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Eye Health

How Much Fish Oil Should I Take?

written by Vin Kutty

comments 167 comments

how much fish oil

That’s easy.

You need up to 1600 mg of Omega-3 daily per the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Dietary Supplements.

The two most common questions I get about fish oil are:

  1. Which brand of fish oil should I buy?
  2. How much fish oil should I take daily?

Many labels say 1000 mg. But don’t confuse 1000 mg fish oil with 1000 mg Omega-3. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!

Your specific health condition may require you to take more than 1600 mg Omega-3 per day.

How much fish oil should I take per day?

1000 mg of Omega-3 is an ideal starting fish oil dosage because that’s what the American Heart Association recommends.

But getting 1000 mg Omega-3 is not easy because most fish oil pill have a lot less than that. More about that in a minute…

But if you really want to take charge of your health, the answer is a bit more detailed.

And to custom-tailor the answer to YOUR health, you need to know two things:


  • How much Omega-3 does your current fish oil have?
  • What is your ultimate health goal?

Both of these questions affect the answer.


Questions about how much fish oil to take? Do you have a specific question about Fish Oil Dosage?
Email our nutritionists. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours. No obligations. We’ll never, EVER, share or sell your email address or spam you.


Let’s start with ‘How much Omega-3 does your fish oil pill have’?

If you buy your fish oil pills at the grocery store or corner drug store (tsk, tsk) then chances are, your fish oil pill has only 300 mg Omega-3 per pill. It’s 30% Omega-3 and 70% fish fat.

300 mg Omega-3 found in retail grade fish oil is not enough. Nowhere near enough.

Our diets are so bad that we get hardly any Omega-3 from the foods we buy at the grocery store. Unless you buy a lot of Salmon.

Useful Articles About Fish Oil Dosage


Back to the drug/grocery store fish oil pills. You’ll need to take 3 of them every day to get 1000 mg of Omega-3.

300 mg of Omega-3 (found in one pill) is just enough to hide major omega-3 deficiency symptoms. To get real benefits, you need 1000 mg or more per day.

Again, don’t confuse 1000 mg fish oil with 1000 mg Omega-3. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!

Fish oil CONTAINS Omega-3. Cheap fish oil usually has 30% Omega-3. 30% of 1000 mg is 300 mg. That’s why you need 3 pills per day to get 1000 mg.

“How much fish oil should I take?”

Well, that depends on your ultimate health goal?

How much fish oil you should take per day also depends on your current health condition.

If you’re 35 and fit as a fiddle, (I’m a little jealous) to stay fit, you may only need 500 mg to 1000 mg a day.

But if you are trying to address specific conditions, you need MUCH higher doses of Omega-3.

Here is how much Omega-3 you need per day:

  • For mood support 1000 mg per day*
  • For heart health, you need: 1000 mg per day*
  • For skin health, you need: 1000 mg per day*
  • For joint care, you need: 2000 mg per day*
  • For healthy triglycerides, you need: 2000 -3000 mg per day*

* Clinical research suggests the omega-3 dosage needed to help maintain healthy triglycerides is 2000-3000 mg per day when used as part of healthy diet and exercise regimen. Research suggests that improving omega-3 fat intake from a concentrated source may help support a healthy mood. Some, but not all studies, indicate that 2,000 mg of omega-3 fats daily may offer benefit. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

For heart health, you can get benefits with 1000 mg. More may help but the benefits are not proportional.*

But for maintaining healthy triglycerides. Clinical research suggests the omega-3 dosage needed to help maintain healthy triglycerides is 2000-3000 mg per day when used as part of healthy diet and exercise regimen.

If you took your retail-grade fish oil pills, you would have to take 6 pills to get 2000 mg of Omega-3.  Or 9 to 12 pills a day if you wanted to reach 3000 mg per day.

Call me crazy, but I’m NOT taking 9 fish oil pills a day!

I don’t want to smell like a fishing dock!

Things need to be a little simpler than that.

That’s why you should seek out very high potency, ultra-concentrated fish oils that have close to 1000 mg Omega-3 PER PILL.

TIP: Some product labels try to fool you by saying 1000 mg Omega-3 per serving…but if you read the back, you’ll find that a serving is 3 pills. You need 1000 mg in JUST ONE PILL.

Besides OmegaVia, our favorite, there are several good quality products available online:

  • Nordic Naturals
  • Omax3
  • Minami Nutrition CardiO-3
  • Ocean Blue Professional

All of these brands allow you get LOTS of Omega-3 with fewer pills.  Your goal should be to find the most Omega-3 per pill. Only Minami and Ocean Blue have 1000 mg per pill, but Nordic and Omax3 are high quality even if they have less than 1000 mg per pill.

Easy dosage:
1 OmegaVia pill = 1105 mg Omega-3
2 OmegaVia pills = 2210 mg Omega-3


How much fish oil should I take per day? Charles Serhan, a Harvard Medical School expert on Omega-3s:

“The kind of benefits seen in most of the clinical trials with Omega-3 generally have involved much higher doses than you see recommended on supplement labels.”

* Clinical research suggests the omega-3 dosage needed to help maintain healthy triglycerides is 2000-3000 mg per day when used as part of healthy diet and exercise regimen. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Join the conversation

  1. Thank you, Vin, for talking with me about my lipidemia, which I forgot to mention I have since I was in my twenties…even when I was thinner. Certainly just going into menopause this past year my numbers have been going up, plus not taking statins (whihc did a great job of lowering but gave me side effects I don’t want.)

    I realized after we hung up that I did have one more thought recently that I’m confused about because of your advice about limiting grains.

    I have heard the push for eating oatmeal..and lots of it…in order to get enough benefit, so I thought I could get just the oat bran and ingest it similarly to the way I do flax. Would that be okay to take oat bran and/ or is it necessary if I up my dosage of fish oil?

    Also, I do need to eat insoluable fiber to help with my bowels due to side effect from the one pharmacutical I take daily, Strattera, for ADHD. Even if I eat lots and lots of veggies/fruits, I still need this, so I think I will need to keep up that 1/3 cup Bran Buds daily. I also take 6 fiber caps I take (rather than Metamucil) or I’ll have to take Miralax daily!

    I also have been taking Juice Plus Orchard, Garden, and Vineyard Blend for the past 18 years…

    Thanks again,

    • Hi Debra – I have heard the same things you have about oatmeal. It has fiber. That’s about the only good thing I can say about oatmeal. It will drive up blood glucose and that drives up insulin secretion. Oats for breakfast every day for years and insulin secretion from your pancreas starts getting compromised. You’ll be pushing your body towards pre-diabetes. Not to mention that high blood sugar can increase triglyceride product and worsen dyslipidemia. Doesn’t matter if the oats is natural or organic or steel-cut. The same applies to whole grain wheat as well.

      If you have dyslipidemia (high blood fats) or diabetes, you should NOT be eating a lot of grains, even if it is marketed to you as ‘Healthy Whole Grains.’ Instead, you should replace grains with vegetable, which have just as much fiber.

      Having said that, a little bran occasionally is probably OK (just barely!) to help with bowels. Typically, vegetables have all the fiber you will ever need, so you really don’t need to rely on bran. But in your case, the Strattera drug makes everything complicated. Taking fish oil has no effect on whether you can take bran or not. Hope this helps.

      – Vin

  2. How much EPA and DHA should there be in fish oil? I have looked at different brands and each have different amounts…. Is higher better??? Sincerely Kim Hoogendam

    • Hi Kim – More EPA and DHA the better. After all, that’s the only reason to take fish oil. Regular fish oils have 25 to 30% EPA plus DHA. The other 70% of it are different fats. Slightly better brands have 50% or 60%. Premium, pharmaceutical grade or prescription Omega-3 have 85% or higher. Your body needs Omega-3, not the other fats found in fish. So, yes, higher the better.
      – Vin

  3. What do you recommend is the best dosage for kids 9-14? Just found out about the attention/focus benefits. And also what brand do you recommend that doesn’t give a one a “fishy smell” or taste bad so kids will take it. The children have no other health issues. Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Hi Shannon – the simple answer is about 1000 mg Omega-3 per day. But to really help you, I’ll need to know their diets and how much vegetable oil they consume at home, school and outside the home. My guess is, if they’re like other regular kids, a lot! Vegetable oils are chock full of Omega-6, which can be very harmful in excess. And all of us consume it in excess. So Omega-3 supplementation is really offsetting some of the negative effects of Omega-6. So cut back on vegetable oils and supplement with 1000 mg Omega-3 per day. As for brands, there are good products made by Nordic Naturals – they have an unflavored Omega-3 powder that you can blend into foods and beverages. Hope this helps.
      – Vin

      • I have dry eyes is it beater i will take one tablet in one is it good for eye sight and control dry eyes. please me Emil for this.
        Doctor told it is good for eye sight and dry ness for eyes.

  4. If I have ulcerative colitis how much fish oil is good to put it in remission? This is
    what Chris says…. ( 4-8 grams total EPA/DHA per day if you are carrying excess flab, any of your joints hurt, or you suffer any form of auto-immune or inflammatory disease. If you are anywhere in between, I recommend you build up, hold the slightly higher dose for four weeks, then go back down to 2-4 grams total EPA/DHA per day. ) …….
    Now I have Krill oil which is – Pure Krill OIl-1000mg, Omega 3-420mg, EPA-150mg,
    DHA-90mg, Astaxanthin-1.5mg and I have Fish oil which is – EPA-672mg, DHA-448
    mg, other Omega 3’s-180mg, for a total of 1300mg….
    So can i combine these to make the 8 grams? And if not which one is my better bet
    and how many should I take for 30 days to get my 3-6 ratio back on track?
    Many thanks if you can help with my question 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Darla – fish oil will help with the inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis. But fish oil is not a cure for the disease. 4-8 grams a day is high, but you will have to determine the right dose based on your comfort level. I would suggest staying at 4 grams per day of EPA and DHA. You can certainly combine krill oil and fish oil to get to your 4 grams per day. It will take a while to get your Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio close to 1:1. Omega-6 will remain in your body for a while. In the meantime, eliminate all vegetable oils except olive and coconut oil. I think what will truly give you noticeable benefit is if you eliminate all wheat and grains and follow a paleo type diet for a few months. See if you notice a difference. My guess is that you will. Hope this helps.
      – Vin Kutty

  5. Im already on the food diet of grass fed and free range only. no night shades
    no dairy, no wheat or grains. I have already noticed a difference.. 🙂
    But my main question is how many tablets should i take if im doing the 8 grams.
    i have given you the ratios on the bottles. can you please help a dumb blonde
    lol 🙂

    • Hi Darla – it’s great that you’re already on a no-grain, no-dairy diet. I assume you’re also off sugar and fructose. With these changes, you will notice a lot of improvement. If you want to take 8 grams of Omega-3, you will need a lot of pills.

      With you current fish oil, the numbers you state are for TWO CAPSULES. So each pill has EPA 336 mg, DHA 224 mg and Other Omega-3 90 mg. So you’re getting 650 mg Omega-3 per pill. 8 grams = 8000 mg. That’s 12 pills a day.
      With you krill oil, you will need (are you sitting down?) 19 pills per day to get 8000 mg.

      Frankly, I think you’ll do fine with half the dose. If you decide to go with 8 grams, consider going down to 4 after a month or two. Also, you mentioned a ‘Chris’ in your previous comment…which Chris?

      – Vin

  6. Chris (the Kiwi) Ashenden. I also follow the Beyond Diet with Isabel De Los Rios
    and Jason Hunter. Chris has the fish oil and the Athletic Greens, Jason has the
    Krill Oil – Pro/Grade Products including protein powder, vitamins and Pro Grade®
    Workout™ Shakes. They are all Nutritionists.
    Yes I’m off sugar, fructose, soy, vegetable oils, canola oils, no grains unless their
    sprouted. Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 organic sprouted whole grain (SWG) products (e.g., original, (e.g., original, sesame, and cinnamon raisin loaves; rolls; English muffins; and
    tortillas). Use this bread to make bread crumbs for meatloaf and meatball recipes.
    *** Ok … so if right now I’m taking 4 Fish and 6 Krill is that about right? Or is it still
    to much? Ive done this for about 30 days now…..

  7. I have a lot of inflammation. I was wondering about how much fish oitl to take. Also, what is the story on kril oil. Is is better than fish oil?Should it be taken along with fish oil?

    I was really surprised to hear your comments on oatmeal.

    • Hi Liz – I would suggest a minimum of 1,000 mg of Omega-3 per day. If you don’t see relief for dry eyes, try doubling it to 2,000 mg per day.
      – Vin Kutty

  8. Is Kirkland’s of Costco natural Omega 3 fish oil 1000 mg concentrated fish oil with 300 mg Omega-3 fatty acids – Is one capsule enough a day for depression/Polio/interstitial lung disease
    and diabetes or should I take 2 or more a day. Helena, Montana

    • Hi Barbara – Kirkland 1000 mg fish oil is not a concentrated fish oil at all. You will need half a dozen pills a day to get a meaningful dose of Omega-3. 300 mg of Omega-3 found in each pill is better than nothing but simply not enough. The good news is that once you’re done with this bottle of fish oil, Costco sells more concentrated oils. They sometimes call is One-Per-Day. It doesn’t mean you only one of those per day. That’s marketing. They contain about 600 mg of Omega-3 per pill. You will need 2 to 3 of those per day. Hope this helps.
      – Vin Kutty

    • Hi – Omegas that come from plant seeds are mostly Omega-6. We get way too much Omega-6 in our diets already and we don’t need to supplement it. Our bodies are designed to run on roughly equal parts Omega-6 to Omega-3. The average American eats 20 to 30 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3. So why supplement with Omega-6-rich seed oils. Very bad idea. More here:

      Having said that, some plant seeds like Chia and Flax contain a lot of ALA Omega-3. But ALA is a very poor source of Omega-3. Very little is converted to EPA and DHA. But if you’re a vegan, it is a great option. More here:

      – Vin Kutty

  9. i gave my 5 year old child ‘omega-3 wild Alaskan salmon oil 1000mg’ daily 1 softgel
    for 5 months (150 soft gels) with breakfast. i was not aware of any side effects of it.
    Now i am little confused. Is it the right dose? may i continue the dosage or not.

    • Hi Ria – It’s great that your 5-year-old will eat one salmon oil softgel every day! Fantastic! Keep doing it. It’s working – no need to change!
      – Vin Kutty

  10. Hi, I’m brother suffering with high blood cholesterol, and he having palpitation about 2 months ago, heart beats increase to 150 plus and tingling sensation and pain in it’s heart. So, how many fish oil pill need to take a day? Now he taking Kordel’s brand, where, each capsules contain 1000 mg fish oil and 500 mg of omega-3 (EPA, 300mg) and (DHA, 200mg).. thank you so much for your consideration soon.

    • Hi Yusra – please consult with a doctor immediately to address the palpitation, tingling ad pain in the heart. These are not health issues that you should seek answers for on the internet! Please have him get immediate medical care. With his doctor’s permission, please have your brother take 3 to 4 capsules per day. Good luck.
      – Vin Kutty

  11. Im glad I found this article, thank you for writing it!
    I just recently went to the eye doctor but we ended up discussing my Anxiety/panic disorder more than my eye issues. My doctor recommended taking 3000 mg of Omega 3 a day to help with my anxiety issues. I was wondering of I should start on a lower dosage first and work my way up to 3000? I was also wondering how the Omega 3 would effect my Panic disorder.
    Thank you

    • Hi Kohleen – I’d certainly start slow and work up to 3000 mg of Omega-3. Start with one pill. And over a few days, work up to 2 or 3. You’re going to need a high-EPA Omega-3 formula. I don’t know if Omega-3 will have a direct impact on panic disorder. But we have a blog post about supplements for mood disorders that is about to be published that you may want to read.
      – Vin Kutty

  12. Hello, I am 19 years old, 175cm height. I doing some sports and exercises everyday, and I want to grow taller. Is it really, that fish oil helps to grow? In what amount i should take them?

    • Hi Condor – Omega-3 is necessary for good health, but I don’t think it will make you taller by itself. That’s a combination of genetics and diet. If you decide to take fish oil, aim for 1000 mg Omega-3 per day.
      – Vin Kutty

  13. I’m a 54 year old woman, post meno-pausal, who works out regularly. Recently I’ve noticed that my joints are a little stiffer than they used to be. Would fish oil help? And what do you think of Trader Joe’s Omega 3 pills? One capsule contains 1200 fish oil, 400mg EPA and 200mgDHA.


    • Hi Ali – yes, fish oil, especially highly concentrated fish oil (pharmaceutical grade fish oil) with a lot of EPA will help. I like shopping at Trader Joe’s. I get a lot of foods and snacks there, but I would not buy my supplements there. I can’t speak for other departments at TJ’s but I have worked with their supplement buyer and I was not impressed. They have a walmart-like attitude towards price and cost. This means the fish oil supplier with the lowest cost gets their business. I’d rather pay a little more for quality.
      – Vin Kutty

  14. I take mecicines for high pressure (prosun 50 one tablet per day) and high cholesteral (Atova 10 one perday) . Also I take 1/2 tablet comprit in the morning. One clopid daily. Could you suggest me how much OMEGA 3 I should take for better heart function and balance sugar level.

    Shamim Hasan (Age 62)

    • Hi Shamim – I would aim for 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Since you are on several prescription medications, please talk to your doctor before you add dietary supplements to your routing.
      – Vin Kutty

  15. So I am overweight and have been taking one fish oil pill which I now read is too few. I’m not fighting any specific ailment but use fish oil as a preventative way to keep somewhat healthy. I have a few fish oil bottles to finish that are store bought. My question is: if I triple the dosage to get closer to the 1000 mg of omega3, what damage am I doing by tripling that other 70 percent?

    • Hi Bob – one low-potency fish oil pill is better than NO fish oil pill!. This is contrary to what I normally say, but don’t worry about the other 70%. The benefit you have to gain by taking 1000 mg Omega-3 is greater than any risk from the 2000 mg of other fats present in the low-potency fish oil pills you have. Finish out the bottles and then move on to something better. Since you mentioned that you were overweight, I strongly suspect that fat intake is not the primary dietary cause of the weight. It is probably sugar, grains and excess Omega-6 from vegetable oils.
      – Vin Kutty

  16. Great article! very helpful, thanks!
    I’m currently taking a fish oil that has 647 mg of EPA and 253 mg of DHA, combined total of 900mg omega 3’s. The bottle shows a separate measurement for the fish body oils so you know exactly how much Omegas are in it. Does this then mean that it is sufficient as a once a day pill? I am taking it for all over health, recovery from high intensity training, and joint support (don’t have any current joint or health issues)
    Thanks for any advice!

    • Hi Dana – yes and no. You’re taking one of the ‘Triple Strength’ formulas sold by Costco/SAM’S Club or GNC, I suspect. These are mid-grade oils (60-70% Omega-3), so you’re already taking an oil that’s better than 9 our of 10 products out there. That’s good. 900 mg of Omega-3 is almost what the American Heart Association recommends per day. And it’s about 100 mg less than what I tell people to take as a minimum dose, assuming a good diet. But how many pills you really need depends on your diet – how much seafood you eat and how much Omega-6 you get from eating out or cooking with vegetable seed oils (soy or corn oils.) Yes, you’re doing better than most people but if you want to cautious, take two per day.
      – Vin Kutty

  17. What brand do you recommend and what doses would you take for a 54 year old male, who has been in the military and now is feeling the effects of body armor, and so on.
    The doses for EPA, OMEGA-3, AND FISH OIL….

  18. Hi Vin, You have been giving great recommendations. Thanks.

    My tryglyceride level is at 250, came down from 311 last year. Anyways, I just started taking Natures Bounty Fish oil (1400 mg) 980mg Omega-3, EPA 700 mg and DHA 280 mg. I am taking daily one at night. Is that sufficient? Do you have any recommendations? I am 41 yrs old Male from South India-Kerala. I am also wondering if Coconut oil is good for health? Thanks.


    • Hi Raghu – one of those pills is insufficient to lower triglycerides. You will need at least 3 per day, taken with a meal. Yes, coconut oil is amazingly good for health. I suggest you replace all vegetable oils with coconut oil.

      – Vin Kutty

  19. Hello, I am from the UK and very confused with all the numbers! The current brand of fish oil I have says on the label ‘Omega3 fish oil, 1000mg, 300mg active EPA/DHA’ and it recommends you take 3 capsules daily which will give you ‘3,000mg fish oil, EPA 540mg, DHA 360mg’ is this good or bad?

    • Hi Emily – if you take 3 pills per day and get 540 mg of EPA and 360 mg of DHA per day, you’d be ahead of most people! So that’s good. Having said that, you’re taking a low-potency, bottom-of-the-barrel oil. I’m sure there are pharma grade fish oils available in the UK. If you can afford it, get a more potent fish oil. Aim for 2000 mg combined EPA and DHA.

      – Vin Kutty

  20. Hi Vin,

    I have read your comments and they are great!

    I just started taking Kirkland Signature Omega-3 Fish Oil, DHA/EPA, 1000 mg fish oil, 2 gels daily and you mentioned that this is not a concentrated fish oil. Should In increase dosage to 3 gels a day? Can I also give this to my kids ages 6 and 11? Whats the dosage for them? Thanks!


    • Hi Rose – your product is not concentrated. It is barely OK. Costco has more concentrated fish oils that I’d rather you buy. Finish the bottle you have – take 3 or 4 a day until it’s finished. Then, trade up to something more potent. Aim for 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day. How much fish oil is in each pill is not relevant – what you care about is the Omega-3 in each pill. Kids definitely need Omega-3! But it’s a matter of pill size – if they can swallow it, then OK. For kids, I usually recommend something by OmegaBrite or Nordic Naturals. OmegaBrite is a small pill. Nordic Naturals has big and small pills, so you will have to look around for kid-sized pills.

      – Vin Kutty

  21. Hi Vin
    My tryglyceride level is at 3.59 mm0l/L last year. Anyways, I started taking Natures own Fish oil (1500 mg) 50% more Omega-3 than a regular 1000mg fish oil , EPA 270 mg and DHA 180 mg. I am taking daily two with food at night. Is that sufficient? Do you have any recommendations?

    • Hi Francis – you are taking a very large pill with very little Omega-3 in it. You need more Omega-3. Look for a product with at least 1000 mg of Omega-3 per pill.

      – Vin Kutty

  22. Great article – I was wondering how much fish oil – omega 3 should I give my 2.5 yr old son. I just brought 1500 mg for me but worried that would be too much for him as I was unaware of the difference in omega 3 intake. Thank you

    • Hi Kerri – the best way to get Omega-3 into kids that age is through food. Seafood, grass-fed meats, Omega-3 eggs etc. At that age, 200 or 300 mg of Omega-3 ought to be plenty…something do-able with foods. 1500 mg is too much. And it’s difficult to get a child to take capsules. If all else fails, buy liquid fish oil and mix into with something sweet or irresistible.

  23. Hi Vin
    I’m 47 years old and my total cholesterol is 260. My Dr. Wants to start me on medicine but I told him I want to lower it naturally through diet and excersice. How much omega 3 should I take and what brand do you recommend.
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Marco – I am not a doctor and I cannot tell you not to listen to his advice. However, it’s always a good idea to start with diet and exercise. But most people want to cut out fat from their diets. This only increases cholesterol because when you cut out fat, you naturally increase the carbohydrate content of your diet. More carbohydrate means more insulin. More insulin means more cholesterol production. So if you want to reduce cholesterol using diet, you need to cut out sugar and starch first. Very few people (and doctors) understand this. More here:

  24. Hi Vin
    I’m 47 years old and my total cholesterol is 260. My Dr. Wants to start me on medicine but I told him I want to lower it naturally through diet and excersice. How much omega 3 should I take and what brand do you recommend.
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Marco – I am not a doctor and I cannot tell you not to listen to his advice. However, it’s always a good idea to start with diet and exercise. But most people want to cut out fat from their diets. This only increases cholesterol because when you cut out fat, you naturally increase the carbohydrate content of your diet. More carbohydrate means more insulin. More insulin means more cholesterol production. So if you want to reduce cholesterol using diet, you need to cut out sugar and starch first. Very few people (and doctors) understand this. More here:

  25. Excellent article. I have 15 months old son. Could you please advise how much EPA and DHA dossage should I give him ? Whether liquid form of EPA/DHA is better than soft gel ? I have heard that tablets have lower proportion of EPA/DHA than liquid form although tablets are bit cheap. Please advise. Thanks

    • Hi Virang – in your case, your child’s age and ability and willingness to ingest supplements is the issue, not the amount or ratio of Omega-3. I’d suggest incorporating Omega-3 egg yolks into his diet and also giving him DHA boosted full-fat milk. Never, ever give a child skim or low-fat milk. Just these two things will help, but i also suggest getting a product called BrainStrong. It has powdered DHA in sachets that you can blend into milk or mix into solid foods.

  26. Excellent article. I have 15 months old son. Could you please advise how much EPA and DHA dossage should I give him ? Whether liquid form of EPA/DHA is better than soft gel ? I have heard that tablets have lower proportion of EPA/DHA than liquid form although tablets are bit cheap. Please advise. Thanks

  27. Hi, my son is 9 and we just found out he has HSP. Basically vasculitis. Causing a swollen ankle and rash. He is 85 lbs. how much Omega-3 should he take and what brand is good? We basically follow a Paleo diet but I am not as strict with him right now bc he has seemed to be fine. I do really limit junk food as much as I can. He also has psoriasis on his belly button.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Danielle – There is little or no scientific evidence for Omega-3 to help with HSP, but aim for 1000 mg of EPA per day since EPA helps with inflammation. Relieve to hear that you are on a Paleo type diet. That helps eliminate a lot of variables. Assume you are very strict about reducing Omega-6 levels.

      • Thank you so much! I am new to this to be honest, so what is EPA in relation to Omega-3? Is Nordic Naturals or OmegaBrite my best options? Should my kids take a liquid form or pill? Also, what dosing should my 6 yr old take? He is about 45-50 lbs. thank you!!

        • Also, after reading, my son also has attention problems so is the lower DHA level in OmegaBrite not good? I would like for junto take something that has an equal EPA/DHA ratio. Is that possible? Thanks again!

        • Hi Danielle – EPA and DHA are the two main types of healthy Omega-3 fats found in fish oil. Both of those brands are fine – it really depends on what your child will take. Depends on the kid! If you can get your kid/s to take a teaspoon of flavored liquid fish oil, it may be easier since it will deliver a lot of Omega-3 and no need to swallow big pills. 5-6 year old kid should be OK with about 500 mg to 1000 mg per day.

  28. Hi Vin,

    It is very difficult to buy Brainstrong or omega fortified milk in countryside of australia. Thus we are giving liquid form of EPA DHA 1000mg per day to our 15 months old son. We give 2ml liquid everyday which contains 1000mg of DHA and 50 EPA. My son does enjoy it. Please let me know for how many years should we continue this and in what proportion should we give EPA DHA. We are vegetarian so do not eat eggs etc. in our diet. Thanks.

    • Hi Virang – 1000 mg of Omega-3 for a 15 month old is a bit too much of a good thing. I’d stay with about 200 to 300 mg per day. Go to 500 mg at age 4 or 5. I respect your choice, but know that there are nutrients in eggs that children require for proper brain development. And these nutrients are hard to find elsewhere.

  29. Hi Vin, I have high cholesterol which runs in my family, last blood test was bad, so I’m starting with the Omega3. I bought “Pure Alaska Omega 3” at Costco – 1000 mg – label says Salmon Oil 2000 mg, Total Omega Fatty Acids 600 mg. I was recommended 3000 mg, so do I take 4 capsules? Is this a good Omega 3 choice? Thank you.

    • Hi Annie – Omega-3 will not reduce cholesterol. Omega-3 reduces triglyceride, which is an independent risk factor for heart health. The product you are taking is fine. When doctors says ‘3000 mg’ they mean 3000 mg of Omega-3. The ‘600 mg’ is for 2 pills. So you’re only getting 300 mg per pill…I’m sure you’ve done the math in your head…yes, you’ll need to take 10 pills a day to get 3000 mg. That’s why you need a pharmaceutical grade product…a pill that has at least 1000 mg Omega-3 per pill.

  30. Thank you Vin! Yes, actually I need to lower my triglycerides. No, I didn’t realize the dosage was for two pills! Thanks for pointing that out. Is Omegavia considered a pharmaceutical grade product? will I really get 1000 mg per pill? Thanks again Vin.

    • Hi Annie – OK if you’re trying to lower triglycerides, then Omega-3 and sugar/starch elimination will work well. Yes, OmegaVia is considered ‘pharma’ grade. The term is used loosely by Omega-3 manufacturers, but we generally think of products that have 80 or 85% Omega-3 content as pharma grade…but no one lists Omega-3 percentage on the label. Still, if you can find products (and there are several) that can get you 1000 mg per pill, you’ll be fine. OmegaVia has 1105 mg per pill.

  31. very good information but i am still have some questions. What is the best brand and how should i take the pills. Can i take all the 3 pills at the same time or one pill with every meal daily. I bought Nature Made fish oil 1200 mg and 720 mg omega 3 its that brand pure certified? Should I need 3 pills to lower triglyceride. what about the mercury? what are the risks? What is the best doses and brand pill for my kids 10 and 8 years old? Can i take my multivitamin and collagen with those pills together? than you for your help and the information that people desperate need.

    • Hi Dania – there are several good brands. See here:

      You can take the pill all together or separately, as long as it is taken with meals. You’ll need at least 3000 mg Omega-3 per day, along with a healthy diet and exercise plan to maintain healthy triglycerides. You’ll have to contact NatureMade about the certificate of analysis that shows the mercury level. Yes, you can take your multivitamin and collagen with your fish oil. Assuming your kids are healthy, they will need about 500 mg of Omega-3 per day.

  32. The fish oil omega 3 it’s the triple strength it has 1400 fish oil and 900 omega 3 I was using all kinds of eye drops nothing works the dr says they are very dry I just starting taking them yesterday

  33. Hi Vin, While I wait for my Omegavia to arrive I bougth Carlson Elite Omega 3 Fish Oil: 1 Soft Gel contains- 800 mg Omega 3 Fatty Acids from fish oil, EPA 400 mg, DHA 300 mg, other Omega 3s 100 mg. Is this a good of Omega 3? I’m starting on a 3000 mg daily to lower tryglicerides. Thank you.

  34. Hi Vin, Is Nature Made Fish oil Pearls is good? I have very dry scalp and maybe i will try this brand to help my scalp. Thank you

    • Hi Melody – yes, it is good. Great if you have problems swallowing larger pills. But downside is that you will have to take 4-6 pearls per day.

  35. Hello, thank you for all research. I am a male 54yrs old. I have asthma a diabete and cholesterol, I want to know how many mg fish oil do I need to take a day to eliminate the ventolin hfa pump for asthma. the fish oil I have is 1000mg/300mg omega-3 per softgel.

    • Hi Don – I’m not sure taking fish oil will eliminate the need for Ventolin. Granted, asthma is an inflammatory condition and Omega-3 in fish oil is anti-inflammatory, I think you may notice a decrease in your need for Ventolin if you combined an anti-inflammatory diet with about 2000 mg of Omega-3 from fish oil per day. I don’t think taking just fish oil will eliminate the need for the medication. Look into anti-inflammatory diets that reduce Omega-6-rich industrial seed oils like soybean and corn oils and also reduces insulin-spiking sugar and refined carbohydrates.

  36. I have shingles. Pain started 10 days ago. Broke out in rash 5 days ago. Been reading on Internet that fish oil helps restore myelin sheath which should help nerve endings and shingles. Do you find this to be true? If so, how much fish oil should I be taking. I’m 65, very active, take vitamins, but have not been including fish oils. My muscles stay tense even without shingles. My skin on my arms is very crepey, skin on legs rough feeling and dry. Thanks for any advise you can give. 😉

    • Hi Betty – sorry to hear – you must be uncomfortable. I have not read anything very convincing on fish oil and shingles. However, Omega-3 can help with myelin sheath health. I would include 1000 to 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Get magnesium glycinate or citrate supplements for your tense muscles. Are you on a low-fat diet? If so, stop. Get to know healthy fats – olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter and be generous with them. Avoid soybean oils and all other vegetable oils – they are too high in pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fats.

      • Thank you so much for your prompt response. That shows you really do care about the health of others. What a blessing to find in today’s world. I am not on a low fat diet and I do use coconut oil and olive oil as my main oils. I take magnesium, but probably not enough. Is there a particular dosage that you would recommend?

        • Hi Betty – thank you. Glad to hear that you are using some good oils. Aim for 400 to 500 mg of magnesium per day but the source makes a difference – if you’re getting it from magnesium oxide, you might as well be swallowing a pebble. Track down the glycinate or malate or may be even citrate forms. Do no get the ones that has oxide mixed in with it. Citrate while well-absorbed, it can give you a laxative effect. Oxide definitely can.

  37. Hi Vin, I live in New Zealand and take Go healthy New zealand Fish oil capsules. They state 1500 mg wild source and mercury tested. Each capsule contains:
    Marine triglycerides 450mg
    EPA 270 mg
    DHA 180 mg.
    I take three capsules a day. Are these pills any good?
    Thank you

    • Hi Rupi – I can only comment on the the quantity of Omega-3 and that is good. You’re getting 450 mg Omega-3 per pill and since you’re taking 3 per day, that’s 1350 mg Omega-3 per day. Not bad at all, unless you’re trying to control high triglycerides or deal with some other chronic issue, in which case, this may not be enough.

  38. Hi there, I have severe dry skin and eczema and have started taking fish oil to try to help it. I am currently taking 3 soft gels of 1000 mg (EPA 180 · DHA 120). I realize now that isnt very much, so can you reccommend how to much to take to help out my skin?

    Thank you very much!

    • Hi Tiffany – before I tell you how much Omega-3 to eat, may I ask if you are on a low-fat diet? If so, that’s a big problem. You skin needs healthy, natural fats. You need to eat more olive oil, coconut oil, butter and other healthy fats. No, fats wont make you fat – sugars do. On top of that, aim for 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day.

      PS: your skin and brain need a lot of healthy fats to be healthy. What’s going on with your skin is probably going on with your brain as well. Your brain is 60-70% fat – give this some thought.

  39. Dear mr Kutty, someone told me that i should be taking some fourteen grammes of combined epa-dha,counting only the content of the abovementioned fatty acids and NOT the total fish oil to make up 14grammes. I was told this amount is safe with the 60mgs daily of prozac i also take daily. And i have started on this regimen. Apart from anxiety and stress and heartbreak and grief,i am completely disease-free,albeit my cholesterol is around 9. But i have been a lifelong sufferer with cholesterol hovering over 7. And bad ratios,too,lifelong since started testing at 27 years of age. I am male,now 69,and worry SOLELY because the prozac leaflet insert says to proceed with caution with anything which affects platelet action. However,if possible,i wish to continue taking my 14 grammes of EPA-DPA DAILY. Can you kindly advize me,please. Sincerely,marcus.

  40. I’m 35. I have just done my cholesterol lipid profile and my profile overall is very bad. I am planning to start GNC Triple strength fish oil plus krill softgels or should i start GNC Triple omega 3-6-9 softgels or Nature made triple omega 3-6-9?

  41. Thanks for your reply and advice. May i ask whether fish oils high-dose and policosanol 40mgs are safe together,on a daily basis? There is no point in asking a doctor or pharmacist about things which are not pharmaceuticals,here. The best of them admit that they know little or nothing about herbs,nutrients,or anything which is not a drug. Regards. Marcus.

    • Hi Marcus – same here. But yes, fish oil and policosanol are fine together. Although I am not fully convinced about the benefits of policosanol.

  42. Vin, I had a health screening about a month ago. All tests were clear except carotid arteries. One showed mild blockage. The other showed moderate blockage. Could you please tell me if fish oil or other foods/supplements would help clear them out. I am 65, eat pretty well and exercise often by walking. Thanks

    • Hi Betty – this is not a minor thing. You should work with your doctor to address this. You will also need to speak to a nutritionist about changing your diet – someone who can hold your hands and walk you thru some major changes. Try:

      As for supplements, I suggest you get Life Extensions Super K2. It is a Vitamin K2 formula. Yes, Omega-3 will help. Aim for 1000 mg of Omega-3 per day.

  43. I am taking 4 of the ultimate omega Nordic naturals for dry eyes it has been 5 days taking the 4 gel cspsules, before that had been taking only 2 with no results for a month for my dry eyes! How long before it will help! Thank-you , julie

    • Hi Julie – I’d give it a couple of weeks. If you see absolutely no difference in a couple of weeks, don’t give up yet. You may have to tweak your diet a little bit too – less Omega-6 from vegetable oils (olive oil and butter are fine) and less sugar and refined carbs.

    • Hi Betty – I have not seen any research on fish oil and TMJ. I suspect that it does not help, but it can’t hurt to try. You may also want to take a look at magnesium supplements. Stress, poor diet and lack of sleep can make it worse, so those are all things to address.

  44. Is it fine to take Vitamins and minerals together with 660 mg Omega 3- I made to understand that Omega 3 fish oils contains Vitamin A and same goes the intake of vitamin A from Vitamin supplement.

    Please advice , on the correct amount/ dosage of vitamin A and i am wary of high dosage and thinning of blood.


    • Hi Logan – yes, it is OK to take Omega-3 with your multivitamin. Most Omega-3 have no Vitamin A. Most people are also low in Vitamin A – worries about Vit A overdose is common but misplaced.

  45. I am prescribed 10ml of super EFA a day by my naturopath. Can I mix the 2 tsps. in my coffee or will that destroy the omega 3’s? I know it’s supposed to not taste bad but it still repulses me when I swallow it. Also, should it be kept in the fridge?

    • Hi Marlene – no, I would not add it to coffee or anything that’s hot. It won’t fully destroy it, but it will make a somewhat rancid product even more so. If you are working with ANY liquid fish oil, it must be kept frozen or refrigerated. Otherwise it will go rancid very quickly. I am surprised that your naturopath did not mention this. If it repulses you, may be you ought to try another brand. More here:

  46. i am taking 2 pills of carlson elite omega -3 ,1250mg per day .it provides me
    800mg epa,600mg dha. and other omegas .i have been taking it for last week,could you please tell me ,it is good for treating depression.

    • Hi Anu – it should help, assuming your depression was caused by Omega-3 deficiency but insufficient Omega-3 alone is rarely the cause for depression. There are SEVERAL dietary and lifestyle factors that contribute to depression. Genetics, traumatic events and factors not related to diet can also cause it. Work with a psychiatrist – don’t self-diagnose and self-treat if you’re suffering. There are lots of articles on this website about diet and mood – read them all as well.

  47. hello I had a stent put in January 2014 my artery was clog 92%. I’m currently taking aAtrovasting 80 mg 1 tablet at bedtime. I’m also taking Diltiazem 180 m . I am also taking plavix 75 milligrams everyday. since I’m taking high-dose cholesterol medication, blood thinners and beta blockers. is it possible for me to start a regimen of Omega 3 and if I can how many do I have to take per day.

    • Hi Edwin – since you’re under intensive pharmaceutical therapy, you should check with your cardiologist/primary care doc to see if it’s OK for you. Having said that, Omega-3 does not interfere with any of the drugs you mentioned and may even help them work a little better. Omega-3 is a natural anti-inflammatory and should help your health. If your doctors give you a green light, aim for 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day.

  48. hello. Just want to ask if how much the dosage should i take. Is it good to take fish oil and vit e 300 everyday? I am 25 years old and diagnosed Polycystic ovarian syndrome 2years ago, have asthma also.. I am in 70kl of weight? Im looking forward to your response! thanks and godbless.

  49. Hey Vin,

    I thought I remembered reading in an article or comment that the only real risk to be take under consideration was the possibility of cutting off GLA production due to competition with EPA at high doses. What doses would those be? Is there a grams of O3/body weight ratio that is optimal for avoiding that or is there a amount of GLA you should take per every set amount you go over that ratio? Enjoying the product but already take GLA supp, am asking for family members, who are aged 12-59


    • Hi Wes – this is a theoretical argument. We simply don’t know at what dose EPA begin to interfere with GLA. But I’d be shocked if you noticed anything with a few grams of EPA. GLA is fine (and important) but Barry Sears argues that daily consumption may not provide benefits for all as you’d assume. I occasionally pop a GLA pill, but not regularly.

    • Hi Azri – don’t know…depends on your state of health and your health goals. But I’d say at least 1, but may be as many as 3 or 4.

  50. Hello I went to gnc looking for something that could help my joints they suggested omega-3 which I also need to take daily. Is gnc triple strength fish oil 1500 a good brand to take for raising hdl and joints? If so how many should i take a day to actually see a difference ?

    Thank you

    • Hi Amber – GNC is a pretty good brand. Omega-3 won’t raise HDL much. Exercise helps with HDL. But Omega-3 can help reduce inflammation and that will help your joints.

  51. I bought a bottle of CARLSONS liquid fish oil omega-3

    1 teaspoon dose= Omega-3 1600 mg
    EPA. 800mg
    DHA. 500mg
    I take a tsp twice a day after meals. Is that a good dose for
    Me with a inflammation problem and both knees replaced…on
    high cholesterol and high blood pressure meds and steroids for RA.
    I’m also eating a KETO diet…low carb high fat and under 20 carbs day.
    NO sugar starches grains or fruit….I do eat some dairy though. No alcohol or caffeine either. Is this all sounding ok to you or would you suggest something different? I’m currently weaning down off the Prednisone…thank God as I’m sweating to death!
    Thank you SO much for your Reply in advance! Syd

  52. Hi I am wondering if a 3-6-9 supplement actually does more harm than good being that most people have such a high level of 6 already and taking the 369 supplement will throw your ratios out even farther thus doing more harm. That and you make your own 9, should I stick to a pharm 3 and forget the 6/9?

  53. Hi

    can i take fish oil 1000 mg 3 times a day (Blackmore odlurless 400 pcs) and collagen 5300mg (kinohimitsu) together?

    Thanks xD

  54. I read that fish oil can help boost mood for some mild depression. I am 28 years old and a bit on the heavy side. last time I was checked I am obesity type 2. I was wondering how much and if i can start taking in fish oil capsules.

    • HI Janine – depression is strongly correlated to inflammation. You can follow an anti-inflammatory diet (with the help of a nutritionist, of course!) to help tackle inflammation. In the meantime, 2 to 3 grams (or 2000 to 3000 mg) of Omega-3 per day may help.

  55. My cholesterol level (LDL and HDL) is very high even though I exercise daily. I am 50 years old and have high blood pressure. I purchased Nature’s Own Odourless Fish Oil 2000mg 200 Capsules but if I were to consume 2 pills a day, does that mean that the remaining (2000-600)*2 = 2800 is bad for me? Where do you think I can get pharmaceutical grade fish oils in Australia? Many thanks. What dosage would you recommend me to take?

    Fish Oil – Natural 2000mg (2g)
    Equiv. Omega-3 Marine Triglycerides 600mg
    Equiv. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 360mg
    Equiv. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 240mg

    • Hi Foo – the 2000 mg is the amount of oil in two pills. One pill has 1000 mg oil and only 300 mg of the 1000 mg is healthy Omega-3. But, no, the remaining 2800 mg is not bad for you. There is just no benefit from consuming that. We ship to Australia.

  56. Hey there I have a 11 year old with major anger anxiety issues and depression and didn’t sleep also with impulsive adhd what mgs would u recommend me to.give him please

    • Hi Kylie – do not pin all your hopes on Omega-3. It sounds like you may (among other treatments) need a drastic change in her diet. Talk to a dietitian about putting her on an anti-inflammatory diet. A diet that is high in fiber from vegetables, zero sugar, and high in whole foods like seafood, eggs, nuts, and fruits. In addition to that, you may want to try 1000 to 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day.

    • Hi Sis – yes, that is a good idea, especially if you are not eating seafood two to three times a week.

  57. I have just started taking Omega3…was great info and lots of good questions.

    I bought buy2 get 2 offer of Carlson where each 1 GM soft gels has 150 MG and 120MG of EPA and DHA. I am taking 4 softgels daily ~1.1G together a day. I have 2 questions…sorry if they are repeat:
    1. Does taking more pills daily means lower absorption or less effective compare to one pill pharmaceutical grade giving 1 GM of EPA and DHA together ?
    2. How to rate this brand Carson from quality, source of Omega, manufacturing standards and having less unwanted composites like Metal etc? I found this brand IFOS 5* certified and one of those few has 5* from Leanitup also.

    • Hi Manash – since you are starting out with Omegas, stay with what you’ve been doing. Taking 4 of your pills will give you a fairly effective dose, with 1080 mg of Omega-3. Almost 1.1 grams. There are products like OmeagVia that contains the same amount of Omegas in one pill. It may be easier. Carlson is generally a good brand, no need to worry about impurities or oxidation.

  58. Hello there, my recurrent chalazia condition left my right eyelid always red (like with blepharitis), and with a ptosis compared to the left eye. Now I developed a chalazion in the left eye as well. I’m starting to get sick and tired about this condition.. I think omega3 could help me. I’ll buy omegavia soon but in the meantime I need to use some other supplement locally (3 pearls of Solgar only contains EPA 1512 mg
    DHA 1134 mg, but it has 4000mg of fish oil.. what do u think?)
    PS How much omega, EPA and DHA should I take in your opinion?

      • HI Anna – this confirms to be that you do have inflammation – time to talk to a nutritionist to completely revise your diet. Talk to a doctor about what other medications you might need. Strongly consider other anti-inflammatory products like Curcumin and Pycnogenol.

    • Hi Anna – I don’t know if Omega-3 has been used to treat Chalazion. However there is a component of inflammation associated with the condition and the blocking of the tear duct is that of an oil glad. I think going on a strict anti-inflammatory diet without sugar, grains, Omega-6 rich seed oil, could help. Taking Omega-3 may help, but I am not sure how much. Going on a mostly seafood + vegetables diet is a good idea. The Solgar product is fine.

  59. Hi , I’m a female 59 years old, my triglycerides level is 165 , and I have dry eyes with a separation of glass liquid of the left eye. I’m taking fish oil 1000 mg. 300 mg EPA ,200mg DHA soft gels one pill a day from the Vitamin Shoppe and I need your advice. I want to know how much should I take ?

    • Hi Bushra – you should aim for 2000 -3000 mg of Omega-3 daily. See if VitaminShoppe has a product with 1000+ mg per pill. That way, you only need to take 2 or 3. FYI OmegaVia has 1105 mg Omega-3 per pill. You dont have to take OmegaVia, but any good product with over 1000 mg per pill will help reduce the number of pills you need to get to 2000 to 3000 mg.

  60. Hi,
    I just bought Carlson “Super Omega 3 Gems”, 600mg (EPA 300 DHA 200) and Omega 3 and “Elite Omega 3 Gems”, 1,600mg. (EPA 800 DHA 600), and I am thinking to give it to my teens (14, 16 and 18 yo) and to my husband and I (56 and 46 yo).
    My husband have the triglycerides a bit high and I feel tired and with some muscle pain. What it should be the recommended dose to each of us?

    • Forgot to say that the serving size for the Super Omega 3 Gems” 600mg (EPA 300 DHA 200) is 1 soft gel and for the “Elite Omega 3 Gems” 1,600mg (EPA 800 DHA 600) the serving size is 2 soft gels.

    • Hi Catarina – take 1000 mg daily for maintenance. Triglyceride management requires change in diet (less sugar and grains), aerobic exercise and 3000 mg Omega-3 per day.

  61. I am quite obese and want something to reduce my cholesterol levels. How much dosage of Omega 3 would you recommend?

    • Hi DK – Omega-3 does not reduce cholesterol. Omega-3 helps maintain triglycerides (another type of fat in the blood) when used in combination with vigorous exercise and a low-sugar and low-grain diet. Please consult with both a physician and a licensed nutritionist or dietitian to help tackle the situation.

  62. I bought OMEGA 3 fish oil, 1000mg from Holland & Barrett drug store.
    The instructions says 3soft gel pills per day. Do I have to take 3 pills at the same time or 3pills should be taken 3 times a day? Pls let me know.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Nazeeha – you can take all three at the same time or one with each meal, whichever is convenient. Most people can easily digest and absorb the Omega-3 found in 3 pills.

  63. This post is several years old so I have no idea if a reply will come along, but seeing as you replied as recently as last year I thought it might be worth a shot.

    1) I have asthma and am taking about 1 g daily omega 3s for both general health (including mood balance) and an anti-inflammatory effect (Webber Naturals pharmaceutical grade omega 3- 300 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA, or 2 pills daily). Would that be sufficient for a general anti-inflammatory effect? I have no delusions about being able to go off my medications or anything but I’d like to know I’m reducing my body’s inflammatory responses, as I know I have a condition which causes them to go into hyperdrive. I had to work my way up from 1 pill to 2 to get my stomach used to it, but seeing as how the bottle recommends 3 pills daily for 1500mg total, I was wondering if I was taking too little.

    (I bought this brand because it was on sale, the brand was generally pretty reputable, and I got a big bucket of 200 capsules, but after I finish this up I’m thinking of switching to a liquid/something more concentrated/something I only need to take once per day. In hindsight I’m thinking my desire to take 3 a day is also to use the remainder up quickly!)

    2) Approximately how long does it take to begin seeing an actual beneficial effect? I took 1 pill/500 mg for a month and then adjusted to 1 g daily after that, about the beginning of February. Aside from my resting heart rate lowering (according to Fitbit anyway), I haven’t noticed much of a difference. I’ve heard anywhere from 3-6 months to reach peak concentrations in the blood and was wondering what you knew. This sort of ties into the earlier question about effective doses.

    3) What do you know about GLA and it’s effects alongside fish oil? From what I understand, with enough EPA, GLA has an additional anti-inflammatory effect due to the two essentially blocking AA receptors in the body (or something to that effect- I’m no scientist!) I’m not rushing out to buy any GLA supplements just due to potential interactions with birth control/estrogenic effects but I was curious if this was a potential additional therapy I could discuss with my doctor (although I don’t have much hope there- a great doctor but aside from being able to discuss Canada’s food guide and a healthy diet she admits she really doesn’t know much about supplements and interactions beyond common ones like St. John’s Wort.)

    I’m aware you’re no scientist either, at least not as far as I can tell, but you seem to be pretty knowledgeable on the subject so I wanted to hear your opinions, assuming this post isn’t dead!

    • Hi Tiffany – if you want to manage any kind of inflammation, my suggestion is to combine 2000-3000 mg of Omega-3, along with Curcumin and a low-inflammation diet (sugar-free, flour-free and exclusively whole foods) that is gut-friendly. If you’re dealing with medical conditions, you will need a doctor to address the situation if prescription medications are necessary. Regardless of your approach, I don’t see how you cross this without a dramatic change in diet and lifestyle.

      If you are strict about your new anti-inflammatory diet and take the supportive supplements, I imagine that markers like CRP will begin to drop in about a month. (3-6 months for reaching peak concentrations sounds more like Vitamin D3 than EPA or DHA, which can go up fairly quickly…but then again, getting to peak concentration is not the goal…that’d be feeling better.)

      GLA can be a positive influence in the eicosanoid pathway. But again, please don’t get lost in the weeds. You may be able to hold off or manage symptoms with pills. But for addressing the root cause, you will need to start looking at diet and lifestyle.

      • Oh, my doctor’s already on top of the asthma, I assure you! (I have chronic asthma/since childhood, so it’s not a recent diagnosis, but now I’m more aware of the role of diet in managing these conditions and am hoping to ensure it doesn’t get worse with time, since it seems to be flaring up every time I get a cold now :/)

        Yes, curcumin is something I’ve looked at too— it’s difficult to tell how to take it, since I’ve variously seen touted taking the whole spice (ie adding turmeric to food) vs a capsule with added piperine for absorption. Not sure if you’d know anything about that?

        Yes, I’ve also heard about diet but again that’s something where it feels like everyone has their own advice and it’s difficult to sift through to find the good advice. I like to think I don’t eat that badly—I don’t snack much and most of my meals aren’t from a box—but flour and sugar are pretty addictive, I’ll admit. Homemade bread is still bread, after all. Would you happen to know of any good resources for an anti-inflammatory diet that I might have missed?

        Thanks for the detailed response! I really appreciate it.

        • Hi Tiffany – turmeric root taken as spice is fine, but you will have to eat pounds of spice to get the active ingredient found in a couple of pills of Curcumin extracts. Go with the concentrated extract.

          Diet – well, here is one thing ALL GOOD DIETS have in common: elimination of sugar and processed grain/flour. Start there.

          Lots of books about anti-inflammatory diet on Amazon. Most of them wont lead you astray. Or you could try this:

          • Thanks so much! It sounds a lot simpler when you put it that way. Cutting out grains and sugar sounds simple but it will definitely be an adjustment!

            One final question (and I’m very grateful for your time and patience!): what would be an effective dose of curcumin? 500-1000 mg seems to be the common doses available, and I’ve seen some studies (using curcumin as an adjunct therapy for asthma, specifically) that took 1000 mg daily through 2, 500 mg capsules. So I’m assuming 1 gram is probably the minimum “effective” dose but i wasn’t sure if higher dosages would be recommended for other things (supplement labels tend to give conservative numbers!) Not sure how much you know about this so it’s a bit of a shot in the dark here.

            Anyway thanks for all your help and your patience!

            • Hi Tiffany – cutting out sugar and grains can start in small steps. No one goes from eating like a college freshman to eating like a dietitian overnight. Start with sweetened beverages. Then cut out juices. Then cookies, donuts, candies, chips, and other snack foods. These are the ‘lowest hanging fruits,’ so to speak. Then aim for cutting out flour in pizza, pasta and the like. The goal is to gradually de-normalize sugar and to get your starch/carbs from vegetables, tubers, and fruits exclusively. These are dietary changes that no sensible dietitian or nutritionist will disagree with. Sugar is a highly addictive substance and it will take 2-3 weeks of going cold turkey to stop craving it. It wont be easy.

              These are the basics. You can let others worry about vegetarian/vegan/low-carb/gluten-free etc. Focus on the basics.

              As for Curcumin, aim for 1000 mg of 95% Curcumin extract. That may be two capsules. Look for black pepper extract, often called Bioperine, to enhance Curcumin absorption.

  64. Hi. I am a 37 year old male with good health and exercise regularly. I am currently taking a ONE a DAY omega 3 tablet that contains 680mg EPA and 270mg DHA. I just want overall health benefits from the Omega 3, i.e skin, heart, brain etc. Is this enough to just the one tablet per day or do you think I should up this to 2 tablets per day? Any advise would be much appreciated.

    See this link for the tablets i’m taking.

    Many thanks

  65. “If you can’t commit to a daily dose of 3000mg on average (from supplements and diet) for whatever reason – including cost – it’s probably best to NOT use fish oil at all. There is ample evidence to not even bother. Using too low of a dose will not have any benefit, so don’t waste your time and energy if you’re not getting your total of at least 3000mg”
    “No heart disease, high cholesterol, or cardiovascular risk?
    Shoot for 3000mg of EPA and DHA from supplements and diet.
    This includes special populations like vegan/vegetarians, the elderly, and even pregnant or lactating women
    Can’t commit to high potency fish oil? Too much money? Hard to take every day?
    Don’t bother. Daily intake below 3000mg has been shown to be not beneficial, so don’t waste your effort”
    Hello Vin, what do you think about these statements? I know clinical trials often use higher dose of Omega 3 but is it true that we have to take at least 3000mg per day to have any benefits? Here’s the link to the article:
    Thank you

    • Hi Ybsin – without context, it is difficult to agree/disagree with those statements.

      Is 3000 mg the magic number for Omega-3? No.

      You can prevent deficiency symptoms with 500 mg per day. But does that mean that is optimal? No. Measure your Omega-3 index using a simple finger prick test. If your Omega-3 index is at or above 8%, then whatever you are doing is fine. If it lower, then consume more Omega-3.

      If you’ve become unhealthy and inflamed due to poor eating habits and inactivity, then you need to address the root causes – diet and exercise – before looking at supplements as a life jacket.

      If you have metabolic disorder (if you have to 3 of these 5 factors, you have metabolic disorder: high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high fasting glucose/insulin, truncal obesity [pot belly or abdominal fat], low HDL), then, yes, you will need to combine high dose Omega-3 with exercise and a healthy diet.

      But you can fix metabolic disorder WITHOUT any Omega-3 supplementation…you need to cut out sugar, flour, refined grains and perform vigorous daily exercise.

      If you can commit to a strict diet and exercise strenuously with discipline, and you eat seafood regularly, then you don’t need Omega-3 to come to your rescue. In that case, you certainly do not need 3000 or 4000 mg Omega-3 daily. Just 500 to 1000 mg will do, either from foods or supplements.

      I disagree with the notion that ‘you have to take 3000 mg or don’t bother.’ If you can’t or won’t take 3000 to 4000 mg daily, then you must choose diet/exercise option – those are your two options.

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