Fish Oil Dosage
What is the proper fish oil dosage?
Actually, how much Omega 3 you should take daily depends on why you are taking it.
- Coronary Heart Disease
- High Triglycerides
- High Blood Pressure
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- And many more . . .
Let’s look at the recommended amount of Omega 3 you should take daily to benefit these conditions and for general preventive use.
Coronary Heart Disease
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to significantly reduce the risk for sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heart beats) and death by any cause in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). And that is significant because cardiac arrhythmias account for 50 to 60 percent of all deaths in persons with CHD.
How much Omega 3 should you take daily to get these benefits?
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people with diagnosed CHD should consume about 1 gram (1000 mg) of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids daily, preferably from eating fish.
However, many people do not like fish or do not have access to a good supply of fish, and it is probably not reasonable to expect most people to eat one or more servings of fish per day. Because different fish have different amounts of Omega 3s, to get the recommended 1 gram of Omega-3 fatty acids, you would need to eat one to two servings of salmon, four to seven servings of cod, or four servings of shrimp per day.
Since that isn’t realistic, alternatively, the AHA suggests that you consider an Omega-3 supplement that gives you 1 gram (1000 mg) of combined DHA and EPA daily. Be sure to do this under the supervision of your health care provider.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to lower plasma triglyceride levels, particularly in people who have high triglyceride levels (hyper-triglyceridemia).
So, the question becomes: How much Omega 3 should you take daily to lower your triglyceride?
An expert review of a number of human studies concluded that approximately 4 grams (4000 mg) per day of Omega-3 fatty acids reduced triglyceride concentrations by 25 to 30 percent.
The American Heart Association’s recommendation is that people with high triglycerides take an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement with 2 to 4 grams (2000 to 4000 mg) of EPA and DHA (combined).
You don’t have to take all of this fish oil at once. In fact, splitting your intake into two daily dosages decreases some of the bothersome Omega-3 side effects, such as a fishy after taste and belching, which some people experience. As I mentioned above, the AHA recommends that you take omega-3 fatty acids for this use only under the supervision of your healthcare provider.
High Blood Pressure
For people with High Blood Pressure, Omega-3 fatty acids appear to have a dose-related effect. That means that the more you take, the greater the blood pressure reducing benefit you get.
So, how much Omega 3 should you take daily to get a suitable reduction in your blood pressure?
One study found that 5.6 grams (5600 mg) per day of fish oil reduced blood pressure by 3.4/2.0 mm Hg. Another study found modest blood pressure reductions of 5.5/3.5 mm Hg in trials in which patients received at least 3 grams per day of fish oil.
Here, also, consult with your physician about the dose of fish oil you should take to reduce your high blood pressure.
It’s established that Omega 3 fish oil benefits people who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. But, 3ow much Omega 3 should you take daily to get these benefits?
Several studies have found that fish oil at dosages of at least 3 grams (3000 mg) per day significantly reduced morning stiffness and the number of tender, swollen joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
There were two other findings of these studies that are important.
The beneficial effects were more common in patients receiving higher dosages of fish oil, and were not apparent until fish oil had been consumed for at least 12 weeks. So, hang in there even if you don’t see immediate results.
It has also been reported that reducing dietary intake of Omega-6 fatty acids (which we will talk more about below) while increasing consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids reduces inflammation and allows some Rheumatoid Arthritis patients to reduce or discontinue use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
How Much Omega 3 Should You Take Daily For Preventive Purposes?
Perhaps you are like your authors. You don’t suffer from any of the maladies that Omega 3s have been shown to help. However, you want to take a fish oil supplement to prevent these problems from cropping up and to receive the other benefits that are discussed throughout this website.
For those people, the recommendation is that you take 2 grams (2000 mg) per day, and not more than 3 grams (3000 mg) without your doctor’s approval.
Why not more than 3 grams (3000 mg) per day?
Because Omega-3 fatty acids exert a dose-related effect on bleeding time, you should not take too much, especially if you are already taking a blood thinning medication. However, take comfort from the fact that there are no documented cases of abnormal bleeding as a result of fish oil supplementation, even at high dosages and in combination with other anticoagulant medications.
We should also point out, in fairness, that the American Heart Association does not recommend Omega-3 fatty acid supplements for people who do not have a diagnosis of heart disease or high triglycerides. Instead, it recommends that healthy people eat a variety of fish at least twice a week.
However, as discussed elsewhere at this website, eating enough fish is not always practical or cost-effective and there are also concerns that fish may come from polluted waters and contain mercury or other dioxins. These are some of the reasons why we take an Omega-3 fish oil supplement even though we don’t have a diagnosed heart problem.
One Final Tip: Don’t Forget To Keep A Good Ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s
Omega 3s have a number of proven health benefits; and, for the reasons explained here, taking a pure, safe fish oil supplement is beneficial.
However, reducing your consumption of Omega 6s, another essential fatty acid, is just as important to your health as taking in Omega 3s.
As you may know, Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. However, most Omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
Found in foods such as eggs, poultry, cereals, vegetable oils, baked goods, and margarine, Omega-6s support skin health, lower cholesterol, and help make our blood “sticky” so it is able to clot.
But when Omega-6s are not balanced with sufficient amounts of Omega-3s, problems can arise.
When blood is too “sticky,” it promotes clot formation, and this can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The ideal ratio of Omega 6s to Omega 3s is between 2:1 and 4:1. However, people who eat a modern Western diet take in about 20 times more Omega 6s than Omega 3s, causing a serious problem for themselves.
To avoid such problems, you should both reduce your intake of Omega-6 laden processed foods, corn oil, sunflower and safflower oil, and soybean oil AND take a daily supplement of fish oil.
So, how much Omega 3 should you take daily? What’s the proper dosage? The answer varies depending on why you are taking the Omega 3.