Fish Oil: With Food or Empty Stomach?

Should you eat fish oil pills with meals or on an empty stomach? Which is better?

Quick quiz:

Which of these foods help increase fish oil absorption?

  1. Fat-free yogurt and glass of orange juice
  2. Breakfast cereal with skim milk
  3. Scrambled eggs and bacon
  4. Fruit cup with granola

The answer is: scrambled eggs and bacon.


Eating fish oil supplements with meals that contain fat is MUCH better for absorption. More of the Omega-3 gets into your ‘system’ and more stays there over time when you eat your fish oil pills with food.

Some foods helps absorption better than others.

The fat present in your food is what helps Omega-3 get absorbed into your body.

Many of you probably are on low-fat diets, so keep this in mind. Taking your fish oil pills with just fruits or skim milk is wasting a lot of Omega-3.

New Prescription Fish Oil and Facts About Fats

In an recent study conducted by Om Thera Pharmaceuticals, they compared the absorption of prescription fish oil (Lovaza) when taken with a high-fat versus low-fat diet.

The results showed that there is, not two or three-fold increase when eaten with fatty foods, but almost EIGHT-FOLD increase in absorption of Omega-3 when Lovaza pills are eaten with a big hearty meal that contains fat.

‘Waitaminit!’ you say, ‘It’s eating fat that got me into all this trouble in the first place! Now you tell me to eat more fat so the fish oil can get absorbed? You’re nuts!

Umm, yeah, I am a little nuts. But it’s hard to argue with facts. And the facts say, no, it’s not the fats that got you into trouble. It’s the juices, sodas, donuts, beer, bagel, chips, whole wheat bread and pasta. What’s nuts is that most doctors won’t tell you this!

Besides, you don’t have to eat any of that scary fats like trans fat or Omega-6-rich oils like corn oil or soy bean (vegetable) oils or canola oil. If you’re afraid of fats, just stick with olive oil. And pour it on generously.

Olive oil is a fat that most people, even nutritionists and doctors, can agree on. So go ahead, be generous with olive oil.

Don’t be afraid of fat – not all fats are bad for you.

The right kind of fat (and fewer donuts) would have kept you out of trouble.

The oils in your foods will help the fish oil get absorbed better, especially EPA Omega-3, the primary component in OmegaVia. EPA absorption is very dependent on the amount of oils and fats. DHA is a tiny bit less so.

What About Different Types of Fish Oil?

Occasionally, you’ll hear fish oil marketers say ‘Ours is the best because it is the best absorbed triglyceride form.’ They are partially correct. But all forms of fish oil, be it the triglyceride form, reconstituted triglyceride form, phospholipid form, ethyl ester form, free fatty acid, they all are better absorbed when eaten with a big, heavy meal that contains lots of oils and fat.

Just keep it simple: find a pharmaceutical grade fish oil pill with the most Omega-3 you can afford and eat with with a healthy, fatty meal. And you’re done.

Why Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil?

Omega-3 content of pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements
Well, highly purified fish oils (pharmaceutical grade) show greater reduction in triglyceride and VLDL (the bad cholesterol) than regular fish oils with lower Omega-3 content. Pharma-grade fish oil also show higher levels of EPA and DHA in serum phospholipids.

Science Alert!

Omega-3 EPA and DHA in ethyl esters and triacylglycerols (TAGs) form, after you eat them, go through a process called hyrolysis via gastric lipase enzyme in the stomach.

chyclomicrons, triglycerides and fish oil

This process breaks down the Omega-3 into monoglycerides and free fatty acids. Once this gets into the small intestines, in cells that line the small intestines called enterocytes, another step called re-acylation takes place. This recreates triacylglycerols (TAGs). The TAGs are then assembled with phospholipids, cholesterol and apoproteins to form chylomicrons.

Stick me me now! Science 101 is almost done.

These chylomicrons are fat-protein combo molecules. Their job is to mop up fat from the intestines to other part of the body. Chylomicrons are then released into the lymphatic system to transport to the whole body. Once in circulation, the chylomicrons are broken down by lipoprotein lipase, and EPA and DHA Omega-3 are transported by the circulation to various tissues of the body where they are used mainly for the synthesis of phospholipids.

This is also how Omega-3s help reduce your triglyceride levels. Omega-3 speeds up the triglyceride-mopping effect of chylomicrons.

Exactly how or why eating fish or fish oil provides this benefit is not yet clear.

More on how fish oil reduces triglycerides here.

Oh, in case science nerds are preparing to shoot me hate mail, yes, EPA and DHA Omega-3 are also absorbed preduodenally and via the portal vein to the liver. And these absorption routes are not mutually exclusive. So there! Whew!


This website is for your education and general health information only. The ideas, opinions and suggestions contained on this website are not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your doctor for any health condition or problem. Users of this website should not rely on information provided on this website for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician. Please do not start or stop any medications without consulting with your doctor. We neither encourage you to do so, nor can we be held responsible for the fall out of failing to seek the counsel of a medical health practitioner.

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Vin Kutty
Vin Kutty, MS, is co-founder of Innovix Pharma. He is a nutritionist, author, and Omega-3 expert with 20 years of experience.


Join the Conversation

  1. If consuming a fatty meal helps the absorption of the Omega-3 fatty acids, then why wouldn’t you recommend using the fish pills with 70% built in fish fat?

    • Hi Brennan – great question!

      You need a LOT of fat to help improve Omega-3 absorption. Like as much fat as in a few eggs or a steak or a tablespoon of olive oil. The little bit of non-Omega-3 fat in a 30% Omega-3 fish oil pill will not help that much. You’re still much better off taking a more concentrated fish oil on an empty stomach than a low-concentrate fish oil.

      – Vin Kutty

  2. Hi Vin Kutty

    I have high triglycerides 451. My doctor told me to take 2000 mg Fish Oil-Omega 3 twice a day a total of 4000 mg a day ,I take them with food always . Now i’m wondering if i’m doing the right thing ?

    • Hi Mari – your doctor said ‘fish oil’ but meant ‘Omega-3. You need 4000 mg of Omega-3 per day. If you buy regular fish oil, 4000 mg of fish oil would only give you about 1200 mg of Omega-3. Get a pharmaceutical grade fish oil product and take it with meals. Did you doctor tell you stop drinking soda and juice? If not, he/she should have. I’d go one step beyond that and say remove all processed foods and most grains as well from your diet.

  3. I have been crushing your enteric coated capsules in my mouth while chewing on food because I have problems swallowing the capsules. I have had no GI problems and no problems tolerating the oil.

    Does consuming the fish oil this way rather than swallowing the capsules whole cause the fish oil to be destroyed or weakened by stomach juices? Will the oil be absorbed in the intestine as well as if the capsule are taken whole?

    • Hi Edward – the oil will be absorbed without any issues. Enteric coated pills are absorbed in the intestines. In you case, the oil will be absorbed in both the stomach and the intestines. I see no issues.

      You may be interested in OmegaVia Mini that we’re introducing in July/August 2013 – these are tiny pills with even more concentrated levels of EPA. Stay tuned.

  4. I’ve been reading about enteric coated fish oils some say its better absorbed others say not, also is it better to spread out dosages or take them all at once

    • Hi Terry – we get this question often. Here is some info that we posted on after a customer posted a related question there:

      (yes, OK to take it all at once, as long as it is with a meal)

      There is quite a bit of confusion about enteric coating and fish oils. We’ll try to quickly address some of them.

      Is enteric coating necessary for fish oils? No.

      Virtually everyone can digest fats and Omega-3 fatty acids easily, even those who have burping issues. The two main reasons why fish oil supplements are enteric coated are:
      To prevent odor, burping and reflux. Just because you burp it up does not mean you are not getting the benefits of Omega-3 – you are. The burping and odor become an inconvenience and socially awkward, so people stop taking the supplements. This is the #1 complaint people have about fish oil and this safe and natural technology eliminates the problem.
      Improved absorption. This is not as thoroughly researched as we’d like. However, the evidence that exists is very promising and in favor of enteric coating. The claims of improved absorption are based on some papers on Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis. In these studies, enteric coated capsules provided significant benefits, whereas non-enteric coated ones did not. It is important to keep in mind that Crohn’s and colitis are inflammatory conditions and curbing inflammation is one of the key reasons why people take Omega-3. There is some conjecture on why enteric coating provided significant benefits. We don’t know the answers yet, but it is possible that a greater amount of Omega-3 gets to the intestines, unharmed by harsh stomach acids. Subsequently, providing greater reduction in inflammation. Similar studies have not been conducted on other chronic diseases.
      Omega-3 fatty acids are absorbed well in both the stomach and upper intestines. Preventing the absorption of Omega-3 in the stomach by enteric coating does not mean that the Omega-3 is not absorbed in the intestines. Enteric coating dissolves and the contents of the capsule are exposed to the intestines within 10 to 15 minutes of exiting the stomach and reaching the duodenum in the upper intestine. It is normal for Omega-3 to be absorbed in the upper intestines, as this is where most of the enzymatic digestion takes place. The enzyme needed for Omega-3 digestion is called pancreatic lipase. There is some fatty acid absorption in the stomach but most of the it occurs in the small intestines because that’s where pancreatic lipase is secreted into.

      Comparing alcohol, sugar and fatty acid absorption makes the point a little clearer: if you drink a shot of tequila, the alcohol will be absorbed in the lining of your mouth, throat and stomach. Even if you spit out the tequila, a lot of it will be absorbed. That’s why alcohol levels in blood peaks so quickly and you feel it.

      It takes about an hour or two for glucose since a lot of it is absorbed in the stomach. This is why diabetics do post-prandial blood glucose measure an hour or two after meals.

      Not so with fatty acids. If you eat some salmon, it could take 5 to 6 hours before your blood Omega-3 levels peak. Why the big delay compared to alcohol? That’s because fatty acids are not absorbed in the mouth and only a little of it is absorbed in the stomach. The stomach is important for protein digestion, but not as important for fatty acids. Omega-3s start their absorption in the stomach, but since Omega-3s require an enzyme that is mostly found in the upper intestines, the salmon has to get to the intestines before most of it is absorbed. This process takes time – that’s why blood levels of Omega-3 peaks so long after consumption. If Omega-3s are only absorbed in the stomach, you would see a peak in blood levels much sooner than 5 to 6 hours. It only takes about 45 minutes to get to peak alcohol levels.

      The point is, using enteric coating on fish oil supplements does not inhibit absorption and may actually aid in absorption by delivering Omega-3s to where pancreatic lipase enzymes are present. This may be why the studies conducted on inflammatory conditions showed better outcomes with enteric coating.

      We hope this answers some of your questions.

  5. Hi Vin,

    I usually take my O-3 in the morning with whole grain Cheerios which has 2 gr total fat/cup and unsweetened coconut milk with 5 gr total fat/cup. Is this enough to help with 1,000mg O-3 absorption ?

    Also, my husband sometimes forgets to take his O-3 with dinner. How long after a meal is it still OK to take O-3 so there’s still enough fat from the meal in the system for absorption ? What about taking O-3 right before a meal ? Example, he takes a pill but then couldn’t eat for another 15, 30 minutes. Will this be considered taking O-3 on an empty stomach ?



    • Hi DPK – I’m having a hard time remembering your questions because my brain came to a screeching halt at ‘whole grain cheerios’! πŸ™‚

      But, yes, 7 grams of fats will help with Omega-3 absorption. More would be better. May be toss the grain and try two eggs instead.

      You can still take the pill an hour or so after the meal. If you forget, no big deal – just take it with the next meal. 30 mins before a meal is probably too early because these pills often break up in 10-15 minutes after entering your stomach.

  6. Vin,

    I knew you would be shaking your head at the whole grain Cheerios πŸ™‚ I do eat eggs, just not everyday.

    I’d like your thoughts on Ceylon cinnamon, not Cassia because of the high level of Coumarin, to lower high blood pressure. Does it work and by what mechanism ?



    • I don’t know. Have not read much on cinnamon and blood pressure. Cutting back on grains will help a whole lot more…that I know.

  7. Hi Vin,

    Great blog! I have a couple of questions about EPA.

    I’m 36 years old and have been taking a concentrated form (1 gram Omega 3, of which EPA = 400mg and DHA = 100mg) that I get from my local pharmacy — it’s their own brand, made by a private supplements label called Reliance). It’s molecularly distilled and has done wonders for my ADHD symptoms, nervous tics, panic attacks and OCD. I feel more calm and focused then ever, and can concentrate for hours on end, which is totally new for me. And this after trying both prescription drugs and supplements over the years. It’s changed my life completely.

    The dosage I was originally taking was 2 gel capsules, twice a day (so 1,600 mg EPA total per day) but I’ve recently upped it to 2 capsules three times a day (so 2,400 mg EPA total per day) as I’ve seen a lot on this blog and elsewhere about 4 grams per day being optimum. So I have a few questions…

    1. How much is too much? Should I increase to 4 grams a day for optimum benefits?

    2. I can literally feel it wear off when I miss a dose or two. How long does EPA stay in the brain / bloodstream? How long does it take to be absorbed? Should I be taking it 3 times a day rather than twice a day?

    3. I’m taking my doses with fatty meals, mostly containing lots of olive oil. Are there any other tips for better absorption?

    4. The brand I use says it’s molecularly distilled. Is that enough to guarantee low toxins and PCBs?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Dave – great questions.

      4 grams is not optimum. Optimum would be 1 or 2 grams. If you optimize your diet, you may not even need Omega-3 supplementation. The 4 grams reference is the maximum that I recommend…and that’s mostly for high triglyceride, a condition resulting from excess sugar and grains in the diet.

      EPA stays in your body for a few days. DHA sticks around in the brain for a couple of years. EPA absorption does not take long, as little as 4-6 hours. It does not make much difference if you take it once a day or twice, as long as you are taking it with meals, you are OK.

      No way to know if your product has toxins, unless you can view a third-party lab test results, like IFOS Consumer Report.

  8. Thanks Vin, really helpful reply.

    So just to clarify.. Optimum dose is 1 or 2 grams of Omega3 fish oil in total? (My capsules contain 1g oil of which 600mg is EPA/DHA.) Or 1-2g of EPA max per day?

    I tried the OmegaVia EPA 500 as I know it’s a highly purified product and therefore safer for long term use, but for some reason it didn’t work quite as well for me. Any suggestions why? I wondered whether it might be to do with the enteric coating, or the absence of even a small amount of DHA. Or perhaps the excess fish oil in my current supplement helps absorption? Happy to give it another go if I can figure out what I was doing wrong. Maybe extra olive oil with each dose!

    You’re right, by the way. Krill oil was not effective at all for me. I don’t buy the whole “lower doses for phospholipids” theory.

    My diet is excellent (raw kale, broccoli, whole grains, quinoa, Alaskan salmon, avocados, nuts, fruit juices, etc.) I also take a daily B-complex, zinc picolinate, magnesium and D3. Things have improved VASTLY over the past 6 months. It’s extraordinary. Any other tips? My main issues have been ADHD, nervous tics and anxiety attacks.


    • Hi Dave – optimum dose is 1 to 2 grams of Omega-3. Not 1 to 2 grams of fish oil. Notice the difference. Keep your EPA under 2 grams. If you find that you need more to notice an effect, then I’d look at your diet. You’re probably too high in Omega-6, sugar and refined flour – the three villains of modern diet.

      Not sure why EPA 500 did not work for you. It can’t be the lack of DHA because DHA that you take today will stick around for a couple of years and if you had been taking an EPA + DHA supplement before trying EPA 500, you had plenty of DHA. Enteric coating only prevents the pill from dissolving in the stomach. That won’t matter because virtually all Omega-3 gets absorbed in the small intestines and not the stomach. If you took EPA 500 with meals, it should be absorbed well. A teaspoon of olive oil (or simply eating a meal with lots of fat) helps.

      Your diet contains some excellent foods, but it is not what I would consider excellent. I would completely nix the whole grains – there is nothing healthy about whole grains that you can’t get from vegetables. I’d add some seaweed to counter the mild goitrogenic effects of kale and broccoli, especially if that’s a big part of your diet. Wild salmon, avocados and nuts are fantastic. I’d nix the fruit juices too – repalce it with dark colored berries. If you’re not a pescatarian, think about incorporating pastured egg yolks and (gasp!) liver from grass-fed lamb or beef. Consider adding more starchy tubers like potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro etc. These feed your probiotics and they play a huge role in mood balance. Focus on fixing and healing the gut – that’s where more happy mood chemicals are secreted. Gluten in wheat and poor probiotic status makes it very hard to be happy and balanced as your body was meant to be. Consider taking Bob Red Mill Unmodified Potato starch – half teaspoon a day at first and over a month or so, work up to 1 or 2 tablespoons – this will feed your gut flora.

  9. Gosh, this is so helpful Vin. Thank you.

    I’ll give the OmegaVia EPA 500 another go when I finish my current bottle and will make sure I’m taking it with enough olive oil / healthy fats.

    I didn’t realise the whole grains weren’t so great. I’ve been sticking to low GI grains like rye, barley, brown/wild rice, oats, but will switch to vegetables if you think that’s better. I was also steering clear of potatoes because I was afraid of an insulin spike from the high GI, though I did read somewhere that (ironically) sweet potatoes have a lower GI. Doesn’t the starch in potatoes convert to sugar too quickly?

    I currently take a probiotic and enzyme supplement and eat lots of live organic yogurt. Is this good?

    What’s so special about the egg yolk? I make fresh mayonnaise regularly (recipe = 1 raw organic egg yolk, 1 clove of garlic and lots of extra virgin olive oil).

    I drink pure pomegranate juice (not from concentrate) and fresh grapefruit juice for the Vitamin C. Are you saying I should switch to something like cranberry for the Vit C instead? What’s in the “dark berries” and is grapefruit too sweet? I’ll miss that one!

    I eat toasted seaweed snacks, but not sure if the iodine content is as high as with raw seaweed. Should I consider am iodine supplement? What else is good for thyroid support? Chromium perhaps?

    Last question… I eat lots of raw / sprouted pumpkin seeds. Are they high in Omega 6?

    Thanks again! Really appreciate it.

    • Hi Dave – yes, grains, whole or not, come with a lot of baggage. Gluten is the tip of the iceberg. If you have insulin resistance, prediabetes or diabetes, then grains will push you over the edge and likely potato will as well. Sweet potatoes are better. Between potatoes and grains, I’d go with potatoes ANY DAY!

      Probiotic supplements are OK, but it’s what you EAT (soluble fiber from veggies, fruits, nuts and beans) that determines how much they thrive in your gut. Homemade yogurt is OK if you tolerate dairy. Look for a blog coming up in a week or so on this website.

      Egg yolks and liver are nature’s multivitamins. Both are at the top of my list of most nutrient dense foods. Actually they are a lot more! Eggs have a lot of nutrients that you’ll never see in multivitamins. Aim for 1 egg yolk per day.

      Eat pomegranates and grapefruits. Skip the juice – juices are just sodas with a halo. You’ll get just as much or more C plus a whole lot more nutrients and less of a sugar spike. Dark berries have a lot of antioxidants, polyphenols, anthocyanins yet they are low in sugar.

      If you eat seaweed snack, that’s great, a little more may be in order. If you decide to supplement, go with LifeExtension’s Sea Iodine.

      Yes, all nuts and seeds are high in Omega-6, but if you sprout them, the omega ratios change quickly. Sprouted grains and seeds are OK.

  10. Wow, sounds like I thought I was eating a more perfect diet than I was. Gonna need to make some changes. I’ll have an egg yolk a day and start buying sprouted pumpkin seeds instead of fresh. Am sad to see the grapefruit juice go! If I squeeze it myself will that make any difference?

    Last few questions just so I’m clear, then I’ll put the diet to the test…

    1. Are there ANY gluten-free grains that are ok for me? I like cereal in the mornings but could stick to steel cut oats for breakfast and wild quinoa for slow-burn energy to see me through the day. Otherwise it’s just beans and vegetables from dawn till dusk. πŸ˜‰

    2. Will Slippery Elm and L-Glutamine help repair my gut? I assume you’re talking about Leaky Gut inflammation?

    3. What teas do you recommend? I have an excellent apothecary near me and have been experimenting with ginkgo, passionflower, hawthorn, peppermint, rhodiola, holy basil, lemon balm, etc.

    4. For dessert, am I ok with a little (85% cocoa) raw chocolate?

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    • Hi Dave –

      Juices of any kind are just coca-cola with a halo.

      As far as gluten free grains, you can try small quantities of white rice if you are not pre-diabetic or insulin resistance (most of us, sadly, are!)

      Slippery elm and glutamine could help, but you will need to stop the harm being done to your gut with gluten and fructose from the juices. Gut will not heal overnight – it is a somewhat slow process. Effect of gluten sticks around for a couple of months.

      Teas – I’m a bit out of my element here, but green tea of any kind early in the day should be fine. Not sure about others.

      Yes, 85% cocoa chocolate is fine, but don’t take it late in the day or evenings since there is theobromine and some caffeine in it.

  11. i’m taking omega-3 500mg DHA, i take them with empty stomach or a little food such as slice of bread, when i take those, my head feel light and my brain stimulated like i’m drinking a coffee, and also, less fatigue and sleepy as usual, and i’m less yawn compared before i take them, it helps me wake up earlier in the morning and my anxiety also wears off a bit, it is also overcome my bad mood, is it normal? could you explain it?

    • Hi Zakir – I think your symptoms are probably unrelated to your supplement use. To be safe, get a doctor’s opinion.

  12. “Dr. Andrew Stoll, a Harvard psychiatrist, found that fish oil capsules helped people with bipolar disorder, or manic depression, who go through periods of extreme highs and lows. He says, “The striking difference in relapse rates and response appeared to be highly clinically significant.” Stoll suggests the omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil may slow down neurons in your brain, much like the drug Lithium, which is used to treat manic depression. ”
    my opinion: i think the statement seems true, bcoz i can feel less anxiety and less down mood. but i will wait until the supplement running out to make conclusion. perhaps those effect just placebo.
    Eat and Heal by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, page 146

  13. Greetings Vin!

    I’ve learned so much about omega 3 from your blog. I appreciate your non biased approach. Thanks for sharing your knowledge .

    I wanted to ask, in reference to better absorption, is it ok to take omega 3 with coconut oil (versus olive oil)?

    Also what is the ratio quantity? How much oil do I need to take with the omega 3? Or can I just eat a meal prepared with coconut/olive oil.

    Again, thanks so much for all the great info on omega 3!!

    • Hi Sunshine – yes, of course, coconut oil is great and you can certainly take it with fish oil. There is no ratio required – just take the Omega-3 with a meal. Keep it simple.

  14. Hi, great article. I’m new to this omega 3 and starting to read many articles including yours. I’m wondering how much olive oil (in Milliliters maybe?) i have to take when i take omega 3 supplement?

    thanks and more power.

    • Hi Ronald – if you take your Omega-3 with a meal, you won’t need to measure specific amount of olive oil. This approach does not make sense to me. But if you must, a teaspoon of olive oil together with the fish oil will help.

  15. I’m just getting into the fish oil supplementation and found this site (which is the best out there) and want to find a good bang for the buck olive oil to add to my diet. When I go to the store the selection and origin of oils is overwhelming. Please advise your preferred brand and type of olive oil, and also if you sell one I’ll buy it. I don’t mind spending the money as long as its well spent. Thank you.

    • Hi Mike – I use Bertolli Extra Light olive oil. I’m getting the product analyzed to see exactly what’s in it. It seems to be good…

  16. Thanks Vin, so you don’t use the extra virgin oil? I was under the impression it was the best. Also is there a benefit to the Extra Light?

    • Hi Mike – nothing wrong with extra virgin olive oil. Actually it’s very healthy and can be used with salads. I find it too strong to cook with and it does not hold up to heat very well. The ‘extra light’ oils have less flavor and hold up to heat a little better.

  17. Hi, Vin.
    I’ve been taking Omega-3 with 400mg of EPA and 300mg of DHA daily (or the other way around) after eating a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. I’ve been reading the comments and responses and noticed a lot of your responses to not eat any more grains because there’s not enough fat in there to help absorb the Omega-3 into our system. Do I only increase the fat when I take Omega-3 or do I need to increase the fat in all my meals each day? Sorry, I’m just a little confused. Thanks!

    • Hi Gabe – you have completely misunderstood me. I tell people to avoid grains (including oats) because they increase blood glucose and insulin, causing an increase in triglcyerides and driving fat storage and obesity. That grains contains some ‘anti-nutrients’ and are absent in healthy fats is secondary. I think increasing the amount of healthy fats and protein in all your meals, regardless of whether you’re taking Omega-3 or not, and decreasing grains is a good start.

  18. “nothing wrong with extra virgin olive oil. Actually it’s very healthy and can be used with salads. I find it too strong to cook with and it does not hold up to heat very well. The β€˜extra light’ oils have less flavor and hold up to heat a little better.”
    Vin, I don’t fry anything, I want to top already prepared foods with olive oil. If you think this is a good idea please advise on which type to use.

    • Hi Mike – if you’re not frying, then any kind of olive oil will do. Try any of the extra virgin olive oils – I don’t have specific brand recommendations yet.

  19. I appreciate your article.
    This information is helpful enough, but
    can you leave some titles of the exact studies
    (that found omega 3 was absorbed 8 times better along with other fats
    than it was in the absence of them) ?

  20. can i take o3 fish oil capsules after 10 min of meal.because with meal i do not like to drink water .could u please tell me about this.can i take it with hot milk .

  21. I suffer from high cholesterol LDL 4.81 and low HDL at 1.39. I am 58 years old. I recently had a minor stroke (TIA).
    My question is what should I eat with oily fish such as Salmon?
    And what should I avoid eating with oily fish?

    • Hi Karl – eat lots of non-starchy vegetables, some meats, eggs, nuts and a little bit of fruit. DO NOT drink any beverage with calories or anything sweet. DO NOT eat anything with sugar or flour. In other words, eat things that were alive a couple of days ago. This is harder than it sounds, but this is the way the human body was meant to be fed.

  22. Hi Vin… Awesome 47 and had a blood test done.. LDL were low,Cholesterol 149 and TG 530?? Was it the tylenol i took for 6 days in a row for my back pains? Liver was Good,Pancreas was good to..I am.on Niacin now once per night..Fish oil 3,000 MG 5X Certified which i dont know how many to take..Since oct 7th 14 i have eaten Unsalted sunflowernseeds,Salmon,Sardines in extra virgin olive oil,Water 6 times a day 16 Oz bottles,Tuna fish three times a week with chopped onion,tomato and low fat mayo or miracle whip,Whole wheat bread,Mango juice,Chedder cheese,Dark chocolate,Lettuce with garlic dressing,No salt potato chips..And i.walk 30 minutes in.two directions..I TG levels down by 12-14-14 next blood test..Again thanks very much for all your insight on TG levels.regards
    Mike Nappo

    • Hi Mike – six days of using Tylenol does a lot of bad things like wipe out most of your body’s glutathione, which is the body’s key detoxifying agent, but I am not aware of it raising triglycerides that much.

      If you’re on a deadline for lowering triglycerides, then I’d do two things:
      1) Get rid of all wheat, grains, flour, refined carbs, juices, sodas
      20 Take 4000 mg of Omega-3 per day.

      You have about a month – let me know how you do.

      • Hi,Thanks very much..I want to lower it because i cannot see how it got so high..i.have been eating healthy and dont get it.Stress?? Who knows..just had beef for the first time in over a month,vegtables,salad and water with a 1,500 MG triple strength fish oil pill and 250 mg Niacin.. Going for a 30 minute walk now.Thank You,

        • Hi Mike – while you eat a lot of good stuff, you still eat bread, drink juice, chips and opt for low-fat mayo etc. These are all considered healthy things to do, but it is not. These cause TG to spike. Stress causes a LOT of other problems, but increasing TG is not one of them. Goes back to your diet. Plain and simple.

  23. I cut out all breads,potatoes,chips,rice and sugars..only thing i yreat myself now with is a small chunk.of 70% Cocoa dark chocolate..heres my plan.

    Breakfast-A Banana or yogurt with Niacin 250 Mg and 1,500 Fish oil

    lunch choices are an apple with sliced almonds or sunflower seeds ect
    Tuna out of the can with nothing added or sardines in xtra virgin.olive oil.

    Dinner-Beef,turkey,chicken with a side of vegtable mix of brocolli,spinich,asparagus spears ect or Salmon in a tossed salad.

    Have talked to family members and my dad is now 72 and his TGL has been 350 the last 15 years..he said is basically high prone to fatty blood but no one has ever died of a blood clot or heart attack or stroke from it..all my past relatives all passed on from 79-104 years old and my uncle had TGL over 800 for 20 years and hes not 81.. funny how.the body works..And BTW i love your video and researxh..your a genius and thanks for all this fantastic info Vin.

    • Hi Mike – here is a better meal plan:

      Breakfast: scrambled eggs or spinach omelet, half a cup of berries, a few nuts (macadamias, walnuts, almonds). Notice banana and yogurt is gone…unless it’s full-fat and sugar-free greek yogurt.
      Lunch: Tuna/sardines in olive oil. Veggies – broccoli, carrots, spinach…or an avocado. A couple of squares of dark chocolate. Notice apple is gone. Stick to dark berries for fruits.
      Dinner: yours is fine.

      Snacks: get yourself some nuts or EPIC bars. I never get on a plane without a couple of EPIC bars.

      When I ate ‘healthy whole grains,’ my triglyceride was an ominous 666. Now it’s close to 100.

      • Wow!!! When i heard mine were 530 i freaked out Vin..i know my family is prone to just having fatty blood..but i don’t want that in my life Vin..I know my cholesterol at 141 is okay but that fatty lipids what scared me..I have written down your plan plus my dinners because i have read what people said that it works and i thank you so very much for caring about others and sharing your from now until Dec 19th blood test day i am gonna do all of this and watch them drop..Thanks a bunch Vin!!

  24. Thank you for all the info. My husbands triglyceride count is over 600 he is 39. Just trying to study up on what we need to change in our home.

  25. I got a bit confused. O-3 is best taken with a meal high in fat and yet you also talk about taking it on an empty stomach in one of your answers. Is taking O3 on an empty stomach effective? Or is it best taken with food. I used to take mine with a smoothie but there’s not much fat in there.

    Lastly you keep mentioning cutting grains. Do you mean all grains or only gluten containing grains. A link to the article would be helpful πŸ™‚

    • Hi Lawrie – Omega-3, regardless of type, is always better with a meal. Preferably one that contains some fat.

      By cutting grains, I mean most grains, especially wheat and foods made with wheat flour.

      • Thanks for the fast reply.
        PS I enjoy the blend of facts with a conversational tone and humor. Your articles are great to read

  26. Hi Vin..I thought you mentioned whole grains made with wheat flour as a 1st ingredient is okay?? I eat 12 whole grain tuna sandwiches qi
    th nothing but lettuce,tomatoe,chopped onion and a squirt of lemon juice..only have been drinking water for a year..My TG levels went from 530 to 210 in 6 months now.Plus i excersiced,long walks and lost 26 pounds in 4 months..

    Breakfast i was only eating a company called morning star

    dinner was salad and salmon,chicken and veggies and or whole grain rice.

    Snacks were either walnuts,dates or a couple squares of Dk Chocolate 90% ..

    • Hi Mike – if I said that whole grains are OK, I mis-typed! Please send me the link where you saw this. If I’m thinking clearly, I would NEVER, EVER tell anyone to eat whole grains or that it is OK. Whole grains contain NOTHING essential that you cannot find in veggies, fruits, nuts and tubers. Absolutely nothing. Having said that, I occasionally eat some white rice, but no other grains. I’m not advocating a strict low-carb diet for everyone…just diabetics and those with very high triglycerides. Congrats on the all the big changes and successes.

      PS: pass on the Morningstar soy stuff. It isn’t food. It is an artificial product.

  27. I thank everyone for posting your concerns bc doing so gave me a lot of info for myself and others to share it with. A lot of info confirmed research id done on my own that your doctor dont tell you about. Thanks again everyone this was so helpful.

  28. Hi and thnx for the informations

    I’m taking 10ml of fish oil which 2.5 gramms are omega 3s ethyl ester and more specific(EPA 1518-DHA 1012).Recommended use of the suplemment is one tblsp with a meal.

    You suggest a high fat meal to enchance the absorption but im concerned about using olive oil and egg yolks cause theyre high in omega 6 and from what i have read here they antagonize its other.

    So my questions are three:
    1st. Should i use raw olive oil with my egg salad?(3 whole eggs and raw shredded cabbage).

    2nd. Second should i ditch the cabbage completly and eat just the eggs plus 1 tblsp of olive oil and the fish oil?

    3rd. What sources of carbs do you recommend beside grains (which im going to eliminate next week) because im doing cardio and without carbs i feel sluggish.

    • Hi Fury – Olive oil is not high in Omega-6. It is perfectly safe to consume. It is perfectly fine to addition to your egg salad. Do not avoid vegetables of any kind. The best sources of carbs are: roots, tubers, vegetables, and fruits. DO NOT go low on carbs unless you are diabetic.

      • I would also like to add that grains are the cause of epidemic obesity and a lot of degenerative disorders.From my personal experience when i cut grains and dairy within a day or two my perforance increase and i loose weight.My shoulders look rounder and bigger and my overall body looks firmer.That cannot be coincidence cause those foods somehow mess our testosterone levels.So im gonna eliminate them or try have them only on a cheat day.

  29. Hi,

    I heard from doctors and people that taking omega-3 is good, i started taking omega-3 which contains 300 MG of EPA/ DHA 1 pill and also Omega-369 1 pill at dinner time. I observed that I couldnt sleep for 6 hours, after taking these omega 3 and omega 369, I am just wondering, should i take with after noon meal or night dinner. I eat dinner more than after noon meal.

    • Hi Raj – Omega-3s usually do not disrupt sleep patters, but you could always take it in the morning and see what happens. Stop taking the 3-6-9. You already get too much Omega-6 in your diet and Omega-9 is non-essential. Focus on just the Omega-3. Selling 3-6-9 combo is a marketing trick.

  30. HI Vin, my question is, can one take a daily dose of 647mg EPA/253mg DHA ( combined in 1 capsule form) with breakfast and then take 1 or 2 Tablespoon of Flaxseed oil with lunch – usually I mix it in with cottage cheese. Are these levels safe to take on a daily basis? I worry because I just read somewhere that it could cause bleeding? Appreciate your time!

    • Hi Abid – as long as it is taken 10 or 15 minutes before or after a meal, it makes no difference. Better to avoid taking it on an empty stomach hours before or after a meal.

  31. i’m taking fish oil pills while dieting and exercising to lose weight fast and i’m only 17 how many pill should i take? and what food should i avoid eating at all?

    • Hi Maryjoe – fish oil pills will not help much with losing weight. Dieting and exercising will help. If you want to lose weight, avoid sodas, juices, sugar, candy, and all processed foods that are made with flour. Focus on veggies, seafood, meats, eggs, fruits, and nuts. Besides the nuts, everything you eat should have been living during the last week or two.

  32. I am taking 2 table spoon of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar with fresh lime juice on empty stomach everyday and for break fast taking organic rolled oats with 2 table spoon of Flex Seeds…please advice isit safe or will this increase my triglycerides levels. Thank You

    • Hi Kumar – the apple cider vinegar and lime juice won’t increase triglycerides (and their benefits are somewhat questionable) but the oats will.

  33. Hey,i’m new to this.what does ‘take fish oil pills with meals’ mena? Does it mean that i have to eat my meal with the pills ? For an example,i eat a slice of bread and then just swallow the pills without water ? Can i take the pills with water ? I have been doing that for 2 days. Can you explain to me ? I don’t understand

    • Hi Sofia – I assume you read the article above. It means that you should take your fish oil pills just before or right after breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It means do not take on an empty stomach. Yes, take with a full glass of water.

  34. Hi, I am confused and couldn’t get an answer. Can I mix the fish oil into hot porridge to feed my toddler? Or not over than any heat temperature? He is very refused to the fishy taste. Thanks.

    • Hi Jean – getting kids to take Omega-3 is difficult because most fish oils are slightly rancid and the odor/taste is off-putting. Your best bet is to find a product that is specifically designed for children. But if you want to try mixing it with porridge, that should be fine. A little heat is OK.

    • Jean, have you tried SISU brand -Kids’ Omega 3 Bursts? My son never cared for the fishy tastes either, but for some reason loves these & asks if he can have more (not kidding, lol). However – Vin – maybe you could speak to this brand (whether it would be of choice or not), firstly? πŸ˜‰

      • SISU brand is fine for kids. But they are not really ‘kids’ products but rather flavored softgels. Good kids products look and taste like candy but have a solid dose of Omega-3. Gummies are everywhere but dont have enough Omega-3 to make much of a difference in your kids’ health.

  35. Can i eat one capsule of fishoil daily? And can i eat fishoil capsules only in winters? And after eating fishoil after how much time can i drink milk? … thanks 😊

  36. I’m taking O3 after dinner nd sodium ascorbate before breakfast..& plan to take vit A and E..and also planning to hv vit.D asap.
    My question is can i take these stuffs daily? Can u gave idea about it in proper taking.. By the way my BVits. is coming one of this day.
    My last question is, is Alaska life Natural is safe products and not cheating the ingredients? Coz i’m.planning to order vit.e.. Tnx so.much

    • Hi Nikki – there is no harm in taking these ingredients daily, provided the amounts are within daily recommended levels. I am not familiar with the brand of product you mention.

  37. This is a very impressive blog; & I’m so glad I stumbled upon it!

    Would you be able to speak to a combination of daily low-dose aspirin & omega-3? (negative &/or positive πŸ™‚ / blood-thinning effects, cardiovascular strength, or other!)

    Also, would there be any adverse effects (or risk of) from unknowingly having TOO much omega 3? (ie – someone might take the supplements, but also have more than they realize, already, from their diet – if eating salmon, flax, etc..)

    Thanks so much in advance!!

    • Hi Karyn – Aspirin and Omega-3 are two of the most studies substances in health science. Both are proven entities. Taking aspirin TOGETHER with Omega-3 has been shown to produce more potent anti-inflammatory (proresolving) molecules than when either is taken alone. Low-dose aspirin has been shown to improve heart health and so has Omega-3. Saying the benefits are due to blood-thinning is selling both short. It may have little to do with blood thinning and more with their anti-inflammatory properties. Having said that, there is some blood-thinning with aspirin. Blood-thinning from Omega-3 is either very minimal or only occurs at very high doses. Should you take both together? That’s a decision for your doctor, as aspirin is not a nutritional supplement and I cannot give you advice on medicines.

      As for risk from too much Omega-3, well, that depends on how much is too much. If you take 3000 mg per day, you should be fine. But most people can feel noticeable benefits with 1000 to 2000 mg daily. If you need a lot more than that, then it is time to revisit your diet and see why your inflammation is so high. If you have to take 5000 plus mg daily, you may have issues with oxidative load, especially if you are taking partially rancid fish oils.

  38. Hi
    I am 56 yrs, diabetic since 23 yrs. Taking med for blood pressure also. Now triglycerides is 300. What diet plan you recommend?

    • Hi Anil – you need to work with a dietitian in your area to address dietary issues. I can only provide rough, general directions here with one or two sentences. To you, I’d say: triglycerides are largely a result of a high starch and high grain consumption, combined with inadequate physical activity.

  39. I started Omega-3 today. Just want to know if I can take this capsule in the middle of a meal with water and after the meal, can I take hot milk?

  40. Hi,
    I currently have Usana & Amway fish oil capsules, which are typically for adults. I would like to start giving them to my 3-yr old child (on the autism spectrum) but am unsure if the dosage is safe. Should I give the full capsule dosage or half? And how often per day?
    Please advise.

    • Hi Joan – check with your kid’s pediatrician first. 3-year-olds can usually handle 300 to 500 mg Omega-3 per day without any issues. If you skip a day or two, no worries.

  41. Hello,

    I have been on Vascepa (4 tabs a day) for more than a year.
    I do fasting from dawn to sunset for a month every year. This is my first fasting since starting Vascepa.
    I am making sure to take Vascepa (2 tabs) aftet eating at dawn and Vascepa (2 tabs) after eating at sunset.
    I dont eat or drink water between dawn and sunset.
    Is there any known issues if this diet is followed?

    • Hi Asif – as long as you are taking the Vascepa as directed – with meals, twice a day – then I don’t see any issues with absorption. But since this is a prescription medication, check with your pharmacist.

  42. Hi,
    Today my results showed that my HDL and triglycerides are 31 and 357, respectively. Actually I am a skinny person (H: 168 cm, W: 60 kg). I surprised for high triglycerides and low HDL. I think anxiety is cause of my problems. Does stress affect HDL, etc.?
    My diet is based on breads (toast bread and tortillas), rice, cereals, but I eat less vegetables and fruits. I used to drink lots of fruit juice (orange, apple, grapefruit), but after reading your advice, I quit them. I like sweet things but doctor advised me to limit eating sweet things. By the way, I do not smoke and also do not drink alcohol, so how can I improve my body condition?
    Are fish oil pills useful? How many pills per day are OK?

    • Hi Ray – it is best to take EPA with some food. Eating triggers the release of digestive enzymes that help digest EPA. Even if taken on an empty stomach, all Omega-3 are very well digested and absorbed. There is really no need to aid in absorption.

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