Can You Take Omega-3 With Vitamin D and Zinc?


Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and zinc are three important micronutrients that provide a variety of health benefits. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation, lower triglycerides, and promote heart and brain health. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and bone health. Zinc supports immune function and cell growth.

Many people take supplements containing a combination of these nutrients for optimal health. But is it safe to take omega-3, vitamin D, and zinc together? Are there any interactions or side effects you need to be aware of?

Can you take omega-3 with vitamin D and zinc?

This comprehensive article will examine the evidence on combining omega-3, vitamin D, and zinc supplements. We’ll look at:

  • The benefits of each nutrient
  • Recommended dosages
  • Possible interactions and side effects
  • Safety considerations and tips for taking them together

By the end, you’ll know whether you can safely take omega-3 fish oil or krill oil with vitamin D and zinc supplements.

Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids provide a wide array of health benefits, which is why they are commonly taken as supplements. The main omega-3s are:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

EPA and DHA are primarily found in animal sources like fatty fish and fish oil. ALA is found in plant sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

Here are some of the top evidence-based benefits of omega-3 fatty acids:

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a key driver of many chronic diseases. Omega-3s have potent anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Studies show taking omega-3s can lower inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, and TNF alpha. Reduced inflammation is linked to benefits for heart disease, cancer, depression, arthritis, and more.

Lower Triglycerides

Omega-3s are very effective at lowering elevated blood triglyceride levels, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Many studies demonstrate that both prescription omega-3s and dietary supplements can reduce triglycerides by up to 30% in those with high levels.

Support Heart Health

The anti-inflammatory and triglyceride-lowering effects of omega-3s translate to protection for heart health. Getting enough EPA and DHA is linked to reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease.

Omega-3s may also benefit other cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

Boost Brain Function

The brain needs omega-3s for optimal development and function. DHA in particular is the most abundant omega-3 in the brain.

Omega-3 intake during pregnancy and infancy is crucial for brain development. In adults, omega-3s may enhance brain function and slow cognitive decline.

They also appear helpful for preventing and treating mood disorders like depression, anxiety and ADHD.

Improve Eye Health

DHA is highly concentrated in the retina of the eyes. It supports eye development early in life and protects vision as you age.

Omega-3 intake is linked to reduced risk of common eye diseases like macular degeneration, dry eye disease, and cataracts.

Enhance Skin and Hair

Omega-3s keep skin hydrated and hair strong by regulating the oil production in your skin and scalp. This helps give hair a healthy shine.

They also protect skin from sun damage that can lead to premature aging.

Ease Joint Pain and Arthritis

The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3s alleviate joint stiffness and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies also find benefits for osteoarthritis.

In one study of 250 people with joint pain, 90% of those taking omega-3s reported reduced pain and no longer needed pain medication after three months.

Support Fetal Development

Omega-3s, especially DHA, are vitally important for proper fetal growth and development during pregnancy. They are involved in the structure and function of the brain and eyes.

Omega-3 intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding has been linked with higher intelligence scores and visual acuity in infants.

Promote Weight Loss

Omega-3 intake may increase feelings of fullness and support fat burning, which promotes weight loss. However, studies are mixed on whether omega-3s definitively lead to reduced body weight.

Still, omega-3s positively impact obesity-related inflammation, insulin resistance, and other factors tied to weight gain.

In summary, omega-3 fatty acids offer far-reaching benefits for your brain, heart, joints, eyes, skin, and more. Given their stellar safety profile, they are one of the most beneficial supplements you can take for overall health.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D plays a crucial role in many aspects of health. It acts as a hormone in your body, communicating with receptors in nearly every cell.

Some of vitamin D’s most important functions include:

Building Strong Bones

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and bone mineralization, making it essential for bone health. Getting enough vitamin D prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults.

Studies demonstrate vitamin D supplements markedly reduce bone loss, fractures, and falls — especially in senior adults.

Boosting Immunity

Vitamin D deficiency impairs immune function and ramps up inflammation. This is linked to an increased risk of infections like the flu, pneumonia, and viral infections.

Supplementing has been shown to reduce respiratory infections and benefit lung function.

Regulating Cell Growth

Vitamin D controls cell growth differentiation and apoptosis (programmed cell death). This helps prevent the uncontrolled cell multiplication seen in cancer development.

Higher vitamin D levels are associated with reduced risks of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.

Improving Heart Health

Adequate vitamin D levels support heart health by reducing inflammation, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

People with lower vitamin D are up to twice as likely to have heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events.

Balancing Mood

Seasonal mood changes have been linked to fluctuating vitamin D levels from reduced sun exposure. Supplements appear to stabilize mood and alleviate symptoms of depression.

One meta-analysis found it reduced depressive symptoms by over 30% compared to a placebo.

Controlling Blood Sugar

By supporting insulin secretion and sensitivity, vitamin D plays a central role in blood sugar regulation. Many studies associate low vitamin D levels with increased risks of type 2 diabetes.

Supplementing may lower hemoglobin A1C counts and fasting blood glucose in those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Aiding Weight Loss

Vitamin D deficiency is tied to increased risks of obesity. Although evidence is limited, supplements may enhance weight loss, particularly when combined with calcium.

One study found women taking calcium and vitamin D for 15 weeks lost 6.4 more pounds than the control group.

In summary, vitamin D is involved in numerous functions that protect against major diseases like osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Ensuring adequate levels year-round is crucial for overall health.

Benefits of Zinc

Zinc is an essential trace mineral needed in small amounts for over 100 enzymatic reactions in the body. It is naturally present in many foods and commonly added to supplements and fortified foods.

Here are some of the top evidence-based benefits of zinc:

Boosting Immunity

Zinc plays a central role in the development and function of immune cells, known as lymphocytes and phagocytes. Even mild zinc deficiency impairs immunity and ramps up inflammation.

Supplementing with zinc reduces respiratory infections like the common cold and pneumonia. It also helps fight infections from diarrhea and malaria in developing countries.

Supporting Growth and Development

Zinc is critical for growth from fetal development through the teen years. It’s needed for DNA and protein production, cell division, and growth hormone release.

Zinc deficiency during pregnancy and childhood can impair growth, neurological development, and immunity.

Aiding Wound Healing

Zinc assists in collagen synthesis, immune function, and inflammation — all of which are vital for wound repair.

Topical or oral zinc significantly speeds up healing for burns, surgical incisions, diabetic foot ulcers, and bedsores (pressure ulcers).

Regulating Testosterone

Zinc is essential for male reproductive health and testosterone production. Deficiency is linked to reduced testosterone, impaired fertility, and increased inflammation.

In athletes and those with zinc deficiency, supplementing can raise testosterone levels and counter erectile dysfunction.

Fighting Acne

Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, zinc helps treat and prevent acne. It’s as effective as antibiotics for reducing acne lesions.

Zinc also regulates oil production and may minimize acne scarring.

Supporting Eye Health

Zinc is concentrated in the eye, particularly the retina and surrounding tissues. It enables vitamin A transportation to prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.

Zinc deficiency is tied to reduced visual acuity and night blindness.

Enhancing Brain Function

Zinc is vital for neurotransmission in the brain. Shortages are linked with depression, ADHD, and impaired cognition and learning.

Supplementing may improve mental alertness, information processing, and episodic memory.

Lowering Blood Sugar

Zinc binds to insulin and supports its storage in the pancreas. It also assists in insulin secretion and sensitizing cells to glucose.

Studies show zinc lowers blood sugar in those with diabetes. Over 30% of people with type 2 diabetes are zinc deficient.

Preventing Osteoporosis

By stimulating bone formation and mineralization, zinc strengthens bone and helps prevent osteoporosis — especially when combined with calcium.

One study in postmenopausal women found adding zinc to calcium supplements increased bone density more than calcium alone.

In summary, zinc plays diverse roles in immunity, growth, wound healing, hormone function, vision, brain health, and chronic disease risk. Ensuring you meet the RDI for zinc supports overall wellbeing.


For general health:

  • 250–500 mg EPA and DHA per day

For high triglycerides:

  • Up to 4 grams EPA and DHA per day under medical supervision

The dose may also vary based on the specific condition. Higher intakes beyond 3 grams per day should be monitored by a doctor due to possible bleeding risks.

When looking for a quality fish oil supplement, choose one that contains at least 500 mg combined EPA and DHA per 1,000 mg capsule.

Vitamin D

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is:

  • 600 IU (15 mcg) per day for ages 1–70
  • 800 IU (20 mcg) per day for those over 70

However, many experts recommend a daily intake of 1,000–4,000 IU (25–100 mcg) for optimal health.

Doses up to 10,000 IU per day are considered safe for healthy adults if monitored by a healthcare professional.


The RDA for zinc is:

  • 8 mg per day for women
  • 11 mg per day for men

These RDAs are for elemental zinc. This means if you take a supplement containing zinc gluconate, you need around 14 mg to get 8 mg of actual zinc.

Intakes up to 40 mg per day of elemental zinc from supplements or zinc lozenges generally do not cause adverse effects in healthy adults.

Higher doses may be used short term under medical supervision, usually up to 150 mg per day.

Are There Any Interactions Between Omega-3, Vitamin D and Zinc?

Interactions Between Omega-3 and Vitamin D

There are no known interactions between omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Both are fat-soluble nutrients, but they do not compete for absorption or negatively affect each other’s biological activity.

In fact, some evidence suggests omega-3s may actually enhance vitamin D absorption and function.

Omega-3s are incorporated into cell membranes, causing favorable structural changes. This appears to promote vitamin D binding and signaling through cell receptors.

Therefore, not only can you safely take omega-3s with vitamin D, but omega-3 supplements may improve your vitamin D status.

Interactions Between Omega-3 and Zinc

Like with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids do not negatively interact with zinc absorption or supplementation.

There is some evidence that omega-3s and zinc may be synergistic for certain functions:

  • Wound healing: Both omega-3s and zinc play central roles in regulating inflammation and collagen formation during wound repair. Studies indicate supplementing with the combination is optimal for recovery after surgery or injury.
  • Immunity: DHA and zinc support the activity of immune cells. Combining omega-3 supplements with 20–50 mg zinc appears useful for boosting immunity against infections.
  • Neuroprotection: DHA and zinc are crucial structural components of cell membranes in the brain and eyes. Supplementing with both may better support membrane function and prevent loss of vision.

Overall, omega-3s and zinc do not compete for absorption and both offer unique benefits for immunity, wound healing, eyes, and the brain. You can safely take fish oil or other omega-3 supplements along with zinc.

Interactions Between Vitamin D and Zinc

There are no negative interactions between zinc and vitamin D. Since they are both absorbed in the small intestine, very high doses of one can potentially affect absorption of the other.

However, this is generally not an issue at normal supplemental doses. The benefits of both nutrients are maintained when taking moderate amounts of zinc and vitamin D together.

In fact, combining vitamin D and zinc may be advantageous for building bone density and preventing osteoporosis.

  • Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and bone formation. Zinc is essential for activating vitamin D and stimulating mineralization.
  • Taking vitamin D with 30 mg zinc has been found to improve multiple markers of bone metabolism and increase bone density more than vitamin D alone.

Zinc supplementation also does not affect vitamin D levels in the blood. Offering both vitamin D and zinc ensures bones receive the synergistic benefits of these two nutrients.

Possible Side Effects of Taking Omega-3, Vitamin D and Zinc Together

When taken at recommended dosages, omega-3, vitamin D and zinc supplements are well tolerated with minimal side effects. However, there are some potential adverse effects to be aware of:

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: High doses of omega-3s may cause nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, and abdominal pain. Zinc supplements can also sometimes irritate the stomach. Taking them with food often minimizes GI side effects.
  • Unpleasant taste: Omega-3 fish oil supplements may leave an unpleasant fishy aftertaste. Zinc supplements may also give a metallic taste. Having a small snack after taking them can mask the taste.
  • Increased bleeding risk: Very high omega-3 intakes may prolong bleeding time. This may be a concern before surgery. Zinc supplementation reverses this effect, so taking zinc with omega-3s likely eliminates any bleeding risk.
  • Hypercalcemia: If achieving very high 25(OH)D levels above 100 ng/ml, the risk of high calcium levels increases. Hypercalcemia causes nausea, confusion, kidney stones, and abnormal heart rhythms. Most people taking moderate doses of vitamin D do not experience hypercalcemia.
  • Immune suppression: Excessive zinc supplementation above 40 mg per day can inhibit immune cell function. This is why zinc lozenges for colds are taken short-term only. Vitamin D also modulates immunity, so high intakes may alter immune responses.

Overall, adverse effects are uncommon if omega-3, vitamin D, and zinc supplements are taken as recommended rather than in megadoses. Talk to your doctor about appropriate dosing based on your health history.

Who Should Be Cautious Combining These Supplements?

Certain individuals should be more cautious about taking high amounts of omega-3s, vitamin D, and zinc simultaneously:

1. Those with clotting disorders

Very high omega-3 intake may increase bleeding time. People with hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, or who take blood thinners like Coumadin should limit omega-3s to under 3 grams per day unless approved by their physician.

2. Those taking medications that interact

  • Omega-3s, vitamin K, garlic, ginkgo biloba, aspirin, and NSAIDs like ibuprofen also have mild blood-thinning effects. Combining several of these with prescription anticoagulants can pose bleeding risks.
  • Oral zinc can decrease absorption of medications like quinolone antibiotics, tetracyclines, and penicillamine. Supplements may need to be staggered.
  • The “sunshine vitamin” can interact with various medications, altering their breakdown or effects. Steroids, cholesterol drugs, blood pressure medications, and cancer therapies are among those potentially affected.

3. Those with autoimmune disorders

In autoimmune diseases, the body attacks its own tissues. Although unclear, both vitamin D and zinc modulate immunity and may potentially exacerbate autoimmune reactions. Caution is warranted for conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

4. Postmenopausal women

The risk of zinc and vitamin D deficiencies increases after menopause. However, older women also need to be cautious about excessive zinc and vitamin D intake due to increased odds of osteoporosis and kidney dysfunction.

5. Those with kidney disorders

Excessive doses of vitamin D and zinc can be toxic in those with kidney impairment. Kidney disease inhibits the excretion of their metabolites, causing potential buildup and adverse effects. Dosing needs to be adjusted based on kidney function markers like eGFR.

If you have any medical conditions or take medications, consult your healthcare provider before starting supplements. They can help determine safe intake levels tailored to your health status.

Here are some tips for safely taking omega-3, vitamin D and zinc supplements together:

  • Take them with food to minimize stomach upset. Fatty fish like salmon or avocado are great choices to enhance omega-3 absorption.
  • Stagger your doses throughout the day rather than taking all supplements at once. This prevents exceeding the absorption capacity for fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Look for an omega-3 supplement that contains antioxidants like vitamin E to prevent fatty acids from oxidizing.
  • Choose quality products from reputable brands that undergo independent testing. Check for seals from organizations like the GOED, NSF, and USP.
  • Read the Supplement Facts label to verify the type and amount of omega-3s (EPA/DHA), vitamin D, and elemental zinc provided per serving.
  • Start at lower doses and work your way up. Omega-3s, vitamin D, and zinc are beneficial in a range of intakes. Mega-doses do not necessarily translate to better results.
  • Retest your vitamin D level 3–4 months after starting supplements to avoid excess accumulation and hypercalcemia.
  • Take zinc short-term during immune challenges or wounds, then give your body a break from large doses.
  • Monitor for potential signs of excessive intake like nausea, metallic taste, weakness, or dizziness.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about all supplements you take, including omega-3s, vitamin D, and zinc. Discuss optimal dosing and any precautions based on your medical history.

Combining omega-3s, vitamin D, and zinc at moderate doses is generally considered safe and beneficial for most people. Following these tips helps you maximize the health benefits while minimizing potential side effects. As always, consult your doctor with any concerns about taking supplements.


In conclusion, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and zinc are extremely beneficial nutrients that are safe and advantageous to take together.

At recommended supplemental doses, they do not negatively interact or cause significant side effects. In fact, research indicates omega-3s may actually boost vitamin D absorption and function.

Combining these supplements provides overlapping benefits for immunity, bone strength, wound healing, heart health, brain function, and inflammation. They help reduce the risk of major chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis.

However, very high intakes can potentially cause side effects or interactions in those with certain medical conditions. To stay on the safe side, follow dosage guidelines, take them with food, spread out your doses, and inform your doctor about all supplements you take.

While diet should always come first, quality omega-3, vitamin D, and zinc supplements are a safe, effective strategy for filling in nutrient gaps and supporting optimal wellness.

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