Q. Is it a must to refrigerate liquid fish oil?

Answered by
Dr. Richa Agarwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Aug 04, 2018 and last reviewed on: Aug 21, 2019

Hi doctor,

My wife is 22 weeks pregnant and has been taking fish oil in liquid form for the last 4-5 weeks. The brand is called Nutripur Mom and Baby Omega-3 Plus. We have just noticed that the bottle says it should be refrigerated after opening but unfortunately we have not kept the bottle refrigerated the entire time and now we are concerned. Can you please advice on the following? What are the health risks for the baby by not having it refrigerated? How long would it usually take for the liquid oil to go off or rancid? We have heard that if fish oil is oxidized it would cause some health issues. Why are these issues? And would they apply to the fetus? Anything else you can tell us would be really appreciated. Thanks.

Dr. Richa Agarwal

Obstetrics And Gynaecology
#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com

Thanks for trusting us about your wife and baby health care. I have gone through your history and understood your concerns.

  • It is true that liquid fish oil should always be put in refrigerator after opening the bottle because it gets oxidized very soon on room temperature and become rancid and have ill health effects.
  • As your wife is in her second trimester when she starts taking it, baby may not be affected in such a short period of time because organogenesis is completed in first trimester.
  • It may get rancid immediately after exposure to sunlight.
  • One health issue is that its efficacy and potency gets decreased. It will increase the plaque formation in vessel but same is not applying on fetus.
  • As your wife is in 22nd weeks of pregnancy, it is better to get a second level ultrasound test to rule out any ill effect of rancid fish oil on fetus because it may affect neurons and brain development of fetus.

For further information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/obstetrician-and-gynaecologist

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your quick reply. We just have a couple follow up questions for you. First is we do not know the condition of fish oil. Is there any easy way to know? If it is not rancid, does this eliminate all the risks? What is a second level ultrasound? And what should the doctor look for?

Dr. Richa Agarwal

Obstetrics And Gynaecology
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You are most welcome.

  • Yes, the easy way to see whether it is rancid or not is to smell the oil. If fishy smell is there then it is rancid otherwise not.
  • If not rancid then health hazards are not there, but you should not use it.
  • Second level ultrasound is ultrasound testing in which a radiologist see each and every minute detail about fetus.

For further information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/obstetrician-and-gynaecologist

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