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Fish & Jaundice

| Updated September 26, 2017

Jaundice is a disease associated with newborns and is often resolved with light therapy and the tender loving care of a parent. The truth is jaundice can affect anyone, and it takes far more than light therapy to properly treat it. In fact, it is important that fish products be restricted until the jaundice is cleared up.

Jaundice Definition

Jaundice is a liver disease where the body is unable to process excess bilirubin that is created by the liver. This happens during the degeneration of red blood cells. Bilirubin is sent to the gall bladder and used to create bile, which is in turn used to aid in the digestion of fat. In the case of jaundice, the bilirubin is not processed completely and begins building up in the bloodstream.


Jaundice is caused by damage to the liver. Liver damage can be caused by many factors including vitamin A exposure and alcoholism. Any issue that causes liver problems may cause jaundice as a symptom, but it can be a small part of a much larger problem. Jaundice is one of most visual symptoms of liver damage and can be treated with drugs and diet.

Fish and Vitamin A

Fish oil is a common home remedy for a number of ailments, but it has a high concentration of vitamin A, which can be a contributing factor to liver damage and, thus, jaundice. People with vitamin A liver damage should avoid fish oil completely until getting permission from their physician.

Fish and Fat

Damage to the liver can impede the body's ability to absorb fat and be a contributing factor in jaundice because of the excess bilirubin created. As such, people should avoid all fatty foods and concentrate on protein. Fish, while not necessarily a fatty food itself, is often served deep-fried, which adds a significant amount of fat to the meal. If a person with jaundice wants to eat fish, it should be broiled or baked and only in small amounts. Fish is still high in vitamin A, which may worsen the jaundice.


While jaundice can be treated at home, it is a symptom of liver damage. If you notice yellowing of the skin or eyes, then you should see a doctor immediately and find out what is causing the jaundice. If liver damage goes unchecked, it can lead to liver failure, extreme sickness and eventually death.