While there is no arguing the fact that the omega fatty acids are imperative to good health, it is important to realise that a correct ratio is vital to attaining that good health. Excessive amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation which can result in cancer, arthritis, heart disease, asthma and depression. The existing Western diet trends to supply huge amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids and insufficient amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. The two main constituents of Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA are naturally anti-inflammatory and promote brain and heart health, offer protection against cancer, depression, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, in addition to promoting fetal brain development. In order to achieve that healthy balance, we can alter our diets to reduce the amounts of Omega’-6s consumed or alternatively increase the amounts of Omega-3s consumed.
Since it is not always easy to get sufficient amounts of Omega-3s through diet, many people prefer to use fish oil supplements. Even when taking supplements, it important to look at the labels to determine exactly how much Omega-3 you are getting. Dosing on supplements is determined by the actual quantity of Omega-3s present. It is typical of fish oil marketers to merely state a high number of milligrams of the total fish oil in a very visible location of the label, but this number is of little value in terms of the Omega-3 content. To calculate this, you will need to read the fine print which states the number of milligrams of EPA and DHA contained in a single dose of the brand you plan to purchase.1 The World Health recommends 300-500 milligrams of EPA and DHA combined to fulfil the basic daily requirement of a healthy adult.2
If the fish oil supplement is being taken to combat some medical condition, then depending on the condition the doses vary. Taking high dosages without medical supervision can be dangerous as excessive amounts can cause internal bleeding. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center doses of more than 3 grams (3000 milligrams) a day have been studied in patients suffering from high triglycerides, cancer, elevated blood pressure and kidney issues.3