Harvard Health Letter

By the way, doctor: Should I be concerned about omega-3 fats and bleeding?

Q. I've been taking omega-3 fats and have two big bruises. Even small doses of aspirin cause me to bruise. My doctor is not concerned, but should I be?

A. Most people take omega-3 fats in the form of fish oil. While the evidence isn't airtight, I think fish oil is good for the heart. In fact, like you, I take it myself — and we have plenty of company.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people with documented coronary artery disease — a narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart — get about a gram of the omega-3s found in fish a day, preferably by eating fish. It's possible to eat that way: a 3-ounce serving of wild coho salmon contains roughly that amount of omega-3s. But you'd have to eat fish day in and day out. That's a lot of fish, and it would be expensive. The AHA seems to acknowledge this problem by making fish oil capsules an option.

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