Salmon oil supplements provide many benefits. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in salmon oil, protects against heart disease, relieves arthritis pain and improves cognitive function. However, salmon oil is not right for everyone. Some people experience side effects from salmon oil supplements.


Salmon oil reduces the “stickiness” of blood. This is one way it protects against heart disease and promotes healthy blood vessels. While most people have no problem with this, someone taking a prescription anticoagulant such as warfarin or an over-the-counter remedy, such as aspirin, may develop unpleasant side effects. If you develop abnormal bruising, slow clotting in minor cuts or bleeding gums or nosebleeds, it may be a sign that your clotting function is impaired from the combination of medications. Even if you do not take other medications to thin the blood, high doses of salmon oil can be enough to impair clotting. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, taking more than three grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day can increase the risk of suffering a hemorrhagic stroke.

Upset Digestive Tract

Salmon oil, as well as other fish oil supplements, can cause problems with the digestive system. Diarrhea, excessive gas and uncomfortable bloating may all develop when taking salmon oil supplements. These side effects are typically a nuisance but not dangerous. Reduce or eliminate these unpleasant side effects by switching to a time-released version of the oil.

Particular Risk for Diabetics

People with Type 2 diabetes may notice an increase in their fasting blood sugar levels after taking a supplement containing salmon oil. If you have diabetes, it is important to discuss any changes to your diet with your physician.

Possible Drug Interactions

Salmon oil supplements can interact with a variety of prescription drugs. If you regularly take any medications, consult your physician before adding salmon oil to your diet. Drugs known to interact with salmon oil supplements include anticoagulants and medications that lower blood sugar levels. Conversely, if you receive a prescription for cyclosporine, cholesterol lowering medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, ask your physician about possible benefits of adding salmon oil supplements to your diet.


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