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Many people take fish oil supplements daily.
Aside from supporting your brain, eyes and heart, fish oil can also fight inflammation in your body (1).
Many healthcare professionals recommend it. However, you may not know what’s the right dosage for you.
This article discusses how much fish oil you should take for optimum health.
Why Take It?
Fish oil can be incredibly beneficial for your health.
It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which protect your heart. You must get omega-3s from your diet, as your body cannot make them.
Some fish oils also supply vitamin A, an important antioxidant, and vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and overall immunity.
The main omega-3s present in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which impact brain development and function (2 3, 4).
Fish oil is an excellent source of these fatty acids.
If you do not eat oily fish regularly, it can be very difficult to get enough EPA and DHA — because most other food sources of omega-3 are in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA does not appear to have the same beneficial effects as EPA and DHA (5, 6).
Furthermore, the typical Western diet is too low in omega-3 compared to omega-6. Therefore, supplementing with fish oil can be a great boost (7, 8, 9).
There is no set recommendation on the amount of fish oil you should take.
However, there are recommendations for total omega-3 intake, as well as EPA and DHA.
The reference daily intake (RDI) of combined EPA and DHA is 250–500 mg (4, 10).
When buying fish oil supplements, make sure to read the label to determine how much EPA and DHA is provided. Typically, 1,000 mg of fish oil supplies around 300 mg of combined EPA and DHA (11).
The RDI for total omega-3 is 1,100 mg for women and 1,600 mg for men (11).
Most people get some omega-3 in their diet from foods such as flax seeds, soybean oil and walnuts — but these contain ALA.
While your body can turn ALA into EPA and DHA, you likely won’t form adequate levels of these fatty acids on your own. Unless you are eating about two portions (8 ounces or 224 grams) of oily fish per week, you could be lacking EPA and DHA (4, 12, 13).
Generally, up to 3,000 mg of fish oil daily is considered safe for adults to consume (14).