The amount of fish oil you need to take every day will be based on a variety of factors. Two are your health and diet. This article discusses different fish oil doses based on each of these factors. We also cover different ways to determine your fish oil daily dosage requirements and what types of supplements to buy.
Most fish oil dosage recommendations are based on your health and specific medical conditions. If you are healthy and taking fish oil to stay that way, the ISSFLA International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids) minimum recommended dosage is 550 mg pf EPA and DHA a day. Dr. Barry Sears, author of The Zone series of books and fish oil expert recommends taking 2.4 grams of combined EPA/DHA every day for health maintenance and higher dosages for specific conditions (1). According to Dr. Sears book The Omega Prescription some medical conditions may require taking 10 or more grams of fish oil a day to receive any benefit. Weight loss benefits from fish oil seem to require taking at least 2 grams of EPA and DHA daily for example (2).
Next, and also important is the role your diet plays in determining your daily dose. Generally speaking, the more worse your diet and more junk you eat (simple sugars, flour, etc.) the more fish oil you will need to take to see any benefit. The is most likely because it will take more omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil to get your insulin and other hormones that impact your weight and overall health under control.
According to Dr. Barry Sears, author of the Zone Diet book and fish oil expert there is a blood test that you can have done to determine your fish oil dosage. It’s called an AA/EPA test and can be performed by your doctor. You can learn more about the AA/EPA test by clicking this link. Your doctor will need to write you a prescription for the test and they may want to have it done regular to monitor the results your getting from taking a fish oil supplement. Talking to your doctor about taking fish oil supplements may be able to help you come up with the right dosage to start with too.
Also, make sure you always use a high quality fish oil supplement to ensure you are getting the omega 3 fatty acids you need (EPA and DHA) and no impurities or worthless ingredients. A sign of a good company is one that supports the claims they make regarding a products purity by having it tested to ensure it meets label claims and does not contain any potentially harmful ingredients. They should also make the results of these tests available to you upon request.
Two products that back up their products with independant tests and also pack as many omega 3’s per softgel as possible are Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega softgels and Carlson Laboratories The Very Finest Fish Oil. If you like to get your daily dose of fish oil from softgel capsules Ultimate Omega should be your choice. If you want to use a liquid fish oil supplement, Very Finest Fish Oil is a great choice as it’s Lemon and Orange flavors completely mask any fish oil taste.
1. CBN.com The Miracle Oil. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
2. Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PR. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1267-74.