Avoid certain supplements along with fish oil – risk of bleeding

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Many people regularly take supplements in their daily lives. Whether using them to treat symptoms of a specific condition or as a top up on your diet, they can help you stay healthy. However, certain combinations could have the opposite effect.

Fish oil is a popular supplement often taken in capsule form as a way to boost omega-3 levels.

This can help your body in a number of ways including keeping your heart healthy and reducing inflammation.

Fish oil is also a natural anticoagulant, meaning it can prevent blood clotting.

And this is why it can be risky to take with other supplements.

Consultant nutritionist at Purolabs, Stephanie Baker, warned against taking it with ginkgo biloba supplements.

She said: “Fish oil is a fantastic supplement which is great for cognitive and heart health, whilst ginkgo biloba is also used for its brain boosting benefits.

“However, they are both blood thinners and when taken together, may increase the chances of uncontrollable bleeding or inability for blood to clot.

“This is especially important to avoid for anyone taking blood thinning medication.”

She added: “Other supplements and extracts to avoid when taking blood thinning medication are ginger and vitamin E for their blood thinning properties.”

Having thin blood not only makes you prone to heavy bleeding but also being easily bruised.

These weren’t the only supplement combinations Ms Baker had concerns about though.

“St John’s wort is a popular supplement used to help support the nervous system and is a natural alternative to help tackle anxiety and depression,” she said.

“Kava kava is another natural supplement that helps to boost low serotonin levels and is used for mood support.

“If you are taking anti-anxiety medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), it’s dangerous to supplement with St John’s wort or/and kava kava.

“We need healthy levels of serotonin aka our ‘happy’ hormone to boost our mood, however if we are supplementing with multiple serotonin boosters then this can lead to serotonin syndrome which can be life threatening.”

She added: “A word of warning: If you are taking medication, please speak with a qualified health practitioner before taking supplements.

“Although supplements can be a great addition to help boost general health, you must proceed with caution, especially if you decide to take several supplements alongside medication.

“Always err on the side of caution and have it checked first. “

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