Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Are there any health risks involved with taking fish oil capsules?"


My friend says that fish oil is good for your body and cholesterol levels. Is it safe to just start taking fish oil capsules? Can they harm your body in any way? I'm trying to control my acne and I heard there good for that.


Fish oil capsules are one of the most popular health food / dietary supplements. They are used by many people for a very large array of different health conditions, and they have also been studied extensively in many scientific investigations. Based on these investigations, we can say that fish oil is definitely helpful in cases in which the triglycerides (a type of fat on the blood related to cholesterol) are high.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

However, you would not be able to know if you had high levels of triglycerides without having a checkup and some blood tests for your doctor, so I would not start taking fish oil for this indication without talking to your doctor first. Similarly, based on the investigations that have been done, there isn't really much evidence that fish oil can help with acne or related conditions. On the other hand, there are other medications that are very effective for controlling acne - therefore, if you are having trouble with acne control you should talk with your doctor and they will find a medication that will work for you. Fish oil is very safe to take and doesn't have any significant side effects. Therefore, if you wish to take it you are at little risk of any harm - however, there is no reason to take it unless you need to, and your doctor should help you answer that question.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.