Taking cod liver oil and fish oil - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Taking cod liver oil and fish oil

Hi, my name is Scott Hughes. I was hoping someone could help me answer a question that is bugging me. I have ordered a packet of omega-3 fish oil capsules and a packet of cod liver oil. Now, I know that you are not supposed to take both capsules together, but is there any harm, for example, taking 1 cod liver oil in the Morning and the 2 omega-3 fish oil capsules at night before bed time? After all it is spaced out, so they are not being taken together. Could someone who has experience in this area, help me please. Thank you.

11 Replies

Hi Scott - My view is that with any mineral or vitamin supplement you should always check to make sure they do not interact with any prescribed medications you are taking. There are various online checking tools - one site is WebMD.com but I think it's preferable to ask any Pharmacist. They will ask what medications you are taking and do an instant check for you


Hi Nathan, thanks for the reply. I don't take any medication at all, I'm pretty healthy, but am curious if I can take both tablets, but spaced out in the same day.


Hi there, I am most interested in your reply to your first helper when you respond with "I don't take any medication at all and I'm pretty healthy - just curious" The reason for my interest is how a person with in interest in omega and fish (?) oils can migrate to the British Heart Foundation help pages but miss Web MD to find help on the subject, especially when they appear to be fit and well and educated? You do realise that we are not experts and have the same access to knowledge that you have and that the first answer was probably the best that any of us could give, given we are all former or current heart patients or their relatives. Just very curious how you can be here at all?


Cod liver oil contains Omega-3 so in some ways you are duplicating supplements. I am not a medical professional but would think you would be fine providing you stay within the RDA guidelines for the vitamins and minerals contained therein.

If you have a healthy diet and eat at least two portions of oily fish per week you probably do not need supplements.

If you are buying online buy only from trusted sources, e.g. Holland and Barrett, or you may ingest supplements not planned on!


I read recently a report that came out that these supplemental fish oils have no effect on heart health which surprised me. I’ll see if I can find a link to the government report.


OK thank you. Strange though, as I have read a few reports about the benefits of fish oils? I'd be curious to read the report you are on about though, cheers for that.


I know, I’ve been takin 1g daily for donkeys, and still had a heart attack and pacemaker fitted three months ago. I’ll try and find that report.


The efficacy of prescription and non-prescription medications varies over time but a dosage stated as once a day means that its efficacy will usually last at least 24 hours. Moving a medication that is not supposed to be taken with it 12 hours away therefore doesn't remove the risk. Definitely a question for a pharmacist or doctor.


It's news to me that you shouldn't take fish oil and cod liver oil together. They come from different parts of the fish but my understanding is they both provide Omega 3. Cod liver oil has more vitamins A and D as well. it can be dangerous to take too much vit D but you would have to take massive doses to be in the danger zone.

I take fish oil supplements because I think they help to keep my HDL cholesterol reading OK. I take a separate vit D supplement because my gp found I was deficient a while ago. I just stick to the doses on the packs. In the case of the fish oil I take 2 capsules at lunch and 1 in the evening.

I did knock the fish oil on the head for the short time I was taking Clopidogrel and aspirin. There is a warning on my fish oil to consult your health care professional if you are taking anti-coagulant or anti-platelet medication. There have been cases of bad bruising.


I can’t remember if this was the article:



Why are you taking them at all?. I seem to recall the results of a significant meta analysis of clinical outcomes published in the press earlier this year showed no benefits. Eating oily fish is good for you but the oil didn’t seem to offer any benefits (https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/no-benefit-from-fish-oil/). Save your money and buy some fresh fish- the evidence is it’s better for you!


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