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Can Fish Oil Supplements Cause Anxiety Symptoms?

Can Fish Oil Supplements Cause Anxiety Symptoms?

Nov 03, 2022

Can fish oil supplements cause anxiety? One recent study found that people who took fish oil supplements had higher levels of anxiety than those who didn't. The study's authors suggest that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may affect the body's stress response, leading to increased anxiety.

While this study is certainly suggestive, it's important to keep in mind that it's just one study. More research is needed to confirm these findings.

Additionally, the study only looked at the effects of fish oil on people who were already considered to be at high risk for anxiety. It's possible that the results would be different in people who don't have an anxiety disorder.

So, can fish oil supplements cause anxiety?

If you're considering taking fish oil supplements, it's important to speak with your doctor first. They can help you weigh the risks and benefits of taking fish oil and decide if it's right for you.

Table of Contents

What Are Fish Oil Supplements?

Fish oil supplements are a type of dietary supplement that contains Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are important for maintaining heart health and preventing conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Some people take fish oil supplements to also help with conditions such as joint pain, depression, and anxiety.

While fish oil supplements are generally safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of.

These side effects can include fishy breath, indigestion, and nosebleeds. Some people may also experience an allergic reaction to fish oil supplements.

If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking the supplement and speak with your doctor.


Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements

We all know that Omega-3 fatty acids are good for us. They can help improve our cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and joint pain.

But did you know that fish oil supplements can also have benefits for our mental health?

Recent studies have shown that fish oil supplements can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

One study even found that fish oil supplements were as effective as antidepressant medication in treating these conditions.

Just be sure to talk to your doctor first to make sure they're right for you.

There is significant evidence that suggests using Omega-3 fatty acid supplements for major depressive disorder.

The fatty acids in Omega-3 can increase activity in the brain’s prefrontal lobe, enhance neural transmission, and reduce brain swelling.

While they can be an effective standalone treatment, they are frequently used as an augmentation strategy for other treatments.

While the benefits of taking Omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oil are widely known, some have found that it worsens their depression, anxiety, and brain fog.

Can fish oil supplements cause anxiety?

If your anxiety symptoms are worsening from consuming too much fish oil, there are some considerations to make.

1. Fish Oil Quality

Low-quality supplements can have a negative impact on your brain function. You should always choose the highest quality product, even if it costs a little more, instead of buying the cheapest stuff you can find at your local gas station. The oil should be lab tested to ensure it’s free of contaminants, pure, and accurately labeled.

You should always smell your bottle of Omega-3 supplements before you take them. If it smells like fish, that means it’s old and oxidized.

Store your supplement in a cool dark place and out of direct sunlight. If you don’t store it properly, your pills could be doing more harm than good.

2. Fatty Acid Content

Some brands of Omega-3 supplements may contain much more EPA than DHA, while others have equal proportions of both.

Although both do provide benefits for the brain and moods, some people don’t need both.

Keep in mind that the ratio of fatty acids in your current supplements might be making your mood even worse.

3. Drug Interaction

If you’re on medication, drinking, smoking, or taking any substances while supplementing with Omega-3s, it’s hard to tell whether the supplement is affecting you positively or negatively. This is because of the possible interactions that could occur between the drug, alcohol, or cannabis.

A lot of people mistakenly start numerous dietary supplements at the same time, which makes it difficult to determine which specific substance is to blame for their depression. If you take Omega-3 on its own, it will be much easier to determine that the fatty acids are the cause of your anxiety, as opposed to other compounds you may be consuming.

4. Lifestyle

While it’s possible that taking supplements like Omega-3 could have a detrimental effect on your mental health, it’s also possible that something else could be to blame. If you started a new exercise regimen or began to meditate around the same time, you wouldn’t be able to tell which of these things was causing your anxiety and depression.

If you’re under a lot of stress and going through a hard time, then it could also be affecting your body and mind. Consider that before taking a supplement.

Side Effects of Fish Oil Supplements

As with any supplement, it's possible that fish oil could cause side effects in some people. These could include an upset stomach, diarrhea, and bloating.

Fish oil might also increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you take it with other medications that also thin the blood, such as aspirin.

If you have any concerns about taking fish oil supplements, talk to your doctor.

Can Fish Oil Supplements Cause Anxiety?

This is a question that many people ask, and the answer isn't always clear. Some people claim that taking fish oil supplements can help to ease anxiety, while others say that it can actually make anxiety worse.

So, what is the truth?

Well, it seems that there is some evidence to suggest that fish oil supplements can help to ease anxiety.

One study found that taking fish oil supplements for eight weeks led to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety in people with mild to moderate anxiety disorders.

Another study found that taking fish oil supplements for 12 weeks helped to reduce symptoms of social anxiety disorder.

However, it's possible that fish oil supplements may increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain, which could potentially lead to anxiety. But more research is needed to confirm this potential link.

Can fish oil supplements cause anxiety?

It's possible, but there are other factors to consider before assuming that fish oil is the direct culprit. The quality of the fish oil, the Omega-3 content, other medications and supplements that you use, as well as individual factors (e.g. lifestyle, allergies, genetics) can all play a role in how your body reacts to fish oil supplements.

How to Ease Anxiety Symptoms When Taking Fish Oil Supplements

While fish oil supplements are generally safe, it is possible that they can cause anxiety in some people. If you are concerned about this, it is best to speak with your doctor or a qualified naturopathic physician.

There are a few things you can do to help reduce the chances of experiencing anxiety when taking fish oil supplements.

First, make sure to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed.

Second, take supplements with food to help reduce any nausea that may occur.

Lastly, try to choose a high-quality supplement that is third-party tested to ensure its purity and potency.

If you're feeling depressed or anxious after taking fish oil supplements, the first thing you should do is stop taking them.

It's possible that the supplements are causing your mood to worsen, and it's not worth continuing to take them if they're not helping you feel better.

You can also talk to your doctor about other options for treating your depression or anxiety, as there are many effective treatments available.


Can fish oil supplements cause anxiety? If you're considering taking fish oil supplements, it's important to speak with your doctor first. They can help you weigh the risks and benefits of taking fish oil and decide if it's right for you.

Additionally, be sure to keep an eye out for any possible side effects, such as increased anxiety levels.

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