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Side Effects of Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may cause some side effects. These will vary, depending on the type (DHA, EPA, or ALA) and the source (fish, flaxseeds, nuts, or other sources). Possible side effects may include:
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • A fishy aftertaste or bad breath (from fish oil supplements)
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and bloating (from flaxseed).
(Click Omega-3 Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)

Drug Interactions

Omega-3 fatty acids can potentially interact with several medications (see Omega-3 Drug Interactions).

Is Omega-3 Safe?

A normal dietary intake is safe and beneficial for most people, although high-dose supplementation may cause problems. Some people may be more likely to experience problems than others. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement if you have:
  • A bleeding disorder
  • Diabetes
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis, a genetic condition involving colon polyps
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods (especially fish), dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Omega-3 Safety for more information, including any available warnings and precautions.)
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