Why Does Salmon Make Me Burp? An Expert’s Guide

Salmon is a delicious and nutritious fish that is packed with essential omega-3 fatty acids. However, for some people, consuming salmon can lead to an unpleasant side effect – fish burps.

If you’ve ever experienced this, you know how uncomfortable it can be. But why does salmon make us burp?

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind this phenomenon and provide tips on how to prevent it.

So, let’s dive in and discover why salmon makes us burp!

Why Does Salmon Make Me Burp?

The main reason why salmon can cause burping is due to the high levels of protein and omega-3 fatty acids it contains. These nutrients are essential for our health, but they can be difficult to digest, leading to the production of gas in the stomach.

Additionally, salmon skin is often rich in histamine, which can also contribute to burping and discomfort. This is because histamine can cause inflammation in the digestive tract, leading to the production of gas.

Another factor that can contribute to burping after consuming salmon is the presence of raffinose, a type of sugar that is not broken down by the body during digestion. Raffinose ends up in the large intestine, where it is fermented by bacteria, producing gas and leading to bloating and discomfort.

The Science Behind Fish Burps

The science behind fish burps is related to the way fish and algal oils are encapsulated in softgel capsules. These capsules are designed to remain intact until they reach the intestinal tract, where the digestive system can easily absorb the nutrients. However, sometimes these capsules dissolve too early in the stomach’s acidic environment, causing the release of gas from the upper digestive tract.

Moreover, some people are more prone to fish burps than others due to their physiology. The rate of gastric emptying, which is the process of how quickly the stomach empties into the small intestine, varies from person to person. The slower gastric emptying happens, the more likely one is to experience fishy burps.

Certain additives commonly found in softgel casings can also cause bad gas, bloating, and digestive upset. However, vegan casings made from tapioca or cellulose have been shown to be easier on the gut.

It’s essential to note that a poorly-processed, low-quality oil will trigger fish burps regardless of when it’s released into the digestive system. Furthermore, unstable oils of low or questionable quality may start breaking down casing before your stomach acid has a chance to dissolve it.

What Causes Fish Burps After Eating Salmon?

Fish burps after eating salmon are caused by the release of fish oil or algal oil from softgel capsules in the digestive system. These capsules are designed to remain intact until they reach the intestinal tract, where they can be absorbed by the body. However, sometimes these capsules dissolve earlier than intended, releasing their contents in the acidic environment of the stomach. This can lead to the production of gas and burping, which can have a fishy taste and odor.

The quality of the fish or algal oil inside the softgel capsule can also contribute to fish burps after eating salmon. Low-quality oils that are poorly processed or unstable can break down the capsule casing before it reaches the stomach, leading to the release of fishy oils and gas.

Other factors that can contribute to fish burps after eating salmon include eating a large meal, not chewing food enough, and dehydration. Some people may also be more prone to burping due to their physiology.

To prevent fish burps after eating salmon or taking fish oil supplements, it is recommended to take them with a full glass of water and with food. An enteric coating or freezing the supplement can also help delay the breakdown of the capsule in the body, reducing the chances of burping. Additionally, choosing high-quality supplements with vegan casings made from tapioca or cellulose can reduce digestive upset and bloating.

Tips To Prevent Fish Burps

If you’re looking to prevent fish burps after consuming salmon or taking fish oil supplements, there are several tips you can follow:

1. Choose a high-quality fish oil supplement: Opt for pharmaceutical grade fish oil that contains the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. Look for a supplement that provides 2,000 – 4,000mg per day of total DHA/EPA to ensure you get the maximum benefits with fewer pills and less side effects.

2. Start with a small dose: If you’re new to taking fish oil supplements, start with one pill per day and gradually increase the dosage to two per day after a few weeks. This will help your body adjust to the supplement and prevent an upset stomach.

3. Take fish oil at the beginning of a meal: Consuming fish oil supplements with food can help trap the oil in the stomach, reducing the chances of fishy burps and buffering any unpleasant odor. Avoid taking fish oil after a meal as it can lead to more fishy burps and heartburn.

4. Look for enteric-coated fish oil: Enteric coating prevents the capsule from dissolving in the stomach, allowing it to stay intact until it reaches the intestines. This prevents any fishy burps as the oil is not released in the stomach.

5. Freeze your fish oil: If you’re still experiencing fishy burps even with enteric-coated fish oil, try freezing your capsules before taking them. This slows down the breakdown of the oil in your stomach, lessening the chances of burps.

6. Store your fish oil properly: To prevent oxidation, store your fish oil away from heat and light and ensure the cap is tightly closed after each use.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids without experiencing unpleasant side effects like fishy burps.

Other Ways To Enjoy Salmon Without Burping

If you love salmon but hate the fishy burps that come with it, there are a few things you can do to enjoy this delicious fish without any discomfort. Here are some tips:

1. Opt for fresh salmon: Fresh salmon is less likely to cause burping than canned or smoked salmon. This is because fresh salmon has not been processed and does not contain as many additives that can cause digestive issues.

2. Season your salmon: Seasoning your salmon before cooking can help to reduce the fishy taste and smell that can contribute to burping. Try using herbs and spices like thyme, garlic, and lemon to add flavor without adding extra fat or calories.

3. Cook your salmon in a different way: Instead of pan-frying or grilling your salmon, try steaming or roasting it. Steaming salmon in a rice cooker or pan with a lid can help to retain moisture and flavor, while roasting it in the oven with herbs and spices can give it a crispy texture without adding extra oil.

4. Take fish oil supplements with meals: If you are taking fish oil supplements to get your omega-3s, make sure to take them with meals. This will help to slow down the digestion process and reduce the risk of fishy burps.

5. Freeze your fish oil supplements: Another way to avoid fishy burps from fish oil supplements is to freeze them before taking them. Freezing them helps to slow down the digestion process, which reduces the risk of burping.

By following these tips, you can enjoy all the health benefits of salmon without any unpleasant side effects.

When To See A Doctor For Persistent Fish Burps

While burping after eating salmon is generally not a cause for concern, persistent and frequent fish burps accompanied by other symptoms may indicate an underlying health condition that requires medical attention. If you experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain along with fish burps, it is important to see a doctor. These symptoms could be indicative of gastrointestinal infection caused by bacteria such as H. Pylori or Giardia parasite.

It is also important to seek medical attention if you are over 50 years old, suffer from AIDS, are receiving chemotherapy, or have undergone a transplant, as these conditions can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult to fight off infections.

If you have tried dietary changes and over-the-counter medications to alleviate your fish burps but they persist, it is recommended to consult a gastroenterologist. A qualified physician can perform diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop an appropriate treatment plan.