In general, people should only take fish oil with a healthcare provider's approval and supervision. The dosage will vary, depending on why you are taking the supplement. Because the manufacturing of supplements such as fish oil is not closely regulated, it is important to choose a trustworthy manufacturer. Your pharmacist can help you choose a reputable manufacturer and safe dose of fish oil.
Dosing With Fish Oil: An Introduction
The recommended fish oil dosage can vary, depending on why you are taking the supplements. It's best to take fish oil only under your healthcare provider's supervision. Because these products can vary in the amount of omega-3 fatty acid they contain, the recommended doses are usually described in terms of omega-3 fatty acid content. In particular, doses of fish oil should be measured based on the content of two particular omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Recommended Fish Oil Dose for High Triglycerides
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people who have high triglycerides take a fish oil supplement with 2 to 4 grams (2000 to 4000 mg) of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. There is no need to take all of this fish oil all at once; you may find that splitting it up into two daily doses decreases some of the bothersome side effects. The AHA recommends that you take fish oil for this use only under the supervision of your healthcare provider.
Dosage of Fish Oil for Heart Disease Treatment
The AHA recommends that people who have diagnosed coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as coronary artery disease (CAD), should consume about 1 gram (1000 mg) of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids daily, preferably from eating fish. However, many people do not like fish or do not have access to a good supply, and it is probably not reasonable to expect most people to eat one or more servings of fish per day (some fish have more omega-3 fatty acids than others). For instance, to get the recommended 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids, you would need to eat one to two servings of salmon, four to seven servings of cod, or four servings of shrimp per day.
In the likely event that you have difficulty obtaining the recommended amount of fish through dietary means, the AHA suggests that you consider a fish oil supplement (under the supervision of your healthcare provider) in order to get the recommend 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids per day.
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