T Nation

Fish Oil Issues: Blood Thinning

My question is if you should only take fish oil as prescribed by a doctor, or is the amount that it thins your blood by negligible?

(At the hospital near where I live, they don’t allow patients who have taken any sort of blood thinners to have surgery within a week of taking them.)

Do the benefits of fish oil outweigh the risks (If these have any credence at all-they are all by ear) for someone under 20?

If you don’t have the medical issue described, then there is no health risk to fish oils in any reasonable quantity. (No recommendation I’ve seen yet for sports or health use of fish oils has been an unreasonable quantity, so don’t worry about given recommendations in that regard.)

In the research I have seen, there’s been little increase in bleeding times even with high doses of fish oil.

[quote]andersons wrote:
In the research I have seen, there’s been little increase in bleeding times even with high doses of fish oil. [/quote]

Got any links to help prove it to doubters (Mainly my parents?)

The blood thining effects are something to consider if you have clotting issues,are taking anticoagulants, or are a hemopheliac. Outside of those extreme conditions the benefits far outweigh the risk and the thinning effect is pretty minimal.

[quote]laroyal wrote:
The blood thining effects are something to consider if you have clotting issues,are taking anticoagulants, or are a hemopheliac. Outside of those extreme conditions the benefits far outweigh the risk and the thinning effect is pretty minimal. [/quote]

That seems to be the general consensus. Thanks again for all the perspectives/personal experience.

[quote]RebornTN wrote:
andersons wrote:
In the research I have seen, there’s been little increase in bleeding times even with high doses of fish oil.

Got any links to help prove it to doubters (Mainly my parents?)
[/quote]

Let me get this straight. Your parents don’t want you to take fish oil as a general supplement because the local hospital says not to take it for a couple weeks before a SURGERY?

Surgery is a special circumstance with special dangers that have NOTHING to do with your health in everyday life. The rationale for avoiding fish oil before surgery is that since fish oil can reduce platelet aggregation, it might prolong bleeding times. Prolonged bleeding time is, as you can imagine, not good during surgery.

However, this effect of fish oil was based on speculation, not empirical data, and the data I have seen showed no actual increase in bleeding times. But, of course, once precautions work their way into a protocol, they tend to stick regardless of their usefulness. (How much danger would we really be in if we could still take water bottles on the plane?)

I am not claiming to be the final word on fish oil before surgery. I would have to do some more digging through the literature, which takes time and effort that I’m not going to do right now. To the best of my memory, it would not be a problem even for surgery, but then again, it is not a big deal to stop taking fish oil for a couple weeks if you have a surgery planned. If I had a surgery coming up, and my doctor told me to stop the fish oil, I would probably lay off the fish oil rather than try to argue the point.

The August 2008 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, which should be available at your local library, had a pretty good article about the health benefits of fish oil, with a scientist from Harvard expressing that pretty much everyone should be taking it. The OmegaRx Zone by Sears is another source. Your parents probably need the stuff more than you do.

It’s kind of mind-boggling to me, like here I have this stupid punk kid for a neighbor, drinking his brains out night after night and disturbing everybody’s sleep, and his parents obviously can’t keep him from doing that, and here’s this other kid whose parents don’t want him to take fish oil…

Anyway, check those 2 sources - they’re not exactly hardcore bodybuilding publications; then use the info to try to convince your parents that THEY should be taking fish oil. That’s a little trick I learned in life: if you really want something, push for something more than what you want, and it’s easier to get them to settle for what you actually wanted in the first place. :slight_smile:

[quote]andersons wrote:
Let me get this straight. Your parents don’t want you to take fish oil as a general supplement because the local hospital says not to take it for a couple weeks before a SURGERY?

Surgery is a special circumstance with special dangers that have NOTHING to do with your health in everyday life. The rationale for avoiding fish oil before surgery is that since fish oil can reduce platelet aggregation, it might prolong bleeding times. Prolonged bleeding time is, as you can imagine, not good during surgery.

However, this effect of fish oil was based on speculation, not empirical data, and the data I have seen showed no actual increase in bleeding times. But, of course, once precautions work their way into a protocol, they tend to stick regardless of their usefulness. (How much danger would we really be in if we could still take water bottles on the plane?)

I am not claiming to be the final word on fish oil before surgery. I would have to do some more digging through the literature, which takes time and effort that I’m not going to do right now. To the best of my memory, it would not be a problem even for surgery, but then again, it is not a big deal to stop taking fish oil for a couple weeks if you have a surgery planned. If I had a surgery coming up, and my doctor told me to stop the fish oil, I would probably lay off the fish oil rather than try to argue the point.

The August 2008 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, which should be available at your local library, had a pretty good article about the health benefits of fish oil, with a scientist from Harvard expressing that pretty much everyone should be taking it. The OmegaRx Zone by Sears is another source. Your parents probably need the stuff more than you do.

It’s kind of mind-boggling to me, like here I have this stupid punk kid for a neighbor, drinking his brains out night after night and disturbing everybody’s sleep, and his parents obviously can’t keep him from doing that, and here’s this other kid whose parents don’t want him to take fish oil…

Anyway, check those 2 sources - they’re not exactly hardcore bodybuilding publications; then use the info to try to convince your parents that THEY should be taking fish oil. That’s a little trick I learned in life: if you really want something, push for something more than what you want, and it’s easier to get them to settle for what you actually wanted in the first place. :slight_smile:

[/quote]
Thank’s for that, I’ll be sure to look into them. My mom in particular is a major worry-wart/overprotective/ <<insert anything that would apply to a mom wanting to make her teenage son’s life shit>>.

Her excuse was “what if you got in an accident and needed surgery, you wouldn’t be able to have it because you were taking fish oil!”

You have to know how to choose your battles. Fish oils for a teenager… You know, fish oil isn’t some magic pill. You won’t notice anything by taking it. I take it everyday along with a baby aspirin cause I’m 45 and want to keep my blood thin. My Dr. is on board with that.

Don’t get caught up in the supplement game. If I was a teenager, and knew what I know now, I’d make sure my mom had a lot of good wholesome bodybuilding food for me to eat. That is way more important than fish oil pills. It’s better to eat salmon than to take fish oil pills.

It’s your mom’s job to to be worry wart.

For a healthy person under 20 I don’t see any benefit or risk of taking fish oil. And, that webpage you linked is just a sales page for supplements. You need to find better unbiased sources of reference.

[quote]skw wrote:
You have to know how to choose your battles. Fish oils for a teenager… You know, fish oil isn’t some magic pill. You won’t notice anything by taking it. I take it everyday along with a baby aspirin cause I’m 45 and want to keep my blood thin. My Dr. is on board with that.

Don’t get caught up in the supplement game. If I was a teenager, and knew what I know now, I’d make sure my mom had a lot of good wholesome bodybuilding food for me to eat. That is way more important than fish oil pills. It’s better to eat salmon than to take fish oil pills.

It’s your mom’s job to to be worry wart.

For a healthy person under 20 I don’t see any benefit or risk of taking fish oil. And, that webpage you linked is just a sales page for supplements. You need to find better unbiased sources of reference. [/quote]

Live and learn eh?

[quote]RebornTN wrote:

Thank’s for that, I’ll be sure to look into them. My mom in particular is a major worry-wart/overprotective/ <<insert anything that would apply to a mom wanting to make her teenage son’s life shit>>.

Her excuse was “what if you got in an accident and needed surgery, you wouldn’t be able to have it because you were taking fish oil!”[/quote]

Ha! I knew it…well, if you got into an accident and needed surgery, the fish oil would be the least of your worries.

On the other hand, I think that the most likely cause of death for your age group is in accidents, so at least your mom’s not being that irrational.

And at least your mom cares about you. There are much worse things. :slight_smile:

[quote]andersons wrote:
RebornTN wrote:

Thank’s for that, I’ll be sure to look into them. My mom in particular is a major worry-wart/overprotective/ <<insert anything that would apply to a mom wanting to make her teenage son’s life shit>>.

Her excuse was “what if you got in an accident and needed surgery, you wouldn’t be able to have it because you were taking fish oil!”

Ha! I knew it…well, if you got into an accident and needed surgery, the fish oil would be the least of your worries.

On the other hand, I think that the most likely cause of death for your age group is in accidents, so at least your mom’s not being that irrational.

And at least your mom cares about you. There are much worse things. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I suppose… lol

Still a pain in the ass at times

I’ll tell ya what, the absence of fish oil in your diet is NOT holding your back. Think of it like the SPRINKLES of the icing, of the cake. Minutia.

Just have a can of sardines per day if you want fish oil. Mom probably won’t object to that.

I don’t know for a fact but more likely the expensive brands (not because they’re expensive) that, on reading the labels, are from cold-water countries have higher EFA content than those from cheaper brands such as Goya, caught in warmer waters. On the other hand, since one can eat twice as much Goya sardines for the same price, the cost per gram of EPA’s may be about the same.

But the cold-water fish are the surer bet for EFA content.

[quote]msd0060 wrote:
I’ll tell ya what, the absence of fish oil in your diet is NOT holding your back. Think of it like the SPRINKLES of the icing, of the cake. Minutia. [/quote]

Thanks.