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Will Fish Oil Make Me Smell?

Updated on June 8, 2011

We are told that fish offers wonderful health benefits, and should be included in a healthy diet.

But for many, the problem with this is the very thought of the taste and smell that might remain in your mouth after eating it.

What About Fish Oil Capsules?

While there are different fish oil supplements available in capsule form, many people still question if fish oil will make them smell.

And it is a valid question to ask since there are many natural ingredients in the world that do excrete from pores, and may even change the smell of your breath.

To get a better idea of what fish oil is about and how it will affect your body consider a few points before purchasing any fish oil supplements to include in your diet.

So What Is Fish Oil..?

Fish oil is extracted from the tissues of fish - it can be various types of fish. And the exact type used all depends on the company that supplies the supplements.

Why Do We Need It?

Fish oil contains high levels of two Omega-3 fatty acids called Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which have been proven to have many great health benefits.

EPA and DHA are very important fatty acids that the body requires for good health, but is unable to produce on its own.

So having enough fish oils in a healthy diet helps maintain a good level of the fatty acids we need without having to eat mounds of fish every week.

[You can find more detail about the fatty acids in this hub: Omega Three Fatty Acid Sources?, and discover the incredible range of benefits these substances can have in: What Does Fish Oil Do For Your Body? ]

Why Buy Capsules?

Basically, they are a very effective way of getting fish oils into the diet of people who do not eat enough of the right kinds of fish, or who do not like fish.

Most fish oil supplements are contained in simple soft gel capsules and are easily taken with water. The capsules themselves should never smell, but there are people who worry about the oil smell once it enters their system.

So, Will Fish Oil Capsules Make Me Smell Fishy?

Some people say they begin to produce more gas in their bodies and burp more often, while others have temporary stomach digestion issues as well. Among those who feel a difference in their digestive system, they also complain of “fishy” smelling burps and a strange taste in their mouth.

But the main cause of such bodily reactions is simply from taking low-quality fish oils that are no longer fresh. The decaying fish oils are not being broken down in the body very well which results in an increase of gas production and the foul smell or unusual taste in the mouth.

Make Sure Capsules Are Fresh

To ensure you have fresh oils, always inspect the capsules and test one by cutting it in half and smelling the oil inside. If the oil has a slight sea salt type aroma, it’s fresh. If you cut open a capsule and it has a pungent fish smell or chemical smell, the oils are rancid and you either have an old bottle of capsules or a very low quality one.

It’s highly recommended to avoid strong smelling fish oils since they may end up causing more harm than good for the body. Just as you wouldn’t eat seafood that has gone off, you shouldn’t ingest fish oil supplements that have gone off either.

Pierce Holman is a health and wellness fan, and runs the website 'Omega Three Benefits'. It deserves a site all of it's own because omega three is one of the most exciting nutritional finds of modern times.

Don't miss my guide to the dangers of mercury in fish oil capsules - it's a real eye opener when you realise why Governments say to limit our fish intake.

Have you ever bought fish oil capsules that smell fishy?

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    • pierceh profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi JJ,

      I feel for you! You really shouldn't be getting that kind of reaction, that's not fun.

      As you say it's not a particularly high dose (it's a bit more than most people are advised to take, but does of course depend on your specific reasons for taking it - and the level of DHA in the capsules).

      Keeping pills in the fridge isn't really necessary though unless you're storing them long term - there's hardly any spoilage once sealed in a capsule. A cool dark cupboard is normally fine.

      So I'd be a little concerned about the quality of the product you're using, as freshness is almost entirely determined at production - which brand is it?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It's not JUST the gas that makes you smell.

      I'm taking fish oil pills (which I bought fairly recently and have kept in a sealed jar in the refrigerator ever since), and the smell has been coming out of my pores. My scalp and my feet reek of fish after taking 3 1200mg pills a day, which isn't even that high a dose when you're using it to treat any significant condition.

    • stars439 profile image


      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Very helpful information. GBY


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