How much Omega-3 should you take every day
Everyone is paying attention to omega-3 fatty acids now because of its health benefits and the answer to almost every health problem.
Omega-3s are important as it plays a key role in helping our cells, heart, lungs, immune system, and hormone system function properly. They’re also involved in reducing inflammation throughout our bodies.
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids – DHA, EPA, and ALA. Fatty fish are usually high in DHA and EPA, while plant sources are high in ALA. A small part of ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA in our body.
In this blog, we will explore the recommended intake of omega-3s we need for optimal health.
What are the daily guidelines for omega-3?
While several US organisations have released guidelines on omega-3 daily intakes, there is no absolute rule about how much omega-3 a person needs.
Research does suggest that different groups of people need different amounts, and higher intakes of omega-3 can be helpful for certain health conditions.
Healthy adult males and females
Overall, most of the organisations recommended a minimum of 250 – 500mg combined EPA and DHA each day for healthy adults. As for ALA, it recommends 1.6g for males and 1.1g for females.
Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and children
Ladies should consume more omega-3 in their diet when pregnant and lactating:
- 0.3g of EPA and DHA
- 1.4g of ALA while pregnant
- 1.3g of ALA while lactating
Infants up to 1-year-old should consume 0.5g as total omega-3s. Breastfeed milk contains ALA, DHA, and EPA for infants.
Omega-3 for specific health conditions
- Heart Disease: Several US organisations recommend that people with coronary heart disease take 850 – 1,000mg of combined EPA and DHA daily. Those with high triglycerides take 2,000 – 4,000mg daily.
- Depression and anxiety: High doses of omega-3, ranging from 200 – 2,200mg per day can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Cancer: A high intake of omega-3 fatty acids and fish may reduce the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
How much is too much?
No organisation established the upper limit of omega-3 intake. High doses of omega-3 may increase bleeding time. Therefore, people who take blood-thinning drugs should be cautious and talk to their doctor before taking an omega-3 supplement.
If we cannot consume enough omega-3 in our daily diet, we can consider taking an omega-3 supplement. Do seek doctor’s advice before taking any new dietary supplements.
The ingredients of omega-3 supplements vary and we should examine the product label to see what exactly it contains. A typical omega-3 supplement is fish oil and the doses of EPA and DHA vary widely. Plant-based sacha inchi oil is rich in ALA fatty acids.
Omega-3 supplement doses
Omega-3 supplements, including sacha inchi oil and fish oil, contain the long-chain omega-3 acids. We must read the label of our omega-3 supplement to know how much ALA, EPA, and DPA it contains.
It is recommended to take the right dosage as mentioned on the packaging as it’s scientifically tested.
Keep in mind that omega-3 needs vary by individual. The amount a person needs depends on their age, sex, and health status. Health sources recommend that humans should not exceed 3g (3,000mg) of omega-3 in a day unless advised by a medical professional.
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