How Much Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Take?

How much omega 3 should we be taking each day in order to harness its many health benefits? Is there an ideal omega 3 dosage?

DHA and EPA are two types of omega 3 fatty acids which have been very well studied and known to have many health benefits and therapeutic purposes. As they cannot be made by the human body, we need to consume these essential fatty acids in our foods, or in supplemental form. DHA and EPA are most richly found in fish oil.

ALA, a type of omega 3 fatty acid which is found in certain vegetable oils, can actually be converted by the body into DHA and EPA. Such conversion, however, is said to only take place on a limited basis. Further, if we consume too much omega 6 fatty acids, which most of us do, such conversion is even more hampered.

There is no clear indicate of how much omega 3 fatty acids we need to take, either for disease prevention or treatment purposes. A lot of research which have studied the healthful properties of DHA and EPA has used an omega 3 dose of at least 3 grams per day (total of DHA and EPA). Some studies, however, used much more.

As for vegetarian or vegan sources of omega 3 fatty acids, such as flax seed oil, different sources suggest varying dosages, from as little as 1 tablespoon each day (15 ml) to much more.

When using omega 3 supplements, you could simply follow their dosage instructions on how much omega 3 to take. If you wish to take more omega 3's for treatment or therapeutic purposes, it may be a good idea to seek the expertise of a qualified natural health care practitioner. For such purposes, relatively high doses of these essential fatty acids are usually used; caution should thus be exercised, as too much of anything can be harmful.

A good idea when taking supplements and herbs is to start low and gradually increase your dosage, giving time for your body to adjust and allowing you to observe how it reacts. This simple approach can greatly help to prevent unwanted consequences.

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