Does Fish Oil Thin Your Blood?

While most supplements are considered generally safe to take, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects of each one. Fish oil is one supplement that may have some unexpected effects you didn't know about (via Medical News Today). This supplement is a natural anticoagulant, which means that it helps prevent your blood from clotting.

This can be a positive effect for some people and a dangerous one for others. For example, generally healthy people may experience improved cardiovascular health thanks to this benefit. However, anyone who is using a blood thinner may be at a higher risk of dangerous bleeding if they also begin taking a fish oil supplement. If you are taking a blood thinner or have had any previous issues with blood clotting, speak to your doctor before taking a fish oil supplement. It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements whether you have any health issues or not, but you can probably safely take a fish oil supplement if you are in good health.

Benefits of fish oil

If you get the green light from your doctor, there are many good reasons to take a fish oil supplement. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your overall health (via Healthline). Your body cannot produce omega-3s on its own, so it is necessary to get them through food and supplements (via National Institutes of Health). While it's always best to get nutrients through food, taking a fish oil supplement can be helpful if you aren't getting enough from your diet (via Byrdie). "Food first is always recommended," Keri Gans, RDN, a nutrition consultant and the author of The Small Change Diet, told Byrdie. "However, in many instances the dose needed for a specific health benefit may be difficult to reach with food alone. Therefore, in some instances, supplementing is indeed needed."

Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits, including reducing your risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and triglyceride levels. They can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, provide arthritis relief, and potentially help those with depression, ADHD, dementia, and lupus.