When it comes to omega 3 fish oil, many adults do not get enough of what they need. This is also true in children, where DHA and EPA can provide many developmental benefits. What’s thoroughly confusing however is the lack of information available pertaining to omega 3 fish oil dosage. In fact, for children, no such official recommendations exist. This is why figuring out how much omega 3 you need to be taking in can be a difficult task.
Starting with adults, with exception of people suffering from conditions such as coronary diseases which can often yield dosages of omega 3 1000mg daily, the only guidelines for dosages in people without diseases that benefit from supplementation is a maximum of 3 grams per day. If you have a lot of fish in your diet that already contains omega 3, you would likely not take even this much so sticking to 1000 to 2000 mg dosage is a safe option. The reason why? There is a rare but potentially increased bleeding risk associated with taking more than this maximum. For many healthy adults, eating fish twice per week will supply most of this essential nutrient required without having to mess with supplements or figuring out the correct omega 3 fish oil dosage for you. However, adults with health issues and those who do not follow a proper diet, are encouraged to take daily fish oil supplements.
In children, while supplements exist, there is no specific established omega 3 fish oil dosage. Unless advised or recommended by a health care professional, no more than 1000 mg of daily fish oil supplements should be used in children under 18. The conundrum that exists is that children require DHA and EPA that are found in omega 3s, yet there is a potential risk of ingesting too much mercury in fishy diets. To combat this, supplementing children’s diets with fish that do not contain excessively high amounts of mercury (such as swordfish and king mackerel – avoid these!) is ideal. Cod, Atlantic salmon, haddock and tilapia are safer choices. In infants, many formulas now contain the developmental building blocks of DHA and EPA making infant supplementation not required, so check the label of the formula you are using, and confirm with your physician.
If you are choosing to take an omega 3 supplement, consider one like liquid cod liver oil; for example, by a brand called Twinlab. This product contains not only safe with respect to mercury omega 3, it also contains vitamin A and D. The importance of vitamin A and D cannot be undervalued, and it’s critical that when using supplements that balance and a complete cohesiveness of nutrients be the ultimate goal. As such, a vitamin D dose can be as important as omega 3s.
If you are confused about omega 3 fish oil dosage, and its role in your diet and overall health, or that of your child’s, speak to your health care provider. He or she will work with you to fill dietary gaps that may be contributing to deficiencies and offer suggestions for correction. If a supplement is suggested, they will also help you make good decisions when making a selection. And remember that fish lowest in mercury is your best source of omega 3, followed by liquid cod liver oil.