Taking Fish Oil with CLA: Is it SAFE or Not?

Short Answer: It is generally safe to take fish oil and CLA together or one after another.

Fish oil and CLA are both healthy supplements that provide essential fatty acids for various health benefits.

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to support heart health, reduce inflammation, improve mental health, and offer numerous other benefits.

CLA contains omega-6 fatty acids, which are mainly associated with weight loss, muscle preservation, and fat oxidation.

According to Ayurveda, fish oil and CLA can be taken together, but with some precautions.

Ayurveda believes that different foods have different qualities and effects on the body and mind, and that they should be combined in a balanced way to avoid any imbalance or disturbance in the doshas (the three energies that govern the physiological and psychological functions of the body).

Fish oil is considered to have a cooling, moistening, and calming effect, while CLA is considered to have a heating, drying, and stimulating effect.

Therefore, taking them together may create a conflict or imbalance in the doshas, especially in people who have a predominant pitta (fire) or kapha (water) constitution.

Ayurveda suggests that fish oil and CLA should be taken at different times of the day, preferably with meals that are compatible with their qualities.

For example, fish oil can be taken in the morning or evening with a light, cooling, and nourishing meal, while CLA can be taken in the afternoon or night with a warm, spicy, and energizing meal.

Ayurveda also advises to avoid taking fish oil and CLA with incompatible foods, such as dairy products, sour foods, or fermented foods.

But according to science, there is not much evidence to support or refute the idea that fish oil and CLA can interact negatively or positively when taken together.

Some studies have suggested that fish oil and CLA may have synergistic effects on reducing body fat, improving insulin sensitivity, and modulating gene expression in the liver and adipose tissue.

However, other studies have found no significant effects or even adverse effects of combining fish oil and CLA on body weight, blood lipids, inflammation markers, or liver function.

Therefore, the scientific verdict on taking fish oil and CLA together is still inconclusive and may depend on various factors such as dosage, duration, individual characteristics, and diet quality.

As a nutritionist, my advice is to try first.

If after taking fish oil and CLA together you experience any side effects, such as digestive discomfort, fishy burps, nausea, diarrhea, or allergic reactions, then stop combining them. And if you can tolerate them well, then continue.

However, you should be mindful of the quality and quantity of fish oil and CLA you consume.

Because both supplements are susceptible to oxidation and contamination, you should choose products that are certified by third-party testing organizations for purity and potency.

You should also follow the recommended dosage on the label or consult your doctor before taking them.

Excessive intake of fish oil or CLA may cause bleeding problems, liver damage, insulin resistance, or inflammation.

Whether you take them together or not, you should always choose fish oil and CLA that are derived from natural sources.

Because fish oil comes from fatty fish that may contain mercury or other toxins, you should opt for products that are made from small fish like sardines or anchovies that are lower on the food chain.

You should also look for products that contain EPA and DHA, the two most beneficial types of omega-3 fatty acids.

Because CLA comes from meat and dairy products that may contain hormones or antibiotics, you should opt for products that are made from grass-fed animals that are raised organically.

You should also look for products that contain a balanced ratio of the two most active types of CLA: cis-9 trans-11 and trans-10 cis-12.

You can store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Do not store them in the bathroom or kitchen where there may be moisture or temperature fluctuations.

You can also refrigerate or freeze them to extend their shelf life and reduce oxidation.

However, you should avoid exposing them to air or water as much as possible.

You should also check the expiration date on the label and discard them if they smell rancid or change color.

Finally, remember that fish oil and CLA are not magic pills that can replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. They are supplements that can improve your health and fitness when taken along with a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fiber.

However, they cannot compensate for poor dietary choices or lack of exercise. Therefore, you should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements and follow their advice on how to use them safely and effectively.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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