T Nation

Fish Oil and Blood Clotting

I was wondering if anyone else has this problem. I get nose bleeds often, especially when i have a high fish oil intake (20g daily). I know fish oil thins out your blood, but is there any way to counteract the bloods low clotting ability and keep fish oil intake high?

Hi, BladeRunner. EPA & DHA have great health benefits, but one of the downsides is prolonged bleeding times. There is epidemiological evidence to this affect in Eskimos and those Japanese found eating a diet rich in fish. Prolonged bleeding is found in SOME Eskimos and Japanese, but not all. You’ll just have to experiment with how much your body can handle. Do you have the same problem with aspirin?

Fish oil may thin the blood a little, but it primarily affects the stickiness of the platelets. It make the platelets less likely to aggregate and clot - this is great for arterial function as it helps prevent minor endothelial irritations from leading into larger plaques, but it will compromise your ability to clot everywhere else also.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good suggestions for you other than to cut back your fish oil intake a bit until you stop getting nose bleeds and then maintain that level.

Secondly, is this the only time that you get nose bleeds? Nose bleeds are associated with a range of respiratory and even non-respiratory issues, so that is something to consider.

Just a bit off topic, however interesting and related to nose bleeds. I used to get nose bleeds on a regular basis (particularly in hot weather) but oterwise for no apparent reason. After i had my spleen removed all my nose bleeds stoped. Go figure??

I have had a history of nose bleeds, it just is more frequent with high fish oil intake. Could high testosterone levels cause nose bleeds?

From the “You Learn Something New Everyday” File. The term “eskimo” is slang, and strongly disliked by the people properly known as “Inuit”. Just a little tidbit many people never knew.

Oh, dear. A little tidbit I never knew. I guess you can tell I’ve never been to Alaska. (grin) Twon’t happen again.

20gs a day is a high dose. Take into consideration your training, diet, and current body fat and determine if you think that a lowere dose would be just as effective. I dont have this info about you but you may want to try 6gs a day, works well to me. Remember that “more is better” doesnt apply to everything. And Biotest is putting out EFAs, which may solve your problem completely.

I found a concentrated fish oil sup at Wal-Mart. Spring Valley. It has 46% greater epa/dha then normal fish oil caps. The increase is not a balanced increase though. It is 200 mg & 240 mg if I remember right. (Sorry I don’t have the bottle in front of me right now. Ran out and haven’t been able to get more yet.)


You should be able to drop 6 caps daily and still get enough epa/dha. Personally I am not sure if the change in the ratio is important, but I doubt it.