It’s not quite clear what the right fish oil dosage is, I constantly see questions about how much fish oil should I take.
How much do you take? What about the recommended dosage for fish oil capsules for someone with preexisting heart disease, do they take more Omega 3 supplements?
Lets see what the American Heart Association says. They know all about the benefits of fish oil to your health, and they also tell us a little about how much fish oil to take on their website.
Lets look at what they recommend.
Firstly though, lets consider the source of the fish oil. Now of course you could get your fish oil from eating fish. That’s fine, but be aware that there are some problems associated with this, (apart from the fact that fish is very expensive and its cheaper to buy fish oil supplements).
The first problem is that fish are generally contaminated with various toxins, and the FDA recommend limiting your intake of fish for this reason.
This doesn’t apply to the best fish oil supplements, they go through a rigorous process to ensure that they are free from contaminants. Note that not all fish oil supplements are free from contaminants.
And there are also differences in the amount of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats you get from different fish types, the best being oily fish. How do you know how much you’re getting?
Now the AHA tells us to eat 2 fish meals a week, but what if you’re worried about contamination, or fish is too expensive?
The AHA recommendation also includes the statement that evidence from prospective secondary prevention studies suggests that taking EPA+DHA ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 grams per day (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces deaths from heart disease and all causes.
So healthy people should take around half a gram to 1.8 grams of fish oil (EPA and DHA) a day from either eating fish or fish oil supplements.
And for people who have heart disease already:
For those with documented Coronary Heart Disease: 1 gram of EPA and DHA a day. (Note that those with known heart health problems should consult a doctor before starting any supplements).
And 2 to 4 grams a day if you have triglycerides that need lowering.
So there’s some more specific recommendations. Now lets look at another source.
There was a new study published just recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that suggests at least 500 mg (half a gram) per day for healthy people and 800 to 1000 mg for those with known cardio vascular issues.
But what about the ratio between DHA and EPA, the 2 major Omega 3 fats? How much of each? The AHA don’t tell us, it’s being studied.
What’s the conclusion? Firstly, those with known heart disease should take more fish oil than those without.
And we can conclude that the science is still out on the exact dosage of fish oil that everyone should be taking. But its getting there. The dosage recommendations above are relatively clear.
Around a half gram a day minimum of both EPA and DAH together for healthy people, and around a gram a day for those with issues. More to lower triglycerides.
The best fish oil supplements money can buy have 280 mg of DHA and 120 mg of EPA in them. (Double the amount of DHA than your “average” capsules). So they have a total of 400 mg.
2 capsules a day give you 800 mg a day, about right. And the label tells us that we should take 2 capsules a day.
The conclusion therefore is that if you use the best fish oil supplements and have no known preexisting heart problems, just follow the recommended dosages listed on the label. Other fish oil supplements may require you to take 4 or 5 or more capsules, depending on the quantity of Omega 3 fats in the capsules.
So if you want to find the right fish oil dosage that may help. There’s no exact recommendations, it’s being studied.
We can draw some conclusions from the recommendations of the AHA and others.
And the conclusion, 2 capsules day (of the best fish oil capsules, not all) corresponds with their own recommendations.
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