T Nation

Fish Oil and Bruising


After upping my fish oil to a higher dosage, I have noticed that I bruise much more now after my sparring sessions. I used to never bruise, but now I find that its fairly common to get a nice purple one.

Has anyone else noticed this?

My dosage is around 12g a day


well I haven't noticed any more bruising but i know too much fish oil will thin your blood out a lot, and 12g seems like a lot. I take 3 and i have had no problems


It could be coincidence. Not saying that it must be, but it could.

I have had the opposite experience but did not attribute it to fish oil, though fish oil consumption did increase at the same time. I used to bruise extremely easily but the last year or so have not.

I definitely expect a dietary change caused the change in ease and degree of bruising, but exactly what change, I don't know.


I've taken 12g for many periods, typically after injury (separated shoulder, AC joint problems, 2 MCL sprains), and I haven't ever noticed the bruising until just recently.

Bill what kind of diet changes would you expect to increase the ease of bruising?

I'm hoping its more of a coincidence as I hate NSAID's and i get quite a bit from the increased dosages of fish oil


This is not a coincidence. This totally happened to me. I started bruising very easily. I also never bruise and I wasn't doing anything as harsh as sparring. I started getting crazy bruises all over my upper thighs from dumbells.

You know when you place dumbells on your lap before you bench, incline, or shoulder press? Thats it! Especially when i would bring them down a little quick after doing a set. I had bruises all over my upper legs.

I thought it was kinda cool though. Showed that it was doing something. It actually hurt to the touch though. Like a bruise from actually getting hurt. Weird.


Less quercetin might increase the ease of bruising, so, less citrus consumption might do that.

But generally speakking I don't know.

In my own case the two dietary changes that I guessed might have been responsible for greatly decreased bruising were increased fish oil and increased flavonoids, polyphenols and so forth.

It could well be that in my case the fish oil had nothing to do with my decreased incidence of bruising and it was only increased phytonutritents; or it was something else entirely; or even that maybe increased fish oil would have worsened it some but other factors improved resistance even more.

Dunno. But anyway I now do not bruise easily whereas for a very long time I had.


citrus consumption.... never crossed my mind, but that has been down due to acid reflux....

I'll see if i can tolerate an increase in my citrus. I was hoping to not write off the miracle pill that is fish oil.

Thanks Bill


Hope it will help!

If you wind up being unable to tolerate the citrus, I'm pretty sure quercetin is available fairly cheaply as a supplement. I didn't take it specifically, but it's the flavonoid most known for efficacy in this regard.


I thought vitamin C deficiency is a possible cause of easy bruising? hence why citrus would help, or supp'ing with Vit. C


That is true also. You are right. In my own case it wasn't Vitamin C, but of course that says nothing about jjones' case and perhaps that could be it here.

Though frank deficiency of Vitamin C is less common than having low intake of quercetin or flavonoids in general, it does occur.

By the way, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, or zinc deficiency can cause it too.


I am pretty sure that bruising is a inflammatory response. This should not be increased by fish oil. Omega 3 greatest quality is it's anti inflammatory properties. With that said I do not personally understand the exact relationship bruising and thinning blood may have. Cause fish oil can thin your blood. I would try a lower dose and see if you bruise less. Trial and error. To Learn More About Omega 3 http://www.omega-3-for-your-health.com


It isn't Vitamin C, but I could definitely see it being quercetin.

Going to pick some up this afternoon. Thanks again.



A bruise is simply blood vessels that burst underneath the skins surface. What I have been told is that blood thinners allow the blood to get to the surface much easier. Therefore, in my case, when I get punched, the vessels rupture and a bruise appears.

What I was hoping to hear, was from other people that take larger than the "social norm" dose of fish oil. As the medical professional's that I have asked all freaked when I said I was taking such a "large" dose.

Thanks for the link though, there may be something else there to help explain if it isn't the citrus defiency.


Bruising is blood-related, but the actual change in thickness (viscosity) of the blood cannot be very great at all. In other words, it seems to me that the real questions are whether blood has a means to leak, how the body reacts to that leak, and how quickly any such leak is sealed up.

A slight change in the rate through which blood gets through a leak due to having slightly different viscosity would seem to me to be able to cause only very slight change in bruising.

Just seems that way to me, not proven.


I'd like to point out the little "Warning" written on a bottle of fish oil pills I've got lying around in my house:

"If you are facing surgery, have bleeding problems, or undergoing any other treatment which may affect the ability of blood to clot, consult your physician before taking this product".


My rugby strength coach includes in his programs that if we have a lot of bruises to reduce our fish oil consumption.


Jjones88, I train in martial arts also & bruise like a banana. I definitely see an increase in bruising when I increase my fish oil consumption. Also, I was talking to a surgeon who told me to stop all fish oil before surgery because it can increase bleeding.

He told me, "in plain english, the best way I can describe it is that it makes your blood cells more slippery - for lack of a better term - and therefore less likely to clot quickly."

I've also read that increasing iron & vitamin c helps, but I haven't seen much result from this. I'll try the citrus fruits now that Bill suggested it.

I can tell you, however, that the more you absorb blows in a certain area, say if you are absorbing a lot of roundhouse kicks to the thigh, that area will eventually toughen up & start to bruise less.

My teachers told me this would happen & I'm definitely seeing it - but I've been doing this style for almost 2 years & am just now seeing a major difference.


Miss Parker, thanks for the response. I was hoping to hear from another "fighter" with this interesting predicament.

I notice its under my eyes and around my cheeks, I'm a boxer so I take more shots in that area. Unfortunately I don't have 2 years for my face to toughen up.

I'm going to try the citrus, but it takes about 2 weeks to get the fish oil out of my system so it will take some time to see results.


Jjones88, don't despair! All the fighter girls I know think black eyes are hot.

Probably not so great for work, though.


36g a day here

i have found the exact opposite

i can hit a bone or joint hard on some surface and wake up the next day with no visible bruising and no soreness/pain

bruising is promoted by inflammation so i don't see why fish oil would promote it as fish oil causes the opposite