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Little-Known Side Effects of Too Much Fish Oil

by Sana Cashmiri

Fish oil has always been known for its health benefits like being rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that reduce blood triglycerides, relieve inflammation and even ease symptoms of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, fish oil may not always be better and taking too high a dose may actually do more harm than good. Read below to find out what happens.

High Blood Sugar:

Research shows that high amounts of omega-3 acids could increase blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Taking 8-grams of omega-fatty acids per day leads to a 22% increase in blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes because it stimulates the production of glucose.


Bleeding gums and nosebleeds are major side effects of excess fish oil consumption. This is why it is advised to stop taking fish oil before any major surgery and to talk to your doctor before taking supplements if you’re on blood thinners.

Low Blood Pressure:

While this may be a benefit for those with high blood pressure, it can cause serious problems for those with low blood pressure. It can also interact with blood pressure-lowering medications, so it is important that you speak to your doctor before taking these pills.


Diarrhoea is often extremely prevalent in those who take high doses of fish oil alongside other digestive symptoms such as flatulence.

Acid Reflux:

Although fish oil can be beneficial for your heart, many people have reported feeling heart burn and feeling nauseous. This is largely due to the high fat content.


Characterized by bleeding in the brain, strokes are usually caused by the rupture of weakened blood vessels. This is because omega-3 fatty acids could decrease the blood’s ability to clot and increase the risk of haemorrhagic stroke.

Vitamin A Toxicity:

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are high in vitamin A, which can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. Vitamin A toxicity can cause side effects such as dizziness, nausea, joint pain and skin irritation while leading to liver failure in the long run.


While this may not be true in all cases, some cases show that taking too much fish oil may actually interfere with sleep and contribute to insomnia, especially if someone suffers with depression.

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