How Long Does Fish Oil Stay In Your System?

Do you remember being given liquid fish oil on a spoon as a child by your mother or grandmother?

It’s a bit hard to forget that taste, right? 😉

We all know this oil is beneficial for our overall health, but, how long does fish oil stay in your system, how often you should take it and for how long?

Here you’ll find out all the answers to this popular topic.

Why We Are Taking Fish Oil?

Fish oil is the primary source of two omega-3 fatty acids – EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

It is the active ingredient contained in fish oil. Fish oil and omega-3 are essential fatty acids. Why essential?

Because omega-3 is critical for optimal brain health, cell development and overall health.

omega 3 capsules

The benefits of fish oil seem to come from its omega-3 fatty acid content. If you are looking for fish that is rich in these fatty acids, opt for mackerel, tuna, herring and salmon.

Some fish oil products are approved by FDA and can be prescripted as medications. It is important to note that fish oil supplements do not contain the same amount as FDA-approved fish oil products. Meaning, you can’t use them instead of prescripted products.

Interestingly, enthusiasm for fish oil originates a few decades ago when it was noticed that Eskimos (they consume a lot of cold water fish) have very low rates of heart disease despite they consume a lot of animal fat.

Benefits Of Taking Omega

People who regularly consumed fish two or more times a week have lower heart attack rates, strokes and cardiovascular deaths.
Let’s check some more benefits of taking fish oil.

  • Protects against abnormal heart rhythms
  • Lower blood pressure
  • high blood pressure

  • Improves function of blood vessels
  • Lower heart-damaging triglycerides
  • Lower risk of cognitive decline and support mental wellness
  • Promote improved mobility
  • Relieve inflammation
  • Eases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Side Effects From Taking Omega

You should be careful when it comes to dosing fish oil. The best advice we can give you is to listen to your doctor and their recommendations.

doctor and patient

Some side effects can be very serious and require medical attention, so listen to your body so you can be able to notice any change when taking fish oil.

  • headache
  • high blood sugar
  • sweating
  • red or dark brown urine
  • acid or sour stomach
  • heartburn
  • excess air or gas in the stomach
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach discomfort

Taking too high a dose can do more harm than good when it comes to your health.

Precautions And Warnings

Taking fish oil during pregnancy won’t affect the fetus or baby while breastfeeding.
But pregnant women should avoid sharks, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. They might contain high levels of mercury and other toxins.


Adolescents can take fish oil, while young children should limit their consumption to up to 2 ounces per week.

Also, people with liver disease, bipolar disorder, diabetes and seafood allergy should avoid fish oil consumption.

How Long Does Omega 3 Stay in Your System?

Fish oil (omega-3 and omega-6) can last in your cells for anywhere from about six weeks to six months after stopping comsuming it.

Keep in mind it’s highly subjective to how much your body will ingest.

The amount of fish oil that will stay in your system depends on the amount you’ll receive through your diet or supplements.

drinking pill

If your system is in strong need of fish oil, then it will use the nutrients more quickly and just fewer fatty acids will remain in the body. That’s why it’s important to keep a routine that includes enough amount of omega-3 fatty acids, so your body can use them according to its needs.

However, you shouldn’t bother thinking about how long it stays in your body. You should take care of dosage and watch over the side effects that may occur.

It is important to take fish oil alongside a meal to maximize its absorption in your body and reduce certain side effects. Also, you should take it consistently to maximize its benefits. Potential benefits of taking fish oil are associated with long-term use.

Are You In Omega-3 Deficit?

If you have brittle nails, weak hair, dry skin, fatigue, poor concentration, joint pain or suffer from insomnia these could be signs of omega-3 deficiency.

tired woman

The main reason why you could be low in omega-3s is that you aren’t eating enough seafood or your fish oil supplements aren’t being absorbed into your digestive system.

The big problem is our diet is loaded with omega-6 fatty acids (processed food, cooking oils like palm, canola, sunflower, etc.).

How Long Does It Take For Omega-3 To Work?

When consumed, fish oil will absorb into your bloodstream within a few hours and, as mentioned above, will stay in your system for much longer.

Some experts said omega-3 acids will enter your bloodstream within 4 hours and after 24 hours, they will penetrate red blood cell members and be carried through your body.

How Much To Take?

Most health organizations recommend an intake of at least 250 to 500 milligrams of both EPA and DHA per day so you should consume it regulary, every day.

People who struggle with certain health conditions should take a higher amount of fish oil.

fish oil intake

A typical 1,000 mg fish oil softgel contains about 250 mg of EPA and DHA, while 1 teaspoon (about 5 ml) of liquid fish oil contains around 1,300 mg.

A general rule of thumb is – if you notice any negative symptoms, just decrease your daily intake or consider taking omega-3 fatty acids through food instead of supplements.

Factors To Consider

Some things affect the omega-3 in your system – bioavailability and absorption rates of the nutrients you consume.

bowl of yellow pills

For example, taking omega-3 from algae have a different time to start work and they are absorbed more efficiently than omega-3 from fish oil.

Therefore, the amount of time it stays in the human body will be different than fish oil.

Food That Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids

You can opt for omega-3-rich food instead of pills, liquid fish oil and supplements. The following food contains omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Flax seeds
  • Soybean oil
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Olive oil

How Long Does Krill Oil Stay In Your System?

Consult with your doctor before incorporating this oil into your diet. Krill oil can stay in your body for about six weeks to six months, depending on your consumption and body requirements.

Krill Oil capsule

This oil is another source of omega-3 fatty acids and it should be used in doses of 1-4 grams a day for up to 6 months.

How Long Does Cod Liver Oil Stay In Your System?

Since cod liver oil comes in many forms, it’s very easy to add it oil into your diet. A common dose is often 1-2 teaspoons.

This oil is rich in vitamins A, D and omega-3 fatty acids and is available in capsules or as a liquid. Just like the mentioned oils, this cod-liver oil stays in the body for several weeks or months.

To Wrap It Up

Fish oil is well known for its healthy properties and omega-3 is an essential part of a healthy diet. So, how long does fish oil stay in your system? That depends on your routine and consistency.

Ivana is always desirable for adventures so she was working in restaurants on the Croatian coast, participated in Caffe barista tournaments, led a gardening business, and more. She is a healthy food enthusiast, prefers vegetarianism, and practices yoga. In her free time, she likes to study ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as psychology.