Question:

If fish oil is taken in the morning, how soon afterwards can a fiber supplement be taken without absorbing the fish oil?

– Gary J.

Answer:

My, my, someone is thinking ahead and looking to get the most bang for their supplement bucks! Shouldn’t we all? Seems that you’ve implied fiber absorbs fat present in the gut. …And you’d be right! Soluble fiber is known for binding with liver-created cholesterol (put out via bile secretion) and passing it through the gut. Fiber supplements usually contain psyllium, providing 5-10 grams soluble fiber per serving.

Now, to answer your question we would need to know the clearance time of a fish oil supplement. Hmm. That would depend on whether it’s straight oil, an emulsified liquid form, or a capsule. Whether food or beverage is also being consumed at the same time makes a difference. Therefore, I could not accurately say how long that process takes from mouth to large intestine.

The soundest advice would be to consume your fish oil and fiber supplement hours apart to prevent any interplay affecting digestion or absorption.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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