Does Fish Oil Interfere With Metformin

fish oil
fish oil

Diabetic disease is characterized by hypertriglyceridemia, low-density lipoprotein (HDL), postprandial lipemia, small and dense LDL particles considered a major predisposing factor for various macrovascular complications. Omega-3 fatty acids are a fish oil derivative marketed for dyslipidemia associated with increased triglyceride levels.

Metformin is undoubtedly one of the most important drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is included as the so-called drug of choice, i.e., as a first-line treatment, as it becomes clear that diet and exercise are not working. It is administered orally to patients at a maximum dose of up to 3 g per day. It can be used in monotherapy (that is, as the only drug) and in combination with insulin or a GLP-1 analog.

In autumn and winter, we are more susceptible to various infections. To defend ourselves against bacteria and viruses or make ourselves more immune, we take dietary supplements, which provide us with many vitamins and minerals. In addition, they effectively strengthen immunity and improve overall condition. One such supplement is fish oil, thanks to which the body receives many beautiful substances.

Diabetes is one of the greatest plagues of the XXI century. It is estimated that almost half a billion people suffer from this group of diseases.

Glycemic index of fish oil


Many manufacturers offer products labeled as those with a low glycemic index (below the 50 value) or medium (between 50-70). These are ideal not only for diabetics but also for anyone concerned about their health and a slim figure. It is worth looking for them on the store shelf. Fish oil, however, has a zero glycemic index due to the absence of carbohydrates.

GI = 0

Fish oil and diabetes


We speak of diabetes when there is a chronic exceeding of the average glucose concentration in the blood. It leads to damage to the cardiovascular system, increased body weight, and failure of critical organs in our body. Although diabetes can initially be treated with a proper diet and regular physical activity, it is often necessary to implement drug treatment after some time.

Oily marine fish are highly desirable in the daily diet. It is recommended that they are eaten at least twice a week because they provide many valuable vitamins and essential fatty acids. Unfortunately, we do not always follow the advice of nutritionists and often skip them when creating a home menu.

Taking fish oil is an excellent option for those who do not eat and do not like fish. The supplement is produced from fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, and salmon. This alternative will provide the most valuable substances that have a beneficial effect on the entire body.

Metformin and diabetes

fish oil

The origins of the substance from which this drug is derived can be found as far back as the Middle Ages. Doctors of that time used a specific herb to treat characteristic urinary problems. It was precisely about too frequent urination, which was sweet in taste (yes – once, one of the tests was an organoleptic test of urine).

This is a symptom characteristic of diabetes, although, at that time, people were not aware of it yet. All that was known was that people who had this symptom rapidly deteriorated in health and were much more likely to die.

There are a few theories about the mechanism of this side effect. It may be due to the increased production of lactate compounds in the intestinal villi. It may also decrease the activity of transporters in the intestines.

The drug molecule shows considerable similarity to the serotonin molecule, which in turn causes, among other things, stimulation of intestinal peristalsis, up to the development of diarrhea. And finally, the last theory is that the intestinal microbiota is disrupted, that is, changes in the composition of intestinal bacteria.

And suppose there is an imbalance in the gut microbiota. In that case, there is an increase in the concentration of methane, lactate, and various inflammatory mediators in the intestines and the gastrointestinal tract. Hence diarrhea, flatulence, and nausea. Gastrointestinal side effects are usually mild and transient.

 There is no information on the divisibility of 500 mg tablets in the drug product characteristics. Their intensity can be reduced by taking the drug during or just after eating. This is also the reason why treatment with metformin starts with low doses. The most common is 500 mg once or twice a day. However,  do not decrease the single-dose below 500 mg.

You can also use an extended-release form of metformin. It is then advisable to take it with an evening meal. This results in a more stable effect and minimizes the risk of gastrointestinal side effects.

What in ogle is metformin?

fish oil

One of the most readily available and highly effective anti-diabetic drugs, metformin is the first choice for treating type 2 diabetes. Its action is based on reducing tissue resistance to insulin action and reducing the synthesis of glucose in the liver. For this reason, it is the first choice drug in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Inappropriate doses have a beneficial effect on the patient’s carbohydrate metabolism and fat metabolism, cardiovascular function, body weight, and blood coagulation. What is more, it is not metabolized by the liver so that its intake does not burden this organ additionally.

Because of its action, metformin is also often prescribed to patients in whom the so-called pre-diabetic state is observed. It means that the body is less and less able to metabolize carbohydrates. Then a slightly elevated fasting blood glucose level is kept at 100-125 mg.

Due to its mechanism of action, Metformin is also prescribed in some cases of the polycystic ovarian syndrome, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

What can we find in fish oil?

Fish oil is the best source of omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids, which occur in the most favorable ratio, ideal for supporting many essential systems in the human body.

In addition, it is a source of valuable vitamins such as A, E, and vitamin D. The intake of all these substances is crucial as they support the body when many viruses and bacteria are attacking our body.

Oil supports heart function and blood pressure

fish oil

Fish oil provides adequate protection for the cardiovascular system. The supplement has been proven to lower the levels of bad LDL cholesterol and thus reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis and having a heart attack. Moreover, fish oil also lowers triglycerides that are dangerous to the heart and normalizes blood pressure levels. This effect is possible due to the omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids.

Healthy mind

Fish oil has a significant effect on the entire nervous system. It supports its work and protects against the occurrence of many diseases. It supports the functioning of muscles and is necessary to enjoy good eyesight for a long time: vitamin A ensures that we can see clearly the surrounding objects. Fatty acids stimulate memory and concentration, increase resistance to stress, and minimize the risk of neurological diseases.

What are the risks of abrupt metformin withdrawal?

fish oil

If you suddenly stop taking metformin, it can lead to a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. This can result in heart problems, a sudden rise in blood pressure, diabetic nephropathy, and even diabetic coma in extreme cases.

Therefore, the risks of taking contaminated metformin are far less than the effects of abruptly discontinuing therapy, especially in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Can consuming them interfere with health

fish oil

Researchers at the University of East Anglia say people with type 2 diabetes “should not be encouraged” to take omega-3 fish oil supplements. Concerns have been raised that omega-3 fatty acids could be harmful to people with the disease.

Short summary:

One purpose of this study is to see if adding metformin will reduce some of the adverse effects of clozapine compared to not adding metformin. Metformin is a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes.

Studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes often lose weight when they take metformin, but the FDA has not approved metformin for weight loss, so the use of metformin is experimental in this study. This study will see if metformin can help people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder lose weight.

Another purpose of this study is to see if adding fish oil will improve the benefits of clozapine and/or reduce some of the adverse effects of clozapine compared to not adding fish oil. Fish oil is a medication used to lower certain fats (triglycerides) in the blood.

 Some studies have shown that adding fish oil reduces psychosis (voices, suspiciousness). However, the FDA has not approved fish oil to reduce psychosis, so the use of fish oil is experimental in this study. This study will test whether fish oil can help people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder reduce psychosis. Fish oil is not an antipsychotic drug.

What supplements should not be taken with metformin?

fish oil

Metformin therapy has depleted vitamin B12 and sometimes, but not always, folic acid. (Small amounts of folic acid and its derivatives are found in dairy products, meat, fish, and fruits (except citrus). People taking metformin should supplement vitamin B12 and folic acid or ask their doctor to monitor folic acid and vitamin B12 levels.

Author: Bella West