After questions about fish oil benefits, dosage is one of the more popular areas that health conscious consumers want to know more about.
If you, yourself, have ever tried to look up the appropriate dosing recommendations for omega-3 supplements, you know it’s not exactly easy to decipher all the facts.
Why All The Confusion About Fish Oil Dosage?
First of all, it helps to understand how exactly fish oil works. In spite of what you may have heard, fish oil is no miracle supplement. It contains omega-3s, a special type of essential fatty acid that your body needs in order to function properly.
Now, if you think you can just start gobbling up omega-3s morning, noon, and night…well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
Our bodies are far more complex than that!
Many of the foods you and I eat every day contain omega-6s in the form of vegetable, soybean, and even certain seed oils. These omega-6s compete and basically “un-do” all the health benefits of omega-3s. That’s why coming up with the perfect dose of fish oil can be tricky.
To make matters worse, not all fish oil is the same. Surely, you’ve seen many different brands of fish oil and other omega-3 supplements on the grocery shelves. Some of these brands have their own blend of omega-3s, and all of them have different “grades” or standards for measuring the quality of essential fatty acids. All of this can make it difficult to evaluate a fish oil supplement on your own.
On top of that, healthy adults, kids, and people with health problems require very different dosages to achieve similar effects. Let’s take a look:
How Much Fish Oil Should Healthy Adults Take?
A number of guidelines have been established for “healthy adults”, or those without existing medical problems.
At the lower end of the spectrum, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week to achieve an adequate level of omega-3s. This dose is equivalent to 500 mg of omega-3s per day. At the other end, some health authorities recommend doses equaling 2.9 grams per day.
What About Kids? How Much Fish Oil Is Safe For Children?
Countless studies from researchers suggest that omega-3s are necessary and even critical to the healthy development of children.
Yet, according to the Mayo Clinic, fish oil and omega-3 dosage guidelines for kids is even less clear than it is for healthy adults. Today, numerous manufacturers are fortifying infant formulas and prepackaged meals with omega-3s, yet official dosage recommendations concerning fish oil for kids have not clearly been established. Experts in various fields recommend levels from .7 grams to 2.5 grams, depending on the exact age of the child.
How Much Fish Oil Should You Take If You Have Health Problems?
People with health problems like heart disease, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides, arthritis, and strokes tend to see the greatest health benefits from taking a high quality fish oil supplement. Every day new studies are published regarding the most effective dose for each specific condition. You can download my free A to Z Guide to Fish Oil Benefits for more information (located at the top of this page).
Alright, So How Much Fish Oil Should YOU Take?
Hopefully by now you can see why fish oil dosage is often tricky. Finding an appropriate dose depends on a host of factors like how much omega-6 you’re consuming on a daily basis, your age, and your current level of health. For more information on precautions & tips, recommendations, and dosage guides just ask me!
The information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use this information for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication or if you suspect you might have a health problem. And of course, you should never stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.