Is it OK to Break Open Fish Oil Pills If You Have Trouble Swallowing?

Is it OK to break open fish oil pills? Some people have trouble swallowing pills and capsules. They might have trouble with just about any pill or capsule.

Here is the answer, with a few tips on what you should know about fish oil, and breaking open capsules and pills.

Why breaking open a fish oil pill is harmless

The fish oil is inside a soft shell made of gelatin. The gelatin is there to hold the oil; you don’t need it otherwise. So it’s perfectly OK to break it open and pour the oil onto food or whatever makes it easy to swallow. You can throw the gelatin away.

This is very helpful for a person who has trouble swallowing pills.

This is also great for small children. Fish oil is by far the best source of omega 3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are very important to the healthy development of babies and children. The brain is more than 60 percent fat, and the most important fat is DHA (Docosahexenoic Acid) found in rich supply in fish like mackerel, anchovies, tuna, salmon and a few others.

So it’s simple and easy to break open the gelatin and pour the valuable omega 3 oil into juice or formula or mix it into the food of a child.

Why this might be a bad idea for other supplements

A fish oil pill is NOT really a pill, it’s a capsule — a soft shell to hold the oil. A pill (or a tablet) is actually a hard little thing, like an aspirin, for example. For most pills, there’s nothing wrong with breaking them into two pieces (or even more than two).

If that makes the pill easy to swallow — or you just want to take half a dose — it can work just fine.

When is it NOT just fine?

Well, there are some great supplements that come in pills that are coated with enteric. Enteric-coated pills or tablets are made that way for an important reason. Enteric coating protects the pill from breaking apart in the acids of the stomach.


Because there are some important nutrients that are destroyed or damaged by stomach acids. Carnosine is one example of a valuable nutrient that is badly damaged by stomach acid. For this reason, any enteric-coated pill should not be broken open.

But it’s just fine to break open a fish oil pill.

You get your essential omega 3’s, and that’s a great thing for your health.