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Does Fish Oil Thin Blood & Get Dangerous With Aspirin?

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Does Fish Oil Thin Blood & Get Dangerous With Aspirin?
Aspirin is an over-the-counter blood thinner and pain reducer. Photo Credit: Sasa Komlen/iStock/Getty Images

If you take any medication, prescription or over-the-counter, it's wise to know whether the supplements you take or foods you eat will interact negatively. In regard to fish oil, a slight cause for concern exists as fish oil exerts a mild blood-thinning effect. Fish oil contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect your heart by promoting healthy cholesterol levels. In addition, fish oil exerts an anti-inflammatory effect by altering the body's production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals involved in inflammation.

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Typical dosages of fish oil are 3 grams to 9 grams per day, according to the New York University Langone Medical Center. Of the two primary omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, found in fish oil, evidence suggests DHA is more responsible for thinning the blood, according to NYU Langone. In a rare case, fish oil enhanced the effect of warfarin, a blood-thinning drug. Because aspirin thins the blood, there has been concern about a possible interaction with fish oil. When taken with aspirin, however, fish oil does not appear to cause bleeding problems. Nevertheless, consult your health care provider before taking fish oil, if you are at an increased bleeding risk.

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