According to Medline Plus, the amount of omega 3 you should take depends upon what you are taking the omega 3 for.
For healthy people however, the dose should be about 500 mg each day.
Now, it is important to note that this assumes that you are not getting adequate amounts of omega 3 from your diet, which most people aren’t.
If you are one of the lucky few that eat loads of fish and other foods high in omega 3, then you probably won’t need to take a supplement for this fatty acid.
Another question you should be asking is what kind of omega 3 you should be taking.
After all, they aren’t all created equal and some are going to provide you with more benefits than others!
So, what kind of omega 3 should I take?
First of all, you need to ensure that the source of your omega 3 is from a cold water fish. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, these fish include:
You can also find quality supplements that include cod liver oil and whale blubber.
In addition to the type of fish used from your omega 3 supplement, you should also look for the components of omega 3 that are included in the supplement. Omega 3 has three parts, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
You will want an omega 3 supplement that contains EPA and DHA. The DHA levels should be about 2 times higher than the EPA levels although there is no official FDA standard; this is a recommendation from the American Heart Association.
If you are taking omega 3 for a specific condition, then your doctor may require you to take different amounts that contain different levels of EPA and DHA. You should always follow the instructions of your doctor. If you have questions or concerns, he or she should be able to quantify their reasoning for your dosage.
You should consider only buying supplements that are manufactured in the United States. This will ensure that the FDA GRAS requirements are met. This also helps to prevent contamination, which is the leading cause of trouble with supplements in general.
For what kind of conditions should I take omega 3?
If you have any medical conditions, your first step should be to consult your doctor. However, the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health does have an extensive list of health conditions that omega 3 has been scientifically studied and approved for.
Some of these conditions include:
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides
- Treat allergies
- Treat asthma
- Prevent allergies
- Prevent miscarriage
- Prevent clotting after surgery
There are well over a dozen more conditions that have shown a positive response to omega 3. If you have virtually any health condition that is associated with your heart, it is highly likely that omega 3 can benefit you.
They also provide a list of ailments that are likely not benefited by omega 3 and those include:
- Allergies in vitro (this only applies to unborn babies)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Liver disease
In many cases, the reason that omega 3 isn’t considered to be effective is because of a lack of scientific evidence. You will find that there are ongoing studies for many of the above listed conditions that may eventually prove there are some benefits from taking omega 3.
Are there any dangers or side effects associated with omega 3 supplementation?
Some of the most common side effects that occur when people take fish are completely harmless. For example, gas is a normal response, which results in burping. Many people complain about an unpleasant fish taste when they burp.
In some cases, side effects occur because the body is getting used to having the proper amounts of omega 3. These side effects may go away after regular use.
Side effects include:
- Upset stomach
Omega 3 does have some interaction warnings, especially for people who have bleeding disorders. If you have any medical conditions, you should talk to your doctor before taking omega 3 to ensure that you don’t worsen your condition or interfere with the efficacy of your medication.