How Much Omega 3 Do You Really Need Per Day?
We have all heard of the benefits of consuming Omega 3 but as we all know, too much of anything is bad for any system.
Omega 3 must be consumed in optimum dosage levels. It is necessary to understand how Omega 3 works in preserving human health to have a clear understanding what should be the appropriate dosage.
To know how much Omega 3 you really need, lets talks about how Omega 3 really works.
How Does Omega 3 Really Work?
Omega 3 are long chain unsaturated fatty acids that cannot be broken down by the human body but are absolutely essential for the body to maintain metabolism.
The main Omega 3 fatty acids are EicosaPentaenoic Acid (EPA), DocosaHexaenoic Acid (DHA) and α-Linolenic Acid (ALA).
When we eat fat laden food, a lot of the fat is converted into cholesterol which is carried in the blood stream and gets deposited in the insides of the arteries leading to plaque formation. Plaque formation constricts the arteries and forces greater effort on the heart to pump blood and leads to weakening of the heart over time.
If the artery gets too constricted, it can lead to a heart attack. Cholesterol comprises of LDL, ALDL and triglycerides which are labeled as bad cholesterol and HDL which is called as good cholesterol.
Omega 3 fatty acids help in reducing the triglycerides, which helps in lowering the bad cholesterol count and thus prevent buildup of plaque.
Omega 3 fatty acids also have an effect of dilating the arteries, so the diameter of even constricted arteries is increased preventing heart attacks. Icelanders who eat fat rich food on a daily basis have virtually no cardiovascular diseases.
This has been attributed to their generous consumption of oily fish that is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Clinical Studies to Determine Recommended Dosage of Omega 3
To determine how much omega 3 is optimum for human health, a number of clinical studies were carried out in the U.S. and Europe with large groups of heart patients over a period of four years.
The group was divided into four sub groups namely one control group, one group being given EPA and DHA and the other normal fish oil, while one group was given placebo.
It was found that the group that received traditional fish oil had 20% better chances of surviving heart attacks but those given pure EPA and DHA showed almost 30% better chances of surviving heart attacks.
Based on such clinical studies, doctors have arrived at various dosages for consuming Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Normal Dose
One yardstick for maintaining normal health is 1 gm of omega 3 fatty acids per day, which is equal to consuming 3.5 ounces of oily fish.
- For triglycerides
If the triglycerides levels are too high, and you wish to reduce triglycerides, then the usual dose is from 1 to 4 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids per day. For combating high levels of triglycerides along with cholesterol, EPA in the dosage 1800-2160 mg and DHA 1200-1440 mg have been recommended by doctors.
- For High Blood Pressure
If the person is suffering from high blood pressure, then a higher dose of about 4 grams of omega 3 fatty acids is required. This translates to a daily dose of EPA of about 2.04 grams and DHA of about 1.4 grams.
- During Pregnancy
If a pregnant woman consumes about 4 grams of omega 3 fatty acids daily, it will build resistance against asthma in the fetus, in addition, aid normal brain development.
- For Asthma Patients
Another recommended dosage for treating asthma patients is EPA from 17 to 26.8 mg per kg and DHA 7.3 to 11.5 mg per kg of body weight.
- For Arthritis
For those who are suffering from arthritis, a dosage of 3.8 grams of EPA and 2 grams of DHA per day is recommended.
- For Menstruation
Women who are suffering from painful menstrual periods, a dosage of 1080 mg of EPA and 720 mg of DHA per day would be helpful.
- For Raynaud’s Syndrome
Those suffering from Raynaud’s Syndrome, a dose of 3.96 grams EPA and 2.64 grams DHA per day will help reduce the effects of the disease. 3.65 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to aid weight loss.
- To Prevent Depression
To prevent depression, 9.6 grams of omega 3 fatty acids through fish oil can really help.
- After Surgery
After a coronary bypass surgery, Omega 3 fatty acids taken in the dosage 4 grams per day can help the arteries from blocking again.
- For Kids with Movement Disorders
Children who are suffering from movement disorders have shown great improvement when treated with 174 mg DHA and 558 mg EPA daily dose. 400 mg of Omega 3 supplements daily considerably reduces the effects of ADHD amongst children.
- Mental Diseases
Mental diseases such as Psychosis can be curtailed if the patient is given daily dose of 1.2 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids.
- To Prevent Blood Clotting
To prevent blood clotting in patients undergoing dialysis, a dosage of 6 grams per day is a recommended dose by doctors.