I have heard multiple times in my life that eating seafood would lengthen healing time of an injury, such as a large cut or a broken bone, and possibly make it worse. I heard this mainly from eastern medicine. Is there any validity in this claim, and if so what is the science behind this?

Searching on Baidu gives arrives at this: https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/2885108.html

It says that seafood, especially ones that have been sitting dead for some time contain a type of histamine, which worsens some medical conditions. However, it is not linked to any source.

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    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 19:14
  • @Carey Gregory ♦ I updated a source
    – Max0815
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 23:52
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    The link is in Chinese and this is an English language site, so English references are required. Skimming through the google translation of the site I can see it offers promising questions for you to research further.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


There is some weak evidence that high intake of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (salmon, mackerel, roe, anchovies, tuna, herring, sablefish, sardines) or fish oil capsules might delay wound healing.

Here is one experiment about wound healing in rats fed with fish oil:

Detrimental effects of an omega-3 fatty acid-enriched diet on wound healing (Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 1993):

The omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oils have anti-inflammatory effects with potential beneficial clinical applications. However, these same effects may alter wound healing, a process dependent upon an adequate inflammatory response...At 30 days, however, wounds harvested from rats fed the menhaden oil diet were significantly weaker than those from corn oil-fed animals... Dietary consumption of a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may conspire against the quality of wounds by altering the fibroplastic or maturational phases of the healing response.

Here is one review article about post-operative wound healing in humans Role of Arginine and Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Wound Healing and Infection (Advances in Wound Care, 2014), which says:

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can prevent wound infections and can improve early wound healing, but after several days may decrease the deposition of collagen, possibly preventing extensive scarring.

So, according to this source, fish oil may delay wound healing, but prevent scaring, which could, at the end, be a beneficial effect.


ω-3 fatty acids effect on wound healing (Journal of Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2008):

The results presented in this paper linked the EPA/DHA dietary supplements...and nonsignificantly slower wound healing.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Modulate Wound Healing (Advances in Wound Care, 2011):

Dietary supplementation with ω-3 fatty acids affects the local production of cytokines that mediate inflammation in wound healing processes. Further research is needed to determine if this effect is ultimately beneficial or detrimental to wound healing.

The article linked from the question does not mention wound healing, but that histamine in fish can cause "allergies."

It is known that histamine can build up in non-fresh or improperly stored fish and cause scombroid poisoning with symptoms similar to food alllergies: flushing, itch, hives, diarrhea...but I havent found any association between scombroid poisioning and impaired wound healing. Concluding from this study in mice, histamine could actually promote wound healing.

  • I see. Thank you very much on this answer.
    – Max0815
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 23:48

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