Side Effects of GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil

Vitamin supplement gel capsules
Close-up of fish oil supplements. (Image: Bigkhem/iStock/Getty Images)

GNC triple strength fish oil is a supplement used for adding omega-3 fatty acids to an individual's diet. It comes in a softgel that is taken once per day for a total of 900 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, according to Drugstore.com. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish or consuming omega-3 supplements for their cardiovascular benefits. Benefits of such a diet change include reduced blood pressure, lowered cholesterol numbers and a decrease in plaque growth in the heart, according to AmericanHeart.org. As with any supplement, it is important to contact your doctor before using GNC triple strength fish oil. There is the risk of side effects with this supplement, but when taken properly the risk should be small.

Common Side Effects

One of the common complaints about fish oil supplements is the fishy taste and the fishy smell produced from burping after taking the supplement. GNC triple strength fish oil has a special coating that allows the softgel capsule to break down and be absorbed by the small intestine, according to Drugstore.com. GNC.com states that the oils have been purified to cut down on the fish odor. Mild to severe gastrointestinal upset or diarrhea may occur with the use of GNC triple strength fish oil, according to the National Institute of Health at NLM.NIH.gov. Increased burping, acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and abdominal pain are possible symptoms related to gastrointestinal upset. Take the supplement with food to minimize this risk.

Less Common Side Effects

The NIH points out that occasionally omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding, but there is little evidence to support this. Large doses may lead to hemorrhaging in the form of nosebleeds and blood in the urine. Taking fish oil as the GNC recommends, which is one capsule per day, should not result in this type of serious side effect. Due to the reduction in blood pressure from fish oil supplements, the NIH cautions users with already low blood pressure. They report that the risk is low, but any signs of a drop in blood pressure would require the supplementation be stopped.

High-Risk Individuals

Individuals who have diabetes, are pregnant or are breastfeeding should consult a physician before consuming fish oil supplements. According to the NIH, diabetics may have an increase in blood sugar levels, but they report that this may be unlikely. Fatty fish may contain mercury at higher levels than are recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers. Using fish oil supplements may increase the risk of exposure to mercury as the oil is made with a variety of fish from different locations.

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