What’s the Best Fish Oil Dosage Recommended by Scientists?
Looking for the best fish oil dosage for your specific health condition?
While fish oil supplements are not considered “medicine”, scientists from many health agencies have suggested fish oil dosages based on the latest research and studies.
Research suggests that fish oils have a number of documented benefits, including enhanced heart health, improved immune system, anti-inflammatory properties and reduced risk for certain cancers.
Fish oil is one of the best sources of the omega 3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acd (EPA).
Taking the dosage best suited for your particular age and health condition may help optimize the benefits you seek from using these types of natural health products.
The following fish oil dosages are suggested and recommended by The American Heart Association and other organizations:
List of Recommended Fish Oil Dosages from Leading Health Authorities
The following information is based on recommendations from a number of health agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association and other international scientific committees.
1. The American Heart Association Fish Oil Dosage Recommendations:
People with documented cardiovascular disease – up to 1 gram of fish oils with EPA and DHA.
People with high triglyceride levels – 2 to 4 grams of fish oils per day, under a doctor’s care.
Healthy people without heart disease should eat fatty fish at least twice a week and include healthy oils and foods rich in alpha linolenic acid (flaxseed, walnuts, broccoli, brussel sprouts).
2. The International Society of Fatty Acids and Lipids Fish Oil Dosage Recommendations:
The International Society Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) is a United Kingdom-based think tank that gathers and reviews hundreds of medical studies on dietary fatty acids (including fish oils) and how they affect our health. Here are their recommended fish oil dosage for pregnant women and children:
Pregnant and Lactating Women – at least 200 mg/day of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Women of childbearing age – should eat 1 – 2 servings of fish per week, including oily fish.
Pregnant Mothers – should supplement with fish oils rather than flaxseed oil to increase brain-supporting DHA levels in the fetal brain.
Children under 18 years of Age -due to the wide range of individual treatment situations in this age group, the ISSFAL has yet to determine how much fish oil to give to children. More research is needed before reaching definitive conclusions. If you have concerns, contact your Physician or Health Care Provider before supplementing your child’s diet with fish oils.
Normal Healthy Adults – recommend minimum dosage is 500 mg/day of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid to reduce your risk for coronary heart disease.
Preterm and Term Infants – researchers believe omega 3 fats may enhance an infant’s immune system and improve visual acuity, but more research is needed before health authorities recommend how much is safe and effective. Most regulatory authorities allow the addition of omega 3 and omega 6 to infant formulas and stipulate that the level of omega 3 doesn’t exceed the amount of arachidonic acid.
3. Additional Omega 3 Fatty Acid Dosage Recommendations:
Although the ISSFAL hasn’t issued recommendations for an appropriate dosage for term infants, the World Association of Perinatal Medicine Early Nutrition Academy and Child Health Foundation states:
“…strongly supports the benefits of adding docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) to infant formula…”
Fifteen international health agencies, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Fats and Oil in Human Nutrition provide additional recommendations for omega 3 fatty acid dosages.
Fish Oil Dosages for Specific Health Conditions
The following recommendations are only suggested servings and are no way to be construed as a replacement for medical advice.
Do not discontinue any prescribed medications and always consult with your physician before using any nutritional supplement.
Lowering Risk for Heart Disease: 250 – 500 mg of EPA and DHA for lowering high blood pressure. Up to 1 gram of EPA and DHA for people with diagnosed heart disease.
Reducing high triglyceride levels: 1 – 3.25 grams of EPA and DHA lead to 27% reduction in triglyceride levels.
Fish Oil Dosage for Weight Loss: 4 – 6 grams/day providing up to 1600 mg EPA and 800 mg DHA to increase muscle mass and decrease fat stores.
Psoriasis: Up to 12 grams/day for relief of dry scaling and redness.
Eczema: Up to 6 grams/day, including gamma linolenic acid (GLA), for added anti-inflammation.
Acne : 3 – 4 grams/day for countering inflammatory acne lesions.
Reduce Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease: 430 mg of DHA and 150 mg of EPA four times a day lead to improved cognitive scores.
Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitits: Up to 3 – 4 grams/day of omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.
Asthma Symptoms: 3 grams of EPA and 2 grams of DHA per day improved lung function scores and reduced use of bronchodilator medications. Recommended dosages for children: 20 mg of EPA and 10 mg of DHA per kilogram of body weight may reduce likelihood for asthma attack.
ADHD Symptoms: Research is inconclusive due to different sizes in study groups and lack of placebo controlled studies. Some research showed positive results with dosages ranging from 4 – 16.2 grams of EPA and DHA per day; some studies showed no results on lower dosages.
Autistic Behaviour: 1.5 grams providing 840 mg of EPA and 700 mg of DHA for a 6 week period resulted in reduction of symptoms. Another study found two fish oil capsules providing 930 mg of EPA and DHA showed no change in symptoms.
Depression and Mood Disorders: 1 to 2 grams/day of EPA may provide relief of depressive symptoms, particularly in individuals with low blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid.
Fish Oil Dosage for Arthritis and Joint Pain: Up to 40 mg of omega 3 fatty acids per kilogram of bodyweight may decrease joint pain and increase range of motion.
Premenstrual Symptoms (PMS) : 80 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid and 720 mg of docosahexaenoic acid with 1.5 mg of Vitamin E daily significantly reduced premenstrual symptoms in teenage girls with dysmenorrhea.
While the above fish oil dosages are only suggested recommendations, you should be aware of possible side effects from fish oils.
While fish oils are generally considered safe, they can increase your risk for bleeding and may also cause mild gastrointestinal effects, such as fish burps and bloating.