How Much Fish Oil Should I Take?

Fish Oil
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Many people regularly take fish oil supplements.

Fish oil not only benefits your brain, eyes, and heart, but it also helps your body battle inflammation.

It is advised by several healthcare providers. However, you might not be aware of your personal dosage needs. How much should you take fish oil that is recommended for optimum health is covered in this article.

How Much Fish Oil Should I Take?

Many people include fish oil in their daily supplement regimen. Why? The advantages are backed by research! Fortunately, over the past ten years, this supplement has attracted a lot of attention. This media interest has spurred additional study, which has finally revealed greater advantages associated with the use of fish oil. Make sure you’re taking the proper dosage of fish oil if you’re interested in reaping its benefits.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid are the three main forms of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). Although EPA and DHA can theoretically be produced in modest amounts by the body from ALA, the conversion rate is relatively low and erratic (only about 1 to 21 percent actually gets converted, according to research). This is why it’s so important to be intentional about consuming EPA and DHA through food and supplements—but how much, exactly? 

According to registered dietitian and mbg collective member Maya Feller, M.S., R.D., CDN, omega-3 fatty acids are “present in the membranes of every cell in our body, give energy for the body, and aid to construct signaling molecules”* when consumed. 

There are official daily recommendations from the National Academies for carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and even ALA (which is derived from plant sources), but neither EPA nor DHA has such recommendations. However, based on decades of scientific study, the strong support for these marine omega-3s has prompted numerous academic and dietary groups to publish their own recommendations to guarantee that individuals are consuming enough of the advantageous fatty acids.

For instance, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 8 ounces (or around two meals) of fish per week, which translates to 250–500 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day as a minimum intake level.

Additionally, to further support cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association advises increasing that intake to 1,000 milligrams (or 1 gram) or more of EPA + DHA daily.

According to Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, vice president of scientific affairs at mbg, “Practically, this potent 1-gram dose of EPA and DHA would mean consuming approximately one serving of fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, anchovies, etc.) every single day, which not only has financial ramifications but also some serious heavy metal and contaminant considerations.”

If you’re not a fan of eating fish that regularly (or you simply find it difficult to consume it multiple times per week), fish oil supplements can help. Just make sure the supplement you’re taking provides a meaningful dose of omega-3s, at minimum 500 milligrams of EPA and DHA—the most beneficial dose for cardioprotective benefits will include 1,000 milligrams or more of the fats.

How Much Fish Oil Should I Take Daily?

There is no recommended daily intake of fish oil because of the wide range of potential advantages. Instead, the dose frequency is determined by the desired outcome. For instance, doctors frequently advise patients taking fish oil for heart health to take significantly higher amounts (e.g. cholesterol changes). Your doctor can assist you in choosing the right dosage. A common dosage recommendation for fish oil is between 1,000 mg and 2,000 mg. This dosage typically delivers 250 mg to 600 mg of EPA and DHA (the most important omega-3s).

What Time of Day Should I Take Fish Oil?

You don’t have to take your fish oil supplement at a specific time of the day. However, there are some tactics that can enhance your experience and the outcomes you get. Fishy burps, reflux, and indigestion are all documented side effects of taking fish oil supplements. When you take your fish oil supplement with food, many of your problems will disappear. To lessen the possibility of belching, some people choose to keep their fish oil capsules in the refrigerator. A meal that contains fat may also be the best choice. The best way to absorb omega-3 fatty acids may be to take them along with a meal that contains fat. However, you don’t have to include fatty foods in your meal for this only purpose.

Why Should I Take Fish Oil?

The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil is the main benefit of ingesting fish oil. Omega-3s can only be gained through your diet from foods like fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and canola, or by taking supplements. They are connected to a wide range of advantages, including joint, brain, heart, and eye health. Let’s explore some of the advantages of fish oil in more detail: 

  • Heart: The advantages of taking fish oil supplements for heart health are among their main appeals. According to studies, fish oil may lower cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, or lower the chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
  • Joints: Fish oil has shown promising results for joint health. One 12-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that patients taking 2,600mg of omega-3 per day experienced less joint pain than those taking a placebo.
  • Brain: Fish oil may also have advantages for cognitive function. A 2005 clinical trial found that taking omega-3 supplements led to better attention and mood in the omega-3 group compared to the placebo group. An earlier population-based study discovered that persons who ate more fish in their diet outperformed others on a battery of cognitive tests.
  • Eyes: Those who experience dry eyes may benefit from fish oil. In a 2013 trial, 518 participants with symptoms of dry eye were enrolled. At three months, symptoms had significantly improved for 65% of patients in the omega-3 group and 33% of patients in the placebo group.

How Long Do I Have to Use Fish Oil to Feel the Benefits?

It is crucial to note that you probably won’t experience the advantages of fish oil. For instance, it is impossible to actually feel your heart health improving. However, that does not imply that it is ineffective. Each person will experience the effects of fish oil in a different amount of time. The targeted benefit has an effect on this time as well. In general, fish oil takes some time to show results. The majority of people will begin to see advantages after taking fish oil consistently for a period of four weeks to three months. Even if you start to experience benefits after this period of time, it is doubtful that you will stop taking fish oil. Most people will take fish oil for many months or years to maintain the desired effect. Your physician can help you determine how long to stay on fish oil.

Are There Any Risks of Taking Too Much Fish Oil?

For the majority of people, regular amounts are safe, however some people have concerns about taking excessive doses. For instance, fish oil may affect your blood pressure, clotting capacity, and blood sugar levels. As was previously indicated, many people experience stomach problems as a result of fish oil (e.g. indigestion, diarrhea, and reflux). When taking a vegetarian omega, several people discover that these modest digestive side effects are minimized.

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