Monday, August 17, 2009

How Much Fish Oil Should I Eat?

What is the recommended amounts of fish oil to consume in supplemental form? Barb H.

Dear Barb,

Depending on the purpose for supplementing fish oil, the amounts differ.

If someone is aiming for a healthy diet, the American Heart Association recommendations are to consume fatty fish twice weekly, along with other foods high in EPA and DHA (forms of omega 3 fatty acids) such as walnuts, canola oil, and flaxseed. The range contained in fish runs from less than one gram to just about two grams per 3 ounce serving, depending on the type of fish.

A person who has been diagnosed with coronary heart disease is still encouraged to follow the above dietary guidelines, but 1 gram supplement may be advised by the individual's physician.

Patients with elevated triglyceride levels may be recommended by their physician to take up to 2-4 grams in the form of supplements of the EPA and DHA.

Taking these supplements should be done only under a physician's care: levels over 3 grams per day can cause bleeds and stroke in certain people, and these are certainly life-threatening conditions.

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