Fatty fish is the best source of omega-3, an essential fatty acid with several health benefits. Individuals who do not consume fatty fish on a regular basis must consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
An essential factor to consider while choosing the right omega 3 supplement is the amount of ecosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA)- the two most important types of omega 3. Algae and fatty fish are a rich source of EPA and DHA.
Read on to know more about how much omega 3 you need per day to be healthy and active.
What Are The Official Omega-3 Dosage Guidelines?
Although there is no standard guideline for daily omega 3 intake, many established health organizations have published their take on the subject; each of which differ significantly from the other.
In general, the recommended dose of omega 3 (EPA+DHA) per day is around 250-500 mg for a healthy adult. Higher amounts are recommended only for people with certain health conditions.
Omega-3 for Specific Health Conditions
Omega 3 was shown to cause a 25% reduction in heart attacks and 45% reduction in sudden death by a trial that followed 11,000 participants who took 850 mg of EPA and DHA combined over a period of three and a half years.
Several organizations, like the American Heart Association (AHA), recommend a 1000 mg dosage for patients with coronary heart disease and 2000-4000 mg for those with high triglycerides.
Effect Of Omega 3 On Anxiety And Depression:
Between 200-2000 mg of omega 3 can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to studies. Higher amounts of EPA and DHA also help in other mental conditions and mood disorders.
Effect Of Omega 3 On Cancer:
Although there is no optimal dosage of omega 3 for reduced risk of cancer, high consumption has shown to reduce risk for breast, prostate and colon cancers.
Omega-3 for Children and Pregnant Women
Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial before, during and after pregnancy. Guidelines published by various health organizations recommend that pregnant and lactating women take 200 mg more omega 3 than that recommended for healthy adults.
Omega 3 (combined EPA and DHA ) dosage for infants and children range between 50-100 mg per day.
Effect Of Omega 6 On Omega 3 Intake
According to many experts, the ideal omega 6 to omega 3 ratio for optimal health is close to 2:1. In a typical Western diet this ratio is nearly 10:1 owing to high levels of omega 6 in the refined vegetable oils used in the processed food.
Why is this ratio important? Omega 3 and omega 6 depend on the same set of enzymes to convert into their active forms. Hence, omega 3 requirements often depend on omega 6 intake. High amounts of omega 6 in the diet would have to be compensated by even higher amounts of omega 3s.
Too Much Omega-3 Can be Harmful
The daily safety limit for omega 3 intake also has conflicting opinions. While the FDA claims this to be 3000 mg per day, their European counterpart, EFSA declared that up to 5000 mg per day is safe.
It is important to keep these numbers in mind due to the following reasons:
- Omega 3 can cause blood thinning and excessive bleeding in some individuals.
- Vitamin A, which is found in high amounts in some omega 3 supplements like cod liver oil can be toxic.
Aside from harmful effects caused due to excessive intake, consuming more than 5000 mg of omega 3 has not shown to be more beneficial.
What Is The Price Of Omega 3 In India?
The label on many omega-3 supplements can be misleading. Knowing how much EPA and DHA the supplement actually contains is important for the reasons mentioned throughout the article.
AIWO’s Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsules have an optimum EPA: DHA ratio of 3:2 with 330 mg and 220 mg respectively. To cover the daily recommended amount of omega 3, you have to just pop in two of these capsules. A single container comes with 180 pills. It is enteric-coated, easy to swallow, and suitable for both men and women.
It is advisable to follow the instructions on the omega 3 supplement label. Omega-3 requirements are different for each individual and this is linked to the regular diet. Unless instructed by your specialist, maximum recommended daily dosage of omega 3 is 3000 mg and the minimum requirement is 250 mg