Omega-3 fatty acids are often touted as a miracle cure for just about any ailment, and it’s true their impact on the body can be exponential, but how much do you really need to get those health benefits? While the answer can be very personal, there is one universal truth: 1,000 milligrams is not enough.
Because Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, a diet rich in the nutrient is essential, but for many an omega-rich diet is lacking. Because of that, supplementation is a necessary tool, but most supplements only offer 1,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA – the bare minimum needed to see some benefit. Unlike most things in life, when it comes to fish oil, more is better. For true value, 1,000 milligrams of Omega-3 is too small an amount to create a real difference within the body and for long-term health.
While 1,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA may have a slight positive impact on the body, for measurable results, dosing should range from 3,000 to 4,000milligrams of EPA and DHA. At that level all the health benefits of fish oil will be seen, including the possibility of lowered triglycerides for heart health, brain health, lowered levels of exercise-induced inflammation, pain level maintenance, dental health, and improvements for the hair, skin and nails.
It can be hard to say exactly how much any one person should take, as it depends on the individual diet, activity and health levels. However, it is safe to take up to 7,000 milligrams per day with no known negative side effects. There are ways to test Omega-3 levels in the body, including at home assay kits that use a finger prick to test Omega levels in the body. This knowledge can help create an effective plan for Omega-3 dosing and help with individualized well care.
For most, Omega-3s are the most supplement they can take, so selecting a high quality, high strength fish oil is essential. While the effects in the body can be felt within weeks, the long-term health benefits of a consistent Omega-3 regimen are key to a life of wellness.
By Dr. Jeff Leighton, the chief scientific officer and co-founder of SFH.