Fish oil can be a useful addition to a heart-healthy diet. If you suffer from platelet disorders do not take this supplement without first talking to your health care provider. This is due to the high content of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids can dilute your blood by interfering with the ability of blood platelets to clump together, according to MedlinePlus.
As a natural anticoagulant, fish oil can increase the time it takes for your blood to clot. When taken in quantities of 3 grams or more, fish oil can put you at risk of developing minor bleeding such as bleeding from the nose or gums. The use of fish oil can also cause internal bleeding as in the case of an ulcer. A relationship between fish oil consumption and hemorrhagic strokes has also been observed, which is a much less common form of stroke according to the University of North Dakota.
Fish oil is known to inhibit platelet aggregation and therefore acts as an anticoagulant. As a result, fish oil supplements can increase the effects of anticoagulant medications such as warfarin and aspirin. This may contribute to increased bleeding by deactivating the function of platelets. Fish oil supplements interact with anticoagulants if taken in high doses, reports Drugs. com.
There are no reports of cases of abnormal bleeding due to fish oil consumption, according to Maggie B. Covington, MD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Stay on the safe side and do not use fish oil supplements if you take anticoagulant medications. The UMMC recommends that you do not take more than 3 grams of fish oil supplement per day.
Fish oil increases the blood's clotting time, so avoid this supplement before surgery to avoid excessive bleeding. It is also not recommended if you have an implanted defibrillator. The simultaneous use of fish oil with medicines for blood pressure should be avoided. Fish oil can cause the effects of the blood pressure medicine to be higher and can therefore cause your blood pressure to drop to abnormally low levels, says the University of Florida.