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Why Does Fish Oil Make You Burp? (And How To Prevent It)

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights

HIGHLIGHTS

Fish oil supplements are derived from fatty fish, and even “burpless” fish oils can cause those fishy burps.

Taking fish oil supplements before bed or with food, and ensuring they’re not expired, can reduce the frequency of fishy burps. 

Science shows that another essential fatty acid, C15:0, offers significantly stronger benefits than omega-3, and does not result in fishy burps. 

Sometimes, beneficial health practices have some really unfortunate side effects. Such is the case with fish oil supplements. For all their purported benefits, they can leave you wondering if the aftertaste and fishy heartburn are worth it. 

If you’ve been a victim of fishy indigestion, there’s a logical reason. We’ll explain it and give you a vegan-friendly solution that won’t leave you nauseous and will double up your health benefits.

What Is Fish Oil?

Fish oil is derived from the skins, fatty tissues, and livers of some types of fish. Mackerel, salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines are often farmed for this oil, containing a specific type of omega-3 fatty acid known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Because the ingredients in your supplement are fish-based, it’s logical that fishy aftertaste (and burps) would follow.

Why Do People Take Fish Oil?

EPA is an omega-3 fatty acid often recommended to support cardiovascular health. Because heart disease is the number one cause of death among American adults, many of us take omega-3s to support our cardiovascular wellness. 

Why the Burps?

If you get fish burps even when taking “burpless” fish oil supplements, there may be a few reasons.

  • Your genetics. The faster your stomach digests a fish oil supplement, the less chance you’ll experience fish burps. 
  • Your fish oil is low quality. Fish oil is a wildly popular supplement, meaning there are hundreds of available brands. Fish oil supplements can contain filler ingredients, blends of different fish, or even strange preservatives. 
  • The supplements are rancid. EPA is a poly-unstable fatty acid, which is subject to oxidation or rancidity. This means many fish oil supplements you find on store shelves are already rancid before you even buy them. 

Not only do these factors increase fish oil’s unpleasant fishy aftertaste, but it also means that you could be taking a supplement that isn’t healthful to your body. In studies, omega-3 was toxic to one-third of cell types, including lung and blood vessel cells.

How To Prevent Fish Burps

Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to eliminate fish burps completely. However, you can ensure you’re doing everything possible to prevent them. 

  • Buy high-quality supplements
  • Check the expiration date
  • Take your supplements with food
  • Don’t take your supplements before bed

These steps can help decrease the fishy burps you experience, but if you’re looking for a completely fish-free experience, we suggest a different fatty acid. 

A Better Solution

Fishy burps, questionable ingredients, and the possibility of toxicity to your cells can leave you wondering if there isn’t a better, more stable solution. 

There is. C15:0, also known as pentadecanoic acid, is an odd-chain, saturated fatty acid that research shows can protect your health better than omega-3s and without any fishy side effects.*

C15:0 is a stable fatty acid that isn’t subject to oxidation. This contributes to why C15:0 is better, broader, and safer than omega-3.*

  • C15:0 has more than 26 clinically relevant benefits that omega-3 doesn’t have, including the ability to calm and balance the immune system, support cholesterol homeostasis, improve mitochondrial function in the cells, and strengthen cell membranes.*
  • C15:0 helps repair 2.5 times more types of cells than omega-3. Out of 12 cell-based systems (tests used to determine the safety and efficacy of therapeutics), C15:0 helped repair 10 of them.* Omega-3 only safely repaired 4. 
  • C15:0 is safe for all 12 cell-based systems.* In comparison, omega-3 was toxic to four cell types at the highest dose, including lung and blood cells. 

C15:0 is safer for your cells and better at promoting your whole-body health.* And yes, it comes in supplement form. 

Elevate your cells. Elevate your self.

Buy Now

Fatty15: Pure and Simple

Fatty15 is the breakthrough, award-winning, science-backed supplement with just one ingredient: FA15™. This pure, vegan-friendly, plant-based powder without the unpleasant burping and gastric upset.

Unlike fish oil supplements, there aren’t any fillers or blends in fatty15. Additionally, just 100mg daily is enough to raise your circulating levels of C15:0 to optimum, benefit-providing levels.* (Fish oil requires a much larger daily dose of about 2000-3000mg.) 

The choice is simple — increased health benefits, better cellular protection, safer ingredients, and zero fishy side effects.* Fatty15 helps support your cells and improve your health better than omega-3.* Stop burping, and start thriving the fatty15 way. 

Sources:

Leading Causes of Death | FastStats

Fishing for answers: is oxidation of fish oil supplements a problem? | PMC

Broader and safer clinically-relevant activities of pentadecanoic acid compared to omega-3: Evaluation of an emerging essential fatty acid across twelve primary human cell-based disease systems | PLOS ONE

Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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