How Much Fish Oil Should I Take?

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  • Written By: Karyn Maier
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2019
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Fish oil is obtained from cold-water oily fish and is a natural source of omega-3 long-chain essential fatty acids. However, cold-water fish do not manufacture these acids as most people think, but accumulate them in their fatty tissue by consuming algae or smaller fish that do produce these acids. Unfortunately, environmental toxins are also stored in this manner, which makes frequent dining on certain predatory fish a risky proposition, particularly those fished in waters known to be contaminated. For this reason, the majority of fish oil processed as a dietary supplement is subjected to “stripping technology,” meaning that it undergoes molecular distillation and other purification procedures to remove toxins and pollutants before being packaged into capsules and softgels. The optimum amount of fish oil to take as a dietary supplement depends on why it is needed and the ratio of certain omega-3 acids to others.


The primary omega-3 acids found in fish oil that are considered to be beneficial to health are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Typically, a good quality supplement provides an average of 1,000 mg per enteric-coated capsule, with a ratio of 12 percent EPA and 28 percent DHA. However, there are supplements available that offer higher ratios of either EPA or DHA. In addition, a semi-synthetic ethyl ester is available, a concentrate that provides a total EPA and DHA concentration of up to 85 percent instead of the usual 30 percent. It should also be noted that fish oil production in Morocco, Chile, and Peru yields about 30 percent more omega-3 acids than other regions, while the waters off the southern coast of New Zealand are considered to be virtually pollutant-free.

Most manufacturers of fish oil supplements instruct the consumer to take one or two capsules daily, which usually provides 1,000-2,000 mg total. However, there is little official guidance as to how much of this substance should be taken each day, at least not in the U.S. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to render a recommended daily allowance of EPA and DHA. On the other hand, the American Heart Association encourages consumers to consume two four-ounce servings of fish per week, which would equate to approximately 3,000 mg of fish oil twice per week.

As previously indicated, dosage recommendations of fish oil may vary slightly if the goal is prevent or improve a specific condition. For example, it is generally recommended that those combating Raynaud's disease or Crohn's Disease take 2,000 mg twice per day for a total of 4,000 mg, while someone with lupus would benefit more from 2,000 mg taken three times per day, or a total of 6,000 mg. Most other conditions, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and high blood pressure, appear to respond well to a regimen of 1,000 mg taken three times per day.


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Post 5

While I can only speak for salmon and cod-liver oil supplements (never tried anything else), I think that should qualify my comments here. These fish oils are absolutely fantastic! I have been taking cod liver oil and salmon oil for eight years now, my children as well, and I swear by them as prime health elixirs.

Fish oil affects hair growth and texture, skin tone and texture, bone growth, etc. I recommend fish oil. We can change the world with it!

Post 4

My father swears by his fish oil tablets. I just started taking them. After 20 minutes of taking the very first one I noticed a difference in how I felt. I had more energy and I was clear headed and I was seeing things in a more positive way because I felt better. I didn't expect it to work so fast. I'm still stunned.

I am definitely going to keep taking them, although I think I'm going to cut back on the dosage. I've got so much energy, I'm not sleeping well now.

Post 3

@cmsmith10: I found some great information off of a vitamin website. It said that for every 5 grams of omega 6, you need 1 gram of omega 3. High quality fish oil pills can give you that.

It also said that the average American consumes 14 times more omega 6 than omega 3. That can cause some health problems such as inflammation, arthritis, skin damage, and decreased sex drive.

Taking fish oil pills increases your omega 3 and is known to improve heart health, improve brain function, decelerate aging, and increase your sex drive.

Post 2

@cmsmith10: My aunt swears by fish oil tablets. I think that she thinks that cure everything! Well, they aren’t magic pills but they have everything to do with restoring the balance to your omega 3 to 6 ratio.

Fish oil is basically a code name for “Omega 3 fatty acids”. It helps your body to fight inflammation, increase brain function, and even helps your skin and hair. Our body needs a balance of omega 3 and omega 6.

You can take the fish oil capsules or you can simply eat more fish. Wild salmon is a great substitution. Atlantic salmon is really farm raised salmon and it does not have the same quantity of omega 3 as the wild salmon.

Post 1

What are some of the fish oil benefits

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