How Many Milligrams of Omega 3 Should You Take?

Published: 08th February 2010
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How many milligrams of omega 3 fish supplements should a person take every day? That depends on a person's age, weight and state of physical health. You can follow the supplement company's or your doctor's recommendations.

Doctors these days may suggest the "prescription strength" omega-3 called Lovaza, instead of a dietary supplement, especially for people that have insurance that covers prescription drugs.

Some doctors are outraged about the retail price of Lovaza. Even though your insurance might cover it, leaving you with just a low co-pay, your insurance company is paying a high price to the pharmaceutical company. Essentially, that makes everyone's health insurance and healthcare costs go up.

Although the omega-3s in Lovaza are highly concentrated, there is no way to justify the high price, which is more than a dollar per capsule. Some supplement companies have been providing highly concentrated fish oil for years, at a cost of less than 30 cents per capsule.

The pharmaceutical company that manufactures Lovaza says that the purity of their fish oil is better, but they don't show any proof. The better supplement companies post a copy of their certificate of analysis on their websites, proving their claims.

If you ask Lovaza manufacturers how many milligrams of omega 3 fish supplements to take for lowering triglycerides, which is the only condition for which it has FDA approval, they recommend 4 capsules or 4000mg.

Most supplement manufactures recommend 1000mg per day for children and 2000mg per day for adults. Some popular diet doctors recommend 3000mg per day. That's usually three capsules. But, there are other things to consider.

A 1000 milligram capsule will provide various amounts of total omega-3s and individual ones. Research indicates that the really important omega-3 fatty acid is Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. Although there is no recommended daily intake for DHA, specifically, research indicates that the average person needs about 500mg per day. A pregnant woman might need a little more, as DHA is essential for normal fetal brain development.

So, how many milligrams of omega 3 fish supplements does it take to get 500mg of DHA? That's what we really need to consider.

One of the more popular supplement providers in the US says that each 1000mg capsule contains 150mg of DHA and 150mg of EPA, which is also important, just not as important or as effective for lowering cholesterol, according to one study.

So, how many milligrams of omega 3 fish supplements would you need to take to get 500mg of DHA, if each capsule only contains 150mg? If you do the math, you will see that the answer is over 3300mg. That may be the reason that some doctors suggest 3000mg per day.

One of the better brands provides at least 280mg of DHA per capsule, along with 120mg of EPA. So, two capsules would provide the 500mg of DHA that your body needs. The most cost effective alternative is to look for a brand that contains a log of DHA.

So, that's how many milligrams of omega 3 fish supplements to take every day. As you learn more about the benefits, you will see why it is so important.

Laurel Cohen is a strong advocate of natural health in all its forms: skin care, supplementation, and farm fresh foods. She enjoys introducing people to the best natural products she can find and uses herself daily.

Visit her site to learn about the omega 3 fish oils Laurel uses daily for optimal health.

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