What should I know about fish oil before taking it?

Before you start taking a fish oil supplement, tell your doctor if you have any allergies, especially if you are allergic or hypersensitive to fish or other sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as nuts or plants. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks and benefits of fish oil if any of these conditions apply to you: you have diabetes, liver disease, a pancreatic disorder or thyroid problems; you are pregnant, breastfeeding or wish to become pregnant. The effects of fish oil on pregnancy are unknown. It is not known if omega-3 fatty acids pass through breast milk and affect infants. If fish oil is carelessly processed, it may contain certain chemicals that are harmful to unborn babies, children and pregnant women. It is also important to tell your doctor if you take any supplements or vitamins, especially vitamin A or D, which are often included in fish oil supplements. Taking too much vitamin A or D can be dangerous. Talk to your doctor about the safety of fish oil if you smoke, use illegal drugs or consume alcohol (at least two beverages per day).

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.