Nutrition & Dieting/Fish Oil



I'm aware of the benefits of supplementing with EPA and DHA. I have attempted multiple brands and doses of fish oil capsules. I have tried freezing them, enteric coated, eating before food consumption, eating during food consumption, eating after food consumption. I have also tried all of the above with flax seed oil capsules.

My symptom is a significant amount of abdominal pain. No burps really. Just feels like I swallowed a hot burning coal and it is sitting at the bottom of my stomach. Once it was so severe I went to the hospital and was given a mixture of pepto bismol and some sort of numbing agent.

Some have suggested going from a low dose and graduating up, but most of the major trustworthy manufacturers attempt to have the highest dose possible, and to be honest I really don't want to buy another bottle that would be used once.

Is there anything you recommend? Would krill oil likely have the same symptoms? Basically I would like a way to alleviate the symptoms, not change my entire diet (ie. sprinkling flax seed on every meal, having fish once/day).

Your advice is appreciated.


Hello Mark,
I'm sorry to hear of your situation. I'm not familiar with fish oil (and flax oil) causing stomach pain. Does any other fat (such as eating fried foods) bother your stomach?

You say it has been suggested to try a lower dose to start with but that the manufacturers recommend a higher dose... well, of course they do, so they can sell you more!

Taking a minimum dose that doesn't cause pain would be a great addition to your diet. Not everyone needs the maximum safe dosage. And eating fish twice a week would meet the guidelines for incorporating dietary sources of omega-3 oils--daily is not the recommendation-- especially if you incorporate other sources such as flax and walnuts.

Be sure to check with your doctor about the safety of taking in more than 1000 mg per day--the side effects, including blood thinning, can be harmful in certain conditions, even causing the blood to thin so much that 'brain bleeds' or stroke can occur.

I'm not sure what condition you are taking the omega-3 oils for. I'm attaching an article from the Mayo Clinic with several different dose recommendations depending on the condition.

Hopefully you will find a happy medium that keeps your omega-3 intake higher without causing stomach discomfort.

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Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD


As a registered dietitian (RD)I am fully qualified to accurately answer questions regarding weight loss, including those from people with health conditions requiring dietary restrictions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) who want to lose weight, or who have been advised to do so by their physician.


I have been a registered dietitian for over 30 years and have a certificate in Adult Weight Management through the commission on dietetic registration at Level 1 and Level 2. I am also trained in coaching through Coach U and currently work as a diet coach to help people lose weight the healthy way, through gradual habit changes.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition Entreprenuers, St.Louis International Coach Federation, Toastmasters

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Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida, 1983; Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University 1985; Certificate in Adult Weight Management 2006; CoachU core essentials grad 2007; Level 2 certificate in Adult Weight Management 2010.

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