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How much Omega-3 should you get daily?

Omega-3s are important parts of the cellular tissues and membranes thus help normal heart, lungs, immune and brain function and hormone system.

The amount of Omega-3 a person needs depends on their age, sex, and health status. If a person does not eat fish on a regular basis, then taking an Omega-3 supplement might be a good idea.

Fatty fish, nuts, and seeds are rich in omega-3s. Fatty fish are high in DHA and EPA. Plant sources are high in ALA.

There are three types of omega-3 fatty acid:

  • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

There are few guidelines for recommended intake of Omega-3s for different people to achieve optimal health or dietary needs for certain health conditions or simply said, the recommended amount a person needs to ensure nutritional adequacy.

Adults-males and females

It is well agreed that adult males and females should get around 0.25 g of EPA+DHA per day and ALA dose of 1.6 g for males and 1.1 g for females.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women

During pregnancy and lactation periods, women should follow a supplementation regimen as follows:

  • 0.3 g of EPA plus DHA, of which at least 0.2 g should be DHA
  • 1.4 g of ALA while pregnant
  • 1.3 g of ALA while lactating

For babies up to the age of 1 year, the infants should consume 0.5 g of total Omega-3s from human milk that contains ALA, DHA, and EPA.

Omega-3 for cardiovascular health

It is recommended for heart health to consume around 1g of EPA plus DHA per day, preferably from dietary intake such as oily fish.

Omega-3 for brain and affective disorders

Some studies have indicated that omega-3 supplementation may help to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety in human subjects when receiving 1.4 g of DHA plus EPA every day for 21 days.

How much is too much?

There is no official statement on the limit of omega-3 intake. According to various health authorities worldwide it was suggested that people should take no more than 3 g per day of DHA and EPA combined.

Over long periods, research has shown that omega-3 can reduce immune system function, also increase bleeding time. Therefore, people with blood-thinning medication should consult their healthcare practitioner before taking any omega-3 supplement.

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How much Omega-3 should you get daily?


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