Fish Allergies and Omega-3 Supplements
I have an allergy to fish, but am concerned that I am missing out on the potential health benefits of eating fish. Could I take Omega-3 supplements made from fish oil?
A: The protein content in fish-derived Omega-3 fatty acid supplements is thought to be minimal, and likely denatured. A recent review did not uncover any reports of allergic reactions. In a study to answer this question, Mark et al tested 6 fish-allergic patients in 2008 to 2 different brands of fish oil supplements. All had negative skin tests and food challenges in this study (Mark BJ, Beaty AD, Slavin RG. Allergy Asthma Proc 2008; 29:528-9). However, as only 2 brands of fish oil were tested in so few people, these results should be interpreted with caution, especially if you are extremely allergic to fish. If you are very sensitive, it would be recommended to first see an allergist who could skin test you to the product, and then administer a food challenge to be absolutely certain.