone that has gout? Thanks

  121. Judy Scaccia

    ps. Now I am learning about gout – access uric acid sometimes associated with too much red meat and salt – we learn about health as we go along – from others experiences and things we learn on line – also I want to add if you are not adding magnesium to your diet try Bio Solutions magnesium – there are 4 kinds in 1 pill- highly recommended also from Bio Solutions – and I also noticed a great improvement in my health when taking Elder Berry supplements and Evening Prim Rose Oil – all the ads you see for cleansing your face – I never wash my face except while in the shower – it is like a babies butt – no blemishes and no wrinkles – you are supposed to wash the dirt off after a long day? Did cavewomen ever wash their faces? I also use conditioners on my hair and put on my face as well – your hair is part of your face- use it under your chin and massage it upward every time you take a shower – guess what – no fat under your chin after awhile? It works – try it – thanks

  122. Judy Scaccia

    pps I forgot to tell you – anyone who takes diuretics may cause gout? I also quit taking them because they also deplete potasium which is something you have to have in your blood for heart health. I think I feel better too – no running to bathroom 10 times a day now – so pleasant – problem with high bp? Probably will continue – but then it is sneaky – goes up and down – hopefully with trying to lose 100 # will have better results with bp too fat and it is time!!! Hey I can’t stop – I keep thinking of all these other things that might help someone else?????js

  123. Monilou

    Since, I, like so many of you, have had problems taking the fish oil I decided to switch to Flax Seed Oil. Supposely it is also a excellent source of Omega 3. Has anyone done the switch to Flax Seed Oil? If so, what has been your experience?

  124. Judy Scaccia

    I have taken flax for years not only for omega 3 but for hot flashes – it calms them down – It also compliments fish oils and CoQ10 – good for the heart. Dr.s will tell you that you are wasting your time spending money on vitamines like E and C and fish oil – but yet they cannot control my BP – so I experiment with vitamins you learn pretty quick which ones work – I take alot of them – also things for energy because I still work at 67 and need the extra push – like potassium for your heart and and Acai for antioxidents along with lysine and red marine and sperlina – but if you are allergic to shell fish you have to be careful. I ate lobster once and broke out in hives. Shrimp does not bother me? Go figure? too much iodine in lobster I guess. Alot of people take statins – poison – cause dementia later on and can kill you with muscle problems – your hear it a muscle – women aren’t even supposed to take it and our bodies need chloresterol and our brain functions on it – a big money maker for doctors and pharmacuticals – I cook with lard and butter – our bodies need the nutrients in it – I also use bacon grease on a limited basis because it can effect gout. I try to keep fit but of course need to lose alot of weight gained from all the vitamins???? You have to read and study health to see what is good and what is not – this site is great for info on alot of things -I just found it and love it already. My friends call me DR. Judy because I am always telling them about this and that – but what is good for me may not be good for others – you have to pick and choose like egg shell membrane – very good for you but not if you are allergic to eggs? Another nutrient our bodies need. I was raised on a farm, we grew our food, even meat – and never went to the store except when we needed coffe and sugar – great life – pure back then – not the junk you get in stores now – I use sea salt, better for you and lots of pepper – and organic sugar -due to the fact the aspertaime is poison to our bodies and diet drinks can kill you or make you fatter. Did you ever notice that alot of fat people always have a bottle or can of pop in their hand? You gotta wonder what is wrong with WATER? Which I always boil b/4 I drink it. Take care everyone.

  125. MGG1

    I started taking a 1000 mg fish oil capsule daily 2 months ago for the supposedly good benefits of it.
    Also taken daily for 2 years prior to this was 1 baby aspirin, 2 garlic oil pearls and a 1/2 multi vitamin mineral capsule.
    I started getting a intermittent deep sharp pain like an ice pick sticking in my left thigh just above the knee.
    I have never experienced a pain like this for no apparent reason.
    This continued intermittently for several days and the only thing that I could think that I had changed was taking the fish oil.
    I stopped taking it and in 1.5 days no pain.
    I went for 2 days with no pain so I decided to experiment and see what would happen if I started taking it again.
    Within 1 day of taking it I started feeling the sharp pain in the same spot in my thigh.
    So I stopped taking it and within 1.5 days the pain went away and has not returned.
    Does anyone have any idea why the fish oil reacted this way with me?

  126. tim oest

    I have been taking fish oil for a couple of years now, and resently changed to spring vally brand with the omega3 (it is 1200mgeach) and just lately I have had severe diareia and a lot of cramping too, sometimes a little headeach (not to bad) so I think Ill stop this fish stuff and see if I can get back to regular bowl movements and no headache., and then let ya all know how it turns out. thanks for all you people sharing with me (though I was the only one with problems) GOD BLESS….

  127. Hi to all. What an education this is. I am 57 and I have been having increased “unexpected sharp stabbing” pain on my right side. It has gradually gotten worse, spreading to the sternum area. On one weekend recently, I almost dropped my groceries while getting into my car, buckling over in pain (the worse pain yet). I drive an hour (or more) to work. I could not take the chance of it happening going to or from work, so I have been home for several weeks now… on short-term disability. Had full xrays and ultrasound of the area with no problems observed. I just had a CatScan and waiting for the results tomarrow.

    This morning, a light went off in my head and said to myself…Google “Fish Oil”. And here I am….spending over an hour reading all your comments. I have to wait until tomorrow to check, but I believe my doctor had me start my daily intake of fish oil in August (1200 mg of CVS brand twice a day)…when I think I first started having pain in my right side (however, mild and infrequent pain at the time).

    Now, I also have an idea why i have been bloated, spacey and with arthritic pain.
    I have been taking the fish oil with my other medications, which just have not been very effective lately. No matter what I hear from my doctor tomorrow, the fish oil is off my list of supplements. I will return here and update my comments when things start to (hopefully)improve. Good Luck to all!

  128. I to have been taking fish oil. I have had a problem breaking out in a rash the docotrs said the it was urtecaria. It itches so bad no matter how long I scratch it it still itches. And the more I scratch it the more it spreads. I think I now know what is causing it and I am stopping the fish oil. I also have the weight gain and could not figuire out why I was gaining so much weight until now. Thanks every one.

  129. Fishy

    I also had spaced out feeling while taking fish oil and then decided to get the best brand out there which is Carlsons ..once I was on Carlsons this feeling stopped and I continued on it but I notice weight loss as the only unexpected side affect and helps big time to ward depression!

  130. Pete Rodgers

    I am 76. I have tried fish oil before with bad gastric results. I have been on cholesterol meds for a long time, finally put on Crestor which does not have a good reputation. Just had angioplasty, only a kinked artey, stent fixed that. The doc said my artery’s look good for my age, what ever that means.:O) He said to take 1200 mg twice a day. I was very aprehensive about taking that much due to previous experience. My local Costco came out with their own Kirkland brand, Enteric coated 1200 mg. Instructions are to take it with 8 Oz of fluid 30 minutes before a meal. Surprise, I have been on it now for five weeks, not one after taste of fish or stomach distres until two days ago. I had a one day session of mild diarrhea that hit very sudden so can’t blame it on the fish oil yet. I have had a definite change in mood and motivation since taking it. No dizzyness at all.
    Fish oil definitely thins the blood and can cause issues. If I were a female and had extended periods I would stop right now and consult my doctor. Before starting fish oil or if having issues i would have my blood checked for clotting. No fish oil seven days before any surgery. Pre-surgery instrutions will state that. Includes also Ginko biloba another blood thinner. If taking 1200 mg a day I would also consult a doctor if symptoms continued for over a week. There are some bad brands out there with toxins that could be causing side effects, nothing to do with the fish oil. Pay a few buck more and get a good brand.

  131. Ender

    I began taking Omega 3 (along with Zocor) to bring down my triglyceride levels. Previously, I was taking 1000 mg of niacin daily with Zocor, but after several years of use, my body could no longer tolerate the niacin, which was beginning to suppress my immune system, apparently due to its toxicity. This was showing up in the form of persistent eye, ear, and skin infections (chronic folliculitis). The switch to Omega 3 (Spring Valley Omega 3 Fish Oil 1000 mg) was fairly easy.

    Initially, I felt some dizziness due to lower blood pressure whenever I stood up quickly. That stopped after several weeks. There were some unpleasant gastrointestinal effects for several days as well. This subsided and has not returned.

    I am currently taking 4 x 1000 mg (enteric coated) per day and have no detrimental side effects. On the plus side, in addition to bringing my cholesterol and triglycerides into the healthy range, my arthritis symptoms have tapered off, my skin has cleared up, my blood pressure is lower, and I feel good enough to work out daily and also to engage in athletic activities that I had pretty much given up on before (biking, martial arts, soccer, hiking, running).

    Some of the improvements I have experienced may be attributed to stopping the niacin, but I believe I am much better off with the Omega 3 supplements than I am without.

    Suggested dosage for controlling lipid levels is fairly high as it is suggested that you reach roughly 2000 mg of EPA-DHA for maximum effect. This equates to around 7 x 1000 mg capsules per day. Since I am also taking Zocor and simply supplementing with the Omega 3 capsules, I did not need to go that high. High dosages of Omega 3 are reported to suppress the immune system, just as the niacin previously affected me. Just keep that in mind if you are using high dose therapy.

    Ender (59 years old, 5’9″ 155 lbs)

  132. Dorothy Osier

    I have been coughing a lot since starting fish oil. Has anyone else had this effect. I was wondering if it could be a side effect.

  133. jz

    I had my eye doctor recommend taking fish oil daily to alleviate eye dryness. So I started taking 2000mg a day for a couple of weeks. Then I went to get a physical done by my primary care physician and he tells me my cholesterol is way high (300+ and I am 32 and healthy otherwise) and recommends fish oil to bring it down. I told him that I started fish oil 2 weeks ago and he tells me that if that’s the case then these results are probably inaccurate because I guess you are supposed to wait 3 months after you start fish oil to have your cholesterol levels checked. He said initially it raises your cholesterol levels and later brings them down. He also recommended I increase daily dosage up to 3000mg which I did. I have been on fish oil for about a month now total and for the past 2 weeks or so my head has been feeling like it’s in outer space. I have a dull headache and my balance is off even if I am sitting down. I can’t concentrate well either. I was trying to figure out what could possibly be causing this and then it dawned on me that maybe it’s the fish oil. After I read all of the posts on this site I am hopeful that’s what it is. I already took a dose today but this will be my last for a while. If my “spaciness” goes away then I will know for sure it is the fish oil that is problem. I have a doctors appointment for tomorrow regardless. I have been taking Nature’s Bounty brand fish oil which hasn’t caused me any other digestive problems or rashes but definately spaciness. I hope this info will be of benefit to anyone else out there in the same boat.

  134. Erik

    Responding to Ruth,

    I have developed the same symptoms you have after starting on a regime of Omega-3/Omega-6 fish oil (four softgels per day). I went to the doctor with severe constipation, cramping, and abdominal pain (I feared I had appendicitis a hernia, etc.). My doctor suspected a bowel obstruction and ordered abdominal x-rays and a full blood workup. The results were encouraging – no bowel obstruction and my bloodwork and electrolytes were normal. Later that day, I decided to stop taking the fish oil supplements on a hunch. I also took a dose of magnesium citrate to clean me out. I am feeling a litter bit better, although I am still constipated. It will probably take several days for the fish oil to work its way out of my system.

  135. I started taking these fish oil pills last week. I read the directions and it said I can take two twice a day with a meal. So I did that. For the first few days I would be terrible dizzy after taking them. Then the last few days I’ve had a horrible pain in my lower back that today flared up soooo bad and was accompanied by aweful loose stools. And half the time nothin was really coming out. Also for the last week since taking these pills I have been have to void every hour and when the feeling hits I have barely minutes to get to the bathroom and then it gushes out and towards the end its painful and I feel a lot of pressure … not sure if its related but it started after taking the fish oil pill!

  136. Jeni

    Feeling desperate to lose “those last 10 pounds” yet AGAIN, I followed the advice of an article touting “high-dose” fish oil (about 16 capsules of 1000 mg a day or so) for over a week. It claimed this would rapidly correct the biochemical imbalances that trigger toxic fat syndrome. It was dumb for me to do that. I’m glad I found this message board; then again, if I hadn’t experienced all the icky feelings I had, I wouldn’t have looked for it in the first place.

    There was a person earlier on this message board who pointed out that we don’t even know what a “normal” dose of fish oil is!! I would have to agree. I have quit taking the fish oil and feel almost like myself again, but it was quite bad for several days. I gained 4 pounds in a week and that was even though I upped my exercise, narrowed my calorie intake, stopped chocolate completely, and drank a lot more water and green tea, and no pop at all. This weight gain could not have been muscle as I also gained about three inches overall. I keep very close track of things. I’m pretty sure the high-dose fish oil was the culprit.

    Another point was brought up about giving the fish oil pills a chance because our bodies have to detox when we’re really toxic. Well, that may be partially true, but if fish oil is a detox miracle, why isn’t THAT news in all the articles? Milk thistle and dandelion tea, cascara sagrada and other herbs all provide detoxing effects, which is one of the reasons people buy them – and they’re not cheap. I don’t think the bad side effects we get from taking way too much fish oil are a “detox” thing. I think they are the body protesting. I think they’re reasons to quit (or severely cut back) on the fish oil. Good luck all you folks! It’s not easy staying healthy, fit and slim in this Cookie-Candy-Chip-and-Cola infested nation, is it?

  137. Jim

    I started taking Omega 3 purchased at Vitamin World. I developed a knee problem in the meantime and my knee doc has his own brand with is 3 times as potent. I developed diarrhea and a gas….I have also experienced some weight game despite going to the gym and watching what I eat. for me…I’m off it. Especially when looking at the message board.
    On the lighter side, Fish oil did not help my knee but I have a heck of a 200 meter back stroke

  138. larry


  139. Denise

    my husband and I started taking fish oil 1000 x 2 a day and I have been itching below my knees, my stomach is bloated and both of us has joint pain. AND I just got the call from the doc and my total cholesteral has shot up…!! I think I am done witht he fish oil!!!

  140. Jay

    I have knee pain and heard that fish oil helps with joint pain. I have been taking it for over a month and then 2 weeks ago I had an episode of severe abdominal pain right below the sternum. It dissipated after keeping me up most of the night. Then a week ago I was woken up by the same pain which was so bad I went to the ER. They couldn’t determine what the cause was but ruled out cardiac or pancreatitis. They sent me home with several prescriptions and I went to see my doctor who gave me more prescriptions of antibiotics and Nexiom. I had 2 more episodes of severe abdominal pain after that. I remembered that I was taking the fish oil and that I had fish for dinner coinciding with every episode. I stopped taking the fish oil and feel much better. I already have an appointment to see a gastroenterologist so I will get a professional opinion but it seems that after reading all the postings associating fish oil to all sorts of pain I’m sure I won’t be taking it any more.

  141. Robert

    I’ve tried and stopped two popular omega-3 fish oils for a few weeks each. For me, the only effect was itching, starting as itchy red points randomly located on the legs, back, and arms. The more I scratched them, the worse they got. I tried all types of lotions, allergy testing, and diet changes to stop the itching. Nothing worked. Until… I stopped the fish oil. I tried a second fish oil and the same thing happened.
    Complementary/alternative medicine does not do enough to publish side-effects. Congratulations to you people willing to share your experiences. Your blogging here has confirmed that one side-effect of taking fish oil can be itchy rashes.

  142. Sue

    Purchased bottle of Fish Oil Omega 3 @ Sams club. Got rash that started on belly and side of hips. Went to Doc, put me on Prednisone 20 mg for 5 days and hydrocort skin cream 2%. Still have itch and now has spread to breasts and area around underarms. Insane itch like you want to tear skin off, worse than poison ivy. Also some difficulty concentrating. Am not one of those people that like to eat fish and wanted to try to see if would help. NOT TAKING ANY MORE OF THIS PRODUCT EVER AGAIN.

  143. Bill

    Fish Oil Pills definitely gave me severe headaches. Don’t allow this product to be shoved down your throat, obviously something very wrong is going on here

  144. Carolyn

    I started taking fish oil caps several years ago for pain related to a twisted knee. I had heard “the Cod Doctor” (can’t remember his real name) say to take oil on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. I take 1000 mg with just enough water to swallow, less than a teaspoon. Doing this, I seldom have a fishy burp or aftertaste. It has definitely helped my carpal tunnel and arthritis in neck and hands.

  145. been taking fish oil for a year, i’m 60 years old.been haveing hot feet but not to the touch, can’t sleep at nite because of this,.dr. told me to take 2, did for a year. went back to dr. for high colestrial, he said take 2 in morning ,2 at nite. now i’m thinking THATS WHY IM HAVING RLS AT NITE,. AFTER READING ALL THINK I’LL STOP THEM ALTOGETHER SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

  146. Melody

    I took a high quality fish oil recommended by my chiropractor for two days and immediatelydeveloped terrible joint pain in several of my joints, esp. my hands and feet. I know that fish oil is supposed to be wonderful for inflamation. I plan to try fish oil thats from Alaska wild caught salmon. I live in Alaska and know that only wild caught fish from Alaska is considered to be safe. (Free from mercury) If I still experience symtoms than I plan to just use ground flax seed & flax oil for my omega 3’s. God Bless you all with your journey & effort to ensure good health.

  147. Howard

    Well I’m going to add to the numerous complaints about fish oil supplementation. I’ve add several supplements to my regime that only included a basic multi and a baby aspirin. I stopped taking the aspirin when I started the others (about 3 weeks ago), but recently added fish oil for many of its proposed benefits though mainly as an anti-inflammatory since I work out and suffer from sore muscles and joints. I took one pill late in the day (360 mg of mixed Omega 3’s), and had diarrhea and a sore stomach pretty much the whole next day. I’m not feeling all that well as I write this, because I immediately wanted to see what the deal was scouring the web. I am not absolutely sure it was fish oil, but it is highly suspect. It appears to have thrown my whole system into a tizzy (heart-burn, bloating, flushing, diarrhea,etc.) I read that freezing them helps for digestion, and I did take it with food I believe. I read somewhere else to freeze a capsule, open it, and see if the contents actually froze solid. If so, discard. I don’t know, I hate giving up on the fish oil for its proposed benefits, and now I am going to look into alternatives (non-fish for the Omega 3’s.
    I am actually afraid to take another one of these pills. I also had to skip my other supplements today because of what the oil may have done to my system.

  148. Howard

    Well I’m going to added to the numerous complaints about fish oil supplementation. I’ve add several supplements to my regime that only included a basic multi and a baby aspirin. I stopped taking the aspirin when I started the others (about 3 weeks ago), but recently added fish oil for many of its proposed benefits though mainly as an anti-inflammatory since I work out and suffer from sore muscles and joints. I took one pill late in the day (360 mg of mixed Omega 3’s), and had diarrhea and a sore stomach pretty much the whole next day. I’m not feeling all that well as I write this, because I immediately wanted to see what the deal was scouring the web. I am not absolutely sure it was the fish oil, but it is highly suspect. It appears to have thrown my whole system into a tizzy (heart-burn, bloating, flushing, diarrhea,etc.) I read that freezing them helps for digestion, and I did take it with food I believe. I read somewhere else to freeze a capsule, open it, and see if the contents actually froze solid. If so, discard. I don’t know, I hate giving up on the fish oil for its proposed benefits, and now I am going to look into alternatives (non-fish for the Omega 3’s).
    I am actually afraid to take another one of these pills. I also had to skip my other supplements today because of what the oil may have done to my system.

  149. Larry Zink

    I started taking Omega 3 fish oil a few month ago. I have come down with this itching and rash in arms pits and one small place under arm. Looks like a rash. Also a line around my pevil hair line the itches awful. I have use cortazone and anti fugal medicine a, prodexide and alcohol, calamine lotion, action on just trying to stop the itch. I now thinks its the fish oil. I have stopped the fish oil taday. I hope it goes away, it will drive you nuts scratching.

  150. Ibiz

    I started taking about 1000mg fish oil a day and my blood pressure did reduce to a healthy level, I would say about 8 points from about 140/90. I was feeling very light and fine.
    However after about a month of daily fish oil pills, I started getting pain in my left testes and a day later in my right one as well. The pain would happen while I was sitting and persisted for about 3 days. Obviously being scared, I stopped fish oil pills and started drinking more water to flush it out of the system as much as possible and now the pain is gone. Could the pain in testes be because of fish oil? I would love to take it to keep my BP in check but if its gonna cause urinary or kidney problems, I would rather not take fish oil pills.

  151. Liam

    My first dose of a 1000mg cap seemed fine
    but when I took 3 the next day i became fatigued & tired & had to lay down & sleep for while. the next day i took one again but still had the same noticable effects & a change at the toilet. i’m stopping the fish oil. i felt better before taking it.

  152. hsc

    I’m a 46 yr old female who has gained weight the last year or maybe 6 months for the first time in my life (other than pregnancies which were over 20 yrs ago). I have not been able to figure out WHY!!!! I really refuse to accept that it’s just because I’m getting older….whatever.
    I have eaten a very low saturated diet for over a dozen yrs, am mostly vegan, and am active. I cannot think of anything I’m doing differently, unless it’s actually doing better for my health. I’ve been so confused to why this would be.
    Then just tonight I realized…oh yeah…I started taking Red Yeast Rice w/Co Q-10 and Omega-3 Fish Oil supplements around 8 months ago. The RYR have greatly helped my cholesterol levels. So, tonight I googled RYR for weight gain side effects and didn’t find much. Then I googled the same for Fish oil and found this page! Yikes. Do you guys think it could be doing that??? I read here about bloating, and I’ve definitely been more bloated, but have been attributing that to the woman thing…hmm.
    Please, your thoughts….I really want the benefits of the fish oil, but I don’t want to keep growing!!!!

  153. Siubhan McCarthy

    Ive just started taking pharmacutical quality (very expensive) Fish oil caps this week after having been advised to do so because of a recent blood test indicating High Cholesterol levels. Have only been taking the oil for 3 days & have had a strange chemical taste in my mouth for the last 2 days. I have low blood pressure – well lets just say Ive never had high blood pressure. Today I was feeling totally ‘spaced out’ felt I really shouldn’t have been driving, upset & just not myself, so I came here & found this site ! – delighted my hunch was right & I can put an end to this awful feeling.
    My mother has low blood pressure also & has had unexplained dizzy spells for quite a while – just called her & discovered that shes been taking fish oil for years!
    Im 40 – 63kg & otherwise in good health – the fish oils are going in the bin!

  154. after 3 months of taking 4 1200mg. fish oil per day I have experienced numbness and tingling in fingers and toes and am exploring possible causes..anyone else have this side effect from fish oil?

  155. becca

    I’ve been taking a high dose of fish oil for about 3 months now…appr 8000 mg a day. Within the last 2 months, I have had abnormal periods with some vaginal soreness, painful intercourse etc. Have always been healthy with no problems. Was worried that maybe its cervical cancer!! Have an appt with ob/gyn next week. But with sudden onset, was wondering if it was due to fish oil since thats the only thing I’ve changed. Have also had some constipation, abdominal pains, gas, bloating…no itchy skin though. Anyone else have this combination of symptoms?? On the flip side, my B/P is down, not that it was really high to begin with.

  156. sue c

    Thanks for the posts about joint pain. For the first time in my life my knees are swollen and sore–I can hardly bend them. This condition has come on in the last couple of months since I started taking fish oil. I’ve been taking 1.5 mg (three capsules) twice a day. The bottle label recommendation is to take three capsules one to three times daily. I’m 62 and had no aches or pains until now. I’m going to quit taking the fish oil and see if that’s what’s going on with my knees!

  157. Chris

    I’ve been taking fish oil for a little more than a year and recently switched brands. A little more than a month ago my left foot began to swell and has stayed swollen. I have been an avid runner for a few years and lift weights 5 days a week. I also take several different types of vitamins and supplements. I have been eliminating one at a time to see which one might be the cause. Well I just eliminated the fish oil a week ago and my foot has slowly began to return to normal. I read most of the comments above and saw the other 452 side effects but nothing on feet swelling. So I figured I’d add to the confusion……..

  158. Janis

    Monica, I began taking Fish Oil 2 to 3 times a day a little over a month ago and I’ve been having panic attacks like you wouldn’t believe! I also have a pressure/burning feeling that has been scaring the heck out of me because I thought it had something to do with my heart. I am convinced it has something to do with the fish oil because I have NEVER had these symptoms before until now. I took my last pill tonight!

  159. Carol

    I ended up in the ER with some pretty significant heartburn, because I thought it could be the onset of a heart attack. After tests, it turned out that my heart is just fine. Because I have enjoyed good health for almost all of my life, I started thinking about what had changed in my life. I had gone to a naturopathic dr. for menopause symptoms and she had prescribed mega doses of supplements, one of which was fish oil, which was supplied by her office, so of course I believed it to be pure and good. I was taking other supplements as well prescribed by that dr. I wondered a couple of times after taking the supplements why my throat burned slightly. After my little ER trip I was able to put things together and realize that the only change in my life was that I was taking supplements. Fish Oil as well as Evening Primrose Oil were implicated in heartburn/acid reflux. The end result of all this is that I now will be paying over $1,000 for that little ER trip. I have been on Prilosec for 6 weeks, and am still not feeling like the heartburn/acid reflux is over, and I would strongly caution everyone out there to research before taking any natural supplements. It has been recommended to me that I take Aloe Vera juice and Blueberry Extract for heartburn symptoms. I have researched both, and found that they also have side effects. This stuff is dangerous and life altering. From what I have read GERD/heartburn/acid-reflux can be a lifelong condition, and I am still not back to where I should be healthwise, so please, please, please, do your research. I never thought natural could hurt you so badly.

  160. Sharlene

    I am so glad I found this list. I too am having side effects from fish oil. My doctor recommended it over flax seed oil for reducing cholesterol and triglycerides. I had been taking 1 x 1750 mg capsule per day, but she did not think that was enough and said I should take 4000 mg per day. I started this about increased dose about 6 weeks ago. About 1 month after being on the increased dose I started getting left ankle and pain behind left knee with swelling on the lateral side of knee for no apparent reason. The pain is different because it also feels like there is muscle weakness and that my knee might give out. I tried to think about what I was doing differently and the only thing that I can think of is the increased dose of fish oil. Also, have developed bloating and diarrhea. I plan to stop taking the fish oil and go back to daily doses of flax seed oil and fresh fruits to try to reduce cholesterol.

  161. Jill

    Sooooo, THAT is what is causing the throbbing pain. On the other hand, combined with Activa yogurt, I’ve lost 10 lbs (that weight I”ve been trying to lose for 30 years! I take 1000 mg from Trader Joe. The throbbing is a huge nuisance.

  162. Sandra

    After I read this list I felt much better that I had stopped taking a fish oil/flax seed oil/vit e combo supplement recommended by a doctor for dry eye – the side effects are just not worth it. Diarrhea, head ache and fish burps are just not acceptable. Also I found that fish oil is a blood thinner – not everyone should be taking this no matter what the reason is!

  163. Sprocket

    I have taken 1200 Fish oil capsules for about three years or so on the suggestion of a friend. I had an infection in my lung and was
    perscribed strong anibiotic. Bowels were loose, three or four trips a day, varing from liquid to very soft lumps. Not a diarrhea where I was ever caught short but usually afraid to expel gas. I diagnosed my problem as the strong antibiotic killing all the good bacteria in my intestines and for nearly three years, with the help of physicians, took probiotics of all sorts, yogurt, Etc, Etc. My gastrointerologist recently had me on dicyclomine and xifaxan with no appreciable change. Last week my oncologist suggested that fish oil could be the problem. I stopped fish oil, found your site, and all my problems relating tothe bowels have gone!!!

  164. Helen Rodden

    I have learned so much regarding Fish Oil. I bruise very badly and now believe that fish oil might have a lot to do with it. Thanks for the Info.

  165. Heather in Austtralia

    Thanks to everyone who has posted their experiences, because I have had some of the same symptoms since taking fish oil recently (now stopped). I had itching and dermatitis-like symptoms especially on my hands and forearms, spreading to back of head amongst my hair and then I got itchy at back of neck,then at creases under breasts, belly and groin. I had stopped my daily walk because of colder weather (winter here) and not feeling so great, heavy, tired, not sleeping for itchyness etc.I had all tests done for RA which my mother had, all results negative, yet my fingers were so swollen and sore. Gradually all this is going away, this week is the best I have felt for three months. My skin is finally clearing up with the help of mild cortisone, but I really think NOT TAKING FISH OIL has been the best treatment and I never will again. Hope this helps someone else. Wishing you all Good Health, Heather



  167. JW


  168. DS

    I have recently started taking fish oil liquid (bioceuticals) as recommended by a chiropractor. I have only been taking it for about 6 days and my hair is extremely oily even after washing it. Its hard to dry and it feels like it has a greasy film on it. Also my skin seems oiler too and I have started getting headaches. I remember trying fish oil about 2 years ago as recomended by a naturopath as an anti-inflamatory (different brand) and having a persistant headache. I have stopped taking it as I am reacting to it. I might start taking evening primrose oil.

  169. jm

    Hi everyone,

    If you do a search for the word “tired” on this string you find a number of folks who get very tired when taking fish oils. I’ve had this reaction to it forever. I have never been able to figure out why? Maybe it’s some sort of allergy. Maybe it’s an inability on the parts of our brains to properly synthesize the DHA? If the EPA could be isolated so that we took only that and no DHA (which is specific to the brain) then that would be an interesting test?
    Does anybody have any ideas on how to overcome this so as to be able to take fish oils??

  170. Edward Warnick

    I am having joint problems in my hands and I am taking Lovaza (4) per day. Is anyone else having the same problem?

  171. Edward Warnick

    I am taking 4 Lovaza fish oil a day and I am have joint problems in my hands. Is anyone else experiencing this problem on the medication?

  172. Jennifer

    Hi all…I don’t think its our imagination. I am 23 and I have been active since I was a child. I have maintained my weight for years and my diet and exercise is pretty consistent. I started taking Nature Made Fish Oil (OMega-3) 2400mg and at first didnt think much of it. It has been 36 days since i have been taking the supplement and I have gained almost 6 pounds and grown a few inches. All of a sudden my clothes started to feel tight…clothes i have been wearing for YEARS with no problems. I thought about what I had changed in my daily routine and the only thing was the addition of the fish oil to my daily diet. I am currently also on Wellbutrin and birth control. I am sensing that this might have to do with the mix of medication in my body (maybe conflicting with BC or Wellbutrin?) Anyhow, though I’ve already cut my calories and increased my exercise…after reading these blogs i am now convinced that my weight gain was no accident or coincidence. I will stop taking the fish oil and continue to diet to lose the weight…any idea on how long it took the people who gained weight on the fish oil to lose it after they stopped taking it? Any advice would be helpful! I am very conscious about my appearance!

  173. jm

    Hi all again,

    I can relate to Jennifer’s post. I think that in some folks fish oil makes one sleepy and slows the metabolism. Again, I can only guess that our brains cannot properly synthesize the DHA, and so there is a reaction in the brain. I’m guessing we may lack a certain bio-chemical necessary for DHA oil’s metabolism. Here’s an interesting question for all those experiencing negative side effects from fish oil –

    Did your mother’s avoid oily fish while pregnant with you? My mother hated fish, and so I’ve always wondered if lack of exposure to DHA in the womb may contribute to this metabolic deficiency in life?

    Would all those experiencing negative side effects please respond to this query??

  174. Shirley Pierce

    I have been taking fish oil for 2 mos. now I find my natural platiumn hair is turning black. I had strawberry blonde hair as a young women.
    My aunt has a poodle who was gray, she started giving him fish oil and he also turned jet black. This is why I think the fish oil is the cause..any one else have this happen to them?

  175. freeze

    im forced to stop taking fish iol because of the extreme drowsiness and sleepiness I feel. I can not function anymore while on it. for those who commented about ‘bleeding” more its not your imagination. the fish oil can make it worse.

  176. David

    My story,

    I started to take fish oil for my dry skin, which caused acne at times. I have tried everything for my dry skin/acne and finally at the age of 27 fish oil has come to the rescue. My skin is glowing, blemish free and not dry anymore. On top of that, I have been in the best mood I can remember since the stress free life of a college student. I wake up in the morning with more energy and feel great. Im a fan. The only side effects I have notice is more burping, but this is a price Im willing to pay. I am currently taking (2) 1200mg (odorless) softgels a day.


  177. I started taking fish oil for depression so far have not noiticed any change in mood, but i have noticed that my face has broke out with acne? any connection? i am taking the liquid form, any suggestions, will this really help my depression?

  178. Wonderer

    To all of you guys who have tried oil fish and has been ratherly a pain in your neck (or in your head should I say.)

    You are a wonderful example of our bodies biochemistry and individuality. The most impulsive of you will call me names I am very sure of that, but as you know, especially the most observant, medicine is in its infancy. It is unfortunate that the conventional medical world and perhaps governments don’t take it in their hands to study more about the basic stuff that makes our bodies, such as nutrients and/or supplements. Therefore, you have people, like in this website, experimenting with their bodies, while their physicians appear very ignorant about side effects. Capitalism is about profits or ultimately the money and not about health. However, as some of you already know if you don’t have good health you can’t thrive, succeed, and have money or help the system stay alive (is that why Obama wants to introduce mandatory health care? I don’t think that the population or politicians are that smart yet, so I am not clear, except for perhaps pure politics for now.) The way the system is set up right now is in a way that can be the most profitable it seems for pharmaciutical companies, doctors, and the supplement industry. If no body really knows with certainty about the function of fish oil, creatine, same, L-methionine, etc, etc, it is wonderful. The pharmaciutical companies can still continue selling lipitor, digoxin, etc without worrying that just some simple nutritional change or supplementation will decrease their bottom line. Meantime, the supplement industry have a wonderful time advertising their products as a cure all secret. What do the doctors say? “I don’t know!” Unfortunately, they may be right! Supplements appear to be very simple compounds and since we are exposed from very early in our lives it is presumed that if they haven’t been classified as dangerous yet, they are okay. Just okay, because everyone has been exposed to them and no MD is needed to guide us through them every day. In other words, supplementation seem to be so lame and common sense, that it appears useless for the professional and medical world to approach it in a scientific manner. If it is so simple, why are doctors so ignorant about its simpleness. It seems that some people in this website have better decision making that a MD has! What is my point?????
    Body, biochemistry and its complexity!
    – Food (including supplements, or anything that has the capacity to cause a fluctuation in our body) is like another drug made by pharmaciutical companies.
    – All reactions of drugs inside the human cells – which really control our bodies interiorly and exteriorly (including foods, supplements) is not FULLY understood even by the brightest of the bright scientists.
    – The medical world will be past infancy when doctors are able to know about how the basic substances, that we are exposed to everyday, react in our bodies without too many ignorant blunders like those of today!

    In the mean time every one should approach supplements with caution and if you are willing to experiment with yourself after you sign a waiver not to sue yourself for your courageous and adventure some approach, at least have the decency to keep a simple journal and record what you are doing in a regular basis, so down the line you can have some points of reference – especially if you ever develop complications!

    My best wishes to you all. And good luck with your physical and mental health!

  179. jm

    You begin your pontificating by trying to insulate yourself from response; by pre-labeling anyone ‘daring’ to comment on your diatribe as “impulsive.”

    Are you familiar with projection? Please go to some other web site. We are trying to help each other here.

  180. Sheila H.

    I took Rexall Salmon Oil 1000 mg and got horrible pains in my stomach that felt like I had swallowed a rock. I also got nausiated and had cold sweat. The pain was so horrible I put my head on the carpet with my ass in the air to releive some of the pain. Finally I started puking like crazy and all was ok. I will never take this brand again. I take Vitacost EFA’s and they are just fine. No more Rexall from Walmart.. cheap is not the best way to go when it comes to fish oil caps.

  181. A Richards

    I have been having dizzy spells and feeling spaced out for a few months now. I went to see my GP who checked me out for low blood pressure etc and said I was fine. The spaced out dizziness continued and was affecting my work. Even in bed at night I felt the room was swimming and often couldn’t get to sleep because of it. Then the other day I suddenly made the connection with the fish oil I had been taking for the last few months for an arthritic knee. I have stopped taking the oils over the last couple of days and feel so much better. I’m hoping my arthritic knee will continue to feel better too. Hopefully, the change in diet (cutting out gluten) will have had more effect than the fish oils. It was really interesting to come across this blog and see that I am not alone with these bizarre symptoms.

  182. Nancy

    Listen Folks! Pay close attention to fish Oil, it can harm you seriously. Yes it can make your boobs bigger, it will also make you bleed, cramp like crazy and end up in the hospital facing alot of unnecessary test. If you don’t mind bloating, diahrrea, mucus in your stool, tar color stool(which makes the Doctor think all kind of thoughts and order all kind of test) then sure take all the fish oil you want and I hope you enjoy the big boobs. But take my advice LEAVE IT ALONE Fish Oil should stay with the fish….

  183. lara

    I just took my first omega 3 spring valley pill today for acne. However after I couldn’t stop peeing. Im very scared that it is the capsule because my urine smells fishy. Is anyone experiencing the same thing?

  184. Vader

    If there are any GNC brand fish oil pills on your Region then take them. they’re the best. Plus they make your piss neon yellow, personally thats COOL.

  185. Lee

    Does anyone know if too much omega 3s (EPA/DHA) can act as a dangerous stimulant? The FDA says not to take more than 3,000 mg per day due to probable internal bleeding. My concern is so do cocaine,methamphetamines,etc.

  186. fran kurdes

    i have been taking fish oil twice a day. 2000 milligrams day. recently my blood pressure has done a nose dive. i felt dizzy, and unsteady on my feet. my pressur is usally 117 / 75 went ot 85 over 50. am i taking too much

  187. Scarlett

    I am 19 years old, I have heard that taking fish oil pills can do wonderful things for your skin and nails but reading these posts has me very worried! Does everybody gain weight when they take these???

  188. bonnie

    I’ve been taking fish oil for 8 years,for treatment of fibromyalgia. I keep it in the freezor and have no fishy taste problems .It has tremendously helped the fibro. I was told flax seed oil would help me even more, It,s been 3 weeks now ,and yes it has helped the pain but I do feel dizzy and spacy. Extreme bloating,and diareia. Weight is an issue also.can.t seem to lose any.Anyone else had a problem with flax seed oil? I’m taking 4000mg twice a day

  189. Andrea

    I started taking fish oil tablets about 2 months ago for ease of joint pain in my knees and ankles. As a profesional dancer I am pettite and eat sensibly, but since starting on Fish oil I have noticed my breasts have increased quite drematically and I look and feel bloated. Also, my periods have been heavier and lasted longer than usual. Although it did stop the joint pain, after reading what other people have said I can only think the weight gain is because of the fish oil. I need to maintain a healthy body for my career and so far fish oil hasn’t lived up to its hype.

  190. Sam

    I’ve taken fish oil for about the last 2 years with the usaal burping and occasional what I thought was a stomach virus with diarrhea, dizzeiness etc. I now know thanks to tis blog those were alll from FISH OIL.
    I never read on mthe bottle (of fish oil) that they should be refrigerated after opening. I recently was on a trip and left some pills in my suitcase in a hot car. I took the pills when I returned home and got very sick with diarrhea,spaced out, depression, stomach cramps, trouble falling to sleep at night and so on. I went to my doctor and told him what had happened he said it willl have to work it’s way out of your system. It’s been 7 days now and I still don’t feel totally back to normal. Has anyone else had a similar experience? How long will it take? Is there anything to do to help clear it out quicker?

  191. I just started taking omega 3 fish oil gel caps, about 4 days ago. I have since started to get a rash on the calves of my legs, around my ankles, my inner thighs, and the backs of my upper arms. I didn’t use any different soap, or try any new foods. I started taking this because I just got blood work done and the Dr. said my cholestrel is 242 and I have high blood pressure, and she wanted to put me on one of those statin meds., which I really do not want to take. She said she would give me 3 months to get it down and then we’ll see. I heard the fish oil would help with this so I bought some. I called the Dr. this morning about the rash (more like hives) and asked if the fish oil could be the cause. The nurse said that it could be, as we can all have a reaction to just about anything. I am going to stop the pills, as of today I didn’t take any. If the itching stops, I will wait a week after that and take another round of the fish oil just to see if it is the cause, and if so I am done. I guess I will have to seek another way to lower the chol. numbers, like watching what I eat and go for some intense walks on a daily basis. I am glad I found this site because it is very helpful and I see there are many people with itching and rashing.

  192. RGlass

    has anyone had any metalic taste in their mouth from fish oil ?..I’m trying to help my motherinlaw find out what is causing this for her. She is taking other meds after a serious heart surgery., coumadin, plavix,synthroid,lipitor, fish oil and centrum-cardio…. does anyone know if fish oil contains iodine or mercury? anybody know? thanks..

  193. Fish oil even contains lead which is very harmful for the human body, reason why we have unleader fuel is because of this, but fish oil which is not treated properly before packing can contain this, terrible!!!

  194. Robert

    I started taking fish oil 2000 mg 1 month ago. I can’t believe the difference. Last week I stopped taking my adderol (for ADHD) and my mood has improved substantially. I’m starting to think that many of the Big Pharma drugs are a waste of time and money. I’m going natural (and a fraction of the price) from now on. The only issue with this is the time it take to educate one’s self. There are many fake web sites out there. I recommend ONLY relying on site that can reference scientific studies and always try to get as many scientific studies as possible… and READ those studies.

    RGlass & Others,

    If you are worried about alergic reactions and heavy metals take Flax Seed Oil instead.

  195. satbir

    The fish oil has saved my life from the suicidal condition. It is the best supplement i ever took. I was under severe depressions and Fish oil made me feel great. The depression is completely gone and i have made it a part of diet.

  196. Jane

    Anyone know what to do about the oily effects on scalp??? My hair has never been this consistancy before. Been on the 1200 mg 2x daily for last three months.

  197. Lee Land

    I have been taking Omega-3 Fish Oil for 4 weeks. My doctor put me on it for a dry eye condition. Now I hae blisters on my lips which I have never had before. I also take medications for a heart condition. Am I having a reaction to the fish oil?

  198. Joshua Cumming

    omg, this post thing has made my day hahahahahaha
    I have come to the conclusion that, I AM A HYPERCONDRIAC because of this bastard cod liver oil
    started takin’ it a week ago, or two.
    this week, started to notice stomach discomfort on my right hand side, when i was in bed at night, then through the day.
    then i started to get back pain.
    looked up the symptoms, what came up?
    stomach cancer 😐
    some of the symptoms of that, i have actually had, seperately over time, none of the more serious ones like, involving blood
    but still, I saw that & was like OMG what if ?!?!
    cause my family has a history of cancer too, well my nan.
    but I read all this anyway & it makes total sense as i started takin’ cod liver oil about a week or two ago !
    it’s put my hypocondriac mind at rest ! thank you, you beautiful people!
    i just hope i’m not over the moon for no reason & i hope the discomfort stops when I stop takin’ the capsules 😀
    godspeed fellow cod liver oil victims xxxxxxxxx

  199. Katie Williams

    WOW am so glad I have come on this website and read all of your reassuring comments!! A friend of mine recommended taking vegEPA fish oil supplements for my depression and anxiety.. i couldnt wait for my pills to arrive after i ordered them!! however, i have now been taking 8 a day for just under two weeks and for the last 3 days i have experienced a sever headache that will not go away with ibuprofen..extreme bloating, extremly smelly gas, burping, chest pains that are relieved when i burp, leg pain, abdominal pain… i basically am not feeling very well at all!! I have decided to stop taking the supplements and see what happens. its rediculous how something that is supposed to be so beneficial to the human body can have these side effects!! natural is not the way!! i will eat fish from now on rather than consume it in this form! what a shame though.. i spent almost £60 on those supplements!! they just want the money im sure.. every person is different and unfortuanately im in the unlucky bunch that experience the bad side of fish oils and not the good!! i have also gained weight!!

  200. Patricia

    I started taking Fish oil (2) 1000mg pills once a day – to help to lose weight and arthritis/joint pain. I have been on it about 3 weeks. I am losing weight and do not feel any pain – but very irritable, moody and depressed. I thought this was suppose to help mood. Am I just over stressed or could this be from the pill?

  201. TLC-G

    “Mega” dosing on fish oil might (?) be a good thing for some people, but MEGA-MEGA dosing is a very, VERY BAD thing for any one! I learned that the hard way by accidentally mis-reading a lable and giving myself 18,000 mg of EPA/DHA per day instead of the 3000 mg/day I was aiming for to treat my PCOS & Fibromyalgia (don’t ask how I made such a stupid mistake, I’m a blond!). Any way, at first my sleep and anxiety issues improved dramatically. But after a month at that high of a dose I turned into a manic insomniac with a raging yeast infection (sorry guys for the overly personal “girly” information). Either way, not a pretty sight. I have stopped taking ANY fish oil supplements for now and the itchiness has already started to subside (in less than 24 hours). Now if only the fangs and blood shot eyes would disappear too….! I never thought I’d have to have someone talk me down from fish oil, but holy cow! Talk me down man, talk me down!

  202. kristine

    This is nasty stuff. All the above symptoms are true after 5 days of use at 1000mg a day.
    The health food industry is unregulated and they can say and do as they please. Don’t touch the stuff and go and buy a piece of fish and enjoy it. So sick, can’t wait to feel better. NEVER AGAIN!

  203. pj

    I tried fish oil and got bad indigestion and heartburn. So I froze the capsules so they would digest in the intestines. I got terrible intestinal cramps and diarrhea instead. I think I will just have to do without fish oil supplements and learn to like salmon.

  204. Sharon

    Oh my gosh, I too thought I was going crazy! I have a weird pain in my left foot, hair loss, unexplained weight gain, swelling, numbness in my legs and now moving into my arms. I kept saying I KNOW, it couldn’t be the fish oil, but oddly, it’s all started since I’ve been taking it. Also, my total cholesterol and triglycerides have gone up. Just a fluke, I decided to google, Fish Oil and weight gain and came across this site. I’ve been on this for 3 months so it could take a couple of weeks to get this out of my system. But I’ve taken my last one as of today.

  205. I just started on Omega 3 Fish Oil supplements – Walmart’s Spring Valley 1000 mg 3x/day – so far nothing out of the ordinary but I’ll keep an eye out for any of the symptoms mentioned here. I do want to raise a point since some of the symptoms sound allergic – Spring Valley brand label says contains *soy* which is a more common allergen – so check your list of ingredients – it may be something else you are reacting badly to, not the actual fish oil.

  206. fish oil user

    I didnt realize fish oil increases your cholesteral. Hmmmmmm got to get the regular check up could give you a stroke or heart attack very dangerous if your taking in 8000 mg of fish oil a day. Im only started to use 2000 mg a day and the first day I took it I could feel already the effects on my brain. Lets see what happens the 2nd day of usage.

  207. edg

    I started 10000 mg/day fish oil 2 days ago. I’ve had no vomiting, no rashes, no itching, and no diarrhea, but I have had a constant sore stomach that feels like the flu. I’m trying to figure out if I should stick with the fish oil, or give it up. Someone above said that your body needs to go through a “detoxification phase” and get used to the fish oil, but I can’t find anywhere that confirms this. I’m just wondering if the only thing I’m going to get from continuing with this fish oil is endless stomach pain until I stop taking it. For those of you who experienced initial symptoms like mine (constant stomach soreness), did you find they subsided after a few days… or should I just give this stuff up?

  208. Susan from Philadelphia

    I have been taking cod liver oil on and off but more on for about 3 months. For the past few weeks I have noticed unusual hand/swollen joint pain and body aches not to mention headaches which I very rarely get. I asked my “nutritionist” who recommended this particular fish oil and his response was to stop taking the fish oil but to continue the other supplements. I wondered why the fish oil not the others so it prompted me to go on line to research the “side affects of fish oil” and it brought me here. I believe it’s the fish oil that’s making me feel generally like crap and very tired with swollen joints and headaches. I stopped today and will see what happens moving forward. My gut tells me I am on the right track. I believe the good Lord led me here. To echo one of the other believers – “Godspeed fellow cod liver oil victims”! I think we are on the path to recovery. Let’s keep in touch to prove our intuition is right!

  209. edg

    In my post just above, I meant to say that I’ve been taking 1,000 mg/day, not 10,000. I was using Carlson’s caplets. Anyone else had the sore stomach, nausea, cramps only, but no headaches, itching, or other such effects?

  210. lisa

    Alright, i have nothing wrong with me, but i have used the omega 3 fish oil supplement to make m breast larger. i take it 3 times a day. no symptoms so far, ( i have been taking it for a week now.) but i was wondering if its alright to take it even though i have nothing wrong within my body?

  211. KANIKA


  212. Karen from Michigan

    We started taking Omega 3 hoping it would help with ADD tendencies. Both of my kids experienced side effects…depression and irritability. I experienced joint pain.

  213. Dane from Milwaukee

    I started taking Omega 3 fish oil recently and the side effect that I noticed, is that I’m extremely flatulant of late. The pills make me very “gaseous!!!” I’ve also experienced mood differences. I’m still investigating and will probably stop taking the pills. It has gotten so bad that the people at work call me “Ode (as in odor) of environment!”

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