View Full Version : How much EPA/DHA daily?
12-01-2003, 03:19 PM
I had been eating 1 can of sardines (in water, no salt) a day, plus 1 tablespoon flax oil daily. I recently bought some fish oil caps, since I've been reading the conversion of ALA/LA is inefficient (hope I have this right). So, how much? I've read 3g of n-3 is beneficial. Is that 3g of EPA and DHA combined? I don't worry about the n-6 that much since I'm told we get plenty of it, not sure if I do, but I do eat a handfull of nuts throughout the day.
12-01-2003, 04:06 PM
The 3g recommendation would be combined amount of EPA/DHA.
12-01-2003, 09:19 PM
I have heard any where from 1 gram a day to 10 grams a day dependning on why you are taking it. I try for about 5 grams a day on average from a combination of flax mill (very cheap), fish oil (way overpriced for the amount you need to take), and eating salmon 3 - 4 times a week. My understanding of the Omega-3 is that it is the balance of the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids that is more important than the absolute amount of omega-3 but most studies I have seen show use quantity of omega - 3 rather than a ratio.
12-01-2003, 09:37 PM
i don't think ratio is as important for fish oil as it is for plant sources
12-02-2003, 02:29 AM
Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Jul;52(1):120-7. Related Articles, Links
Dose-response effects of fish-oil supplementation in healthy volunteers.
Blonk MC, Bilo HJ, Nauta JJ, Popp-Snijders C, Mulder C, Donker AJ.
Department of Internal Medicine, Free University Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
We performed a randomized, controlled study on the dose-response effects of daily supplementation of 1.5, 3, and 6 g of the marine fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) as their ethyl esters for 12 wk in 45 healthy normotriglyceridemic male volunteers. Significant dose-related increases of the n-3 fatty acids 20:5, 22:5, and 22:6 in plasma phospholipids (p less than 0.0001) were found, corresponding roughly to decreases of the n-6 fatty acids 18:2 and 20:4 (p less than 0.001). Serum triglycerides and HDL3-cholesterol concentrations showed a dose-dependent reduction (p less than 0.05) and HDL2 cholesterol increased (p less than 0.05). Results for 3 and 6 g n-3 fatty acids were similar. No dose-dependent effects were observed in the VLDL-, LDL-, and total HDL-cholesterol subfractions; blood pressure; bleeding time; erythrocyte deformability; or capacity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes to kill Staphylococcus aureus. This study indicates that 3 g n-3 ethyl ester fatty acids appears to be the appropriate supplementation dose in humans, at least regarding lipid-profile changes and the ability to incorporate such fatty acids in the plasma phospholipids.
Randomized Controlled Trial
Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79.
The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids.
The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC 20009, USA. email@example.com
Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects. In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a ratio of 4/1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality. A ratio of 2.5/1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4/1 with the same amount of omega-3 PUFA had no effect. The lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences. These studies indicate that the optimal ratio may vary with the disease under consideration. This is consistent with the fact that chronic diseases are multigenic and multifactorial. Therefore, it is quite possible that the therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids will depend on the degree of severity of disease resulting from the genetic predisposition. A lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies, as well as in the developing countries, that are being exported to the rest of the world.
12-02-2003, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by liftalittle
I have heard any where from 1 gram a day to 10 grams a day dependning on why you are taking it.
Taking increased amount of fish oil can have detrimental effects as well, such as increased bleeding time and decreased testosterone levels.
I try for about 5 grams a day on average from a combination of flax mill (very cheap), fish oil (way overpriced for the amount you need to take), and eating salmon 3 - 4 times a week. My understanding of the Omega-3 is that it is the balance of the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids that is more important than the absolute amount of omega-3 but most studies I have seen show use quantity of omega - 3 rather than a ratio.
Both the amount of EPA/DHA and the ratio of n-6:n-3 fats is important. Also keep in mind that the n-3 fats contained in flaxseeds are not EPA/DHA. Flaxseeds contain ALA which has to be converted to EPA/DHA and is an inefficient process, so stating that you take in 5g of EPA/DHA per day would not be quite accurate. That is assuming you are counting all the n-3 fats found in the flaxseeds.
12-05-2003, 10:58 PM
ive heard 3g of eph/dha
12-06-2003, 08:26 PM
how much ALA?
12-07-2003, 05:22 AM
how much ALA?
I am not aware of a specific recommendation as far as ALA is concerned, since there are various factors that can inhibit the conversion of ALA to EPA/DHA. The most common recommendation I have seen is ~2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil per day, which would provide 18-27g of ALA per day.
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