How much EPA and DHA should you take to be Healthy?

Published: 28th October 2009
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How much EPA and DHA should you take if you have no heart disease? You will find the answer to that question and several others in this article. The information here consists of doctor recommendations and/or the dosages used in clinical trials.

If you don't have heart disease, cardiovascular specialists recently stated in the Journal of American Cardiology that you should take a minimum of 500mg per day. When you are comparing supplements, you have to be careful.

The front of the bottle will show the amount of fish oil in each capsule, but the amount of Docosahexaenoic acid and Eicosapentaenoic acid, as well as the total omega-3s will be listed in the nutrient facts on the back of the label. The concentration of omega-3s in a gram of fish oil, the average amount found in most of the supplements on the market, will vary from 40-90%. The amount of individual omega-3s will vary, as well.

Studies indicate that ALA, the type of omega-3 found in flax seed and other vegetable oils, does not raise circulating blood levels of DHA, even when taken in very large amounts. So, flax seed is not your best choice for supplementation. If you happen to be a vegan, look for marine algae supplements, instead.

How much EPA and DHA should you take if you have high blood triglycerides and/or imbalanced cholesterol? In one study, 3600mg of DHA lower blood triglycerides by 26%. 3180mg of EPA lowered them by 21%. A slight, but significant increase in "good" HDL cholesterol levels was seen in both groups, but was a little higher in the DHA group.

The study was not actually designed to come up with a recommended daily dosage for average individuals, but to see which of the two omega-3s was most effective at lowering blood triglycerides and increasing HDL levels. Good results have been seen with lower daily doses.

How much EPA and DHA should you take if you have heart disease or have suffered a heart attack? Recommendations vary from 800-3000mg per day. No one should take a high dose, unless they are under a physician's care.

Research has shown that 3000mg of fish oil or three daily capsules is safe. It also appears to be safe to combine the use of the therapy with the use of aspirin and blood thinners. But, that approach should only be taken under the direction of a healthcare practitioner.

How much EPA and DHA should you take if you are pregnant or nursing? The developing brain must have an adequate DHA-intake. For that reason, many doctors are recommended a daily supplement or 500-1000mg per day.

How much EPA and DHA should you take if you are "just an average kid"? Children can safely take 1000mg of fish oil per day, while adults can safely take 2000-3000 mg per day. Check the label to be sure that 50% of the oils are omega-3s to get your money's worth.

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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