The recommended omega-3 dose will depend on how much you already get from food and why you are taking it. There are three kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, DHA, and EPA. A daily intake of 2 grams of ALA is often recommended as part of a healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends taking 1 to 4 grams of DHA and EPA daily.
The recommended dose of omega-3 can vary, depending on several factors, including:
- The type of omega-3 fatty acid (three different types are nutritionally important)
- Why you take omega-3 fatty acids (for treating high triglycerides, heart disease, or other uses)
- Your dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids (how much you already get from food).
In general, it is usually recommended that you take omega-3 supplements under your healthcare provider's supervision. The three kinds of omega-3 fatty acids that are important in human nutrition include:
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people with 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 of fish, 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 through diet, the AHA suggests that you consider an omega-3 supplement with DHA and EPA (taken under the supervision of your healthcare provider) in order to get the recommend 1 gram of DHA and EPA per day.