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DHA Side Effects

Serious DHA Side Effects

There are a few side effects with DHA that you should report to your healthcare provider and which may indicate that you should stop taking DHA. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Signs of internal bleeding, such as:


    • Black, tarry stools; bright-red blood in the stool; or vomiting of blood (signs of gastrointestinal bleeding)
    • Signs of a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain), such as vision or speech changes, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or a severe headache


  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including an unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
DHA may also slightly increase LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"). Of course, dangerous side effects are possible if a DHA supplement contains heavy metals or other toxins, some of which may be carcinogenic (may increase the risk of cancer). This is most likely in DHA supplements derived from fish, especially if not purified.

Final Thoughts on DHA Side Effects

If you think you are experiencing a DHA side effect, please let your healthcare provider know. Also, let him or her know if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
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