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Can I take fish oil with aspirin?

Q) I suffer from osteoarthritis and have been taking omega-3 fish oil capsules (1,000 mg) for about nine months. I believe it helps my hip mobility. Following a mini stroke two years ago I was prescribed 80 mg of aspirin daily. However, I read that omega-3 was a natural blood thinner, so I'm now worried that my blood will be too thin and I’ll have a clotting problem if I suffer a cut of any sort.
Chris, Sevenoaks (Winter 2006)

A) I don’t think you'll have any problems with your blood being too thin. The aspirin and omega-3 fish oils work on a different part of the clotting system, mainly preventing the platelets from sticking together and to the sides of blood vessels. When you cut yourself your blood eventually clots by a different mechanism which is unaffected by aspirin and fish oil.

This answer was provided by Dr Philip Helliwell for the Winter 2006 edition of our magazine, Arthritis Today, and was correct at the time of publication.

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