Omega-3: What is it and How Much Do I Need?
Whether or not you like fish, you have probably heard about Omega-3 and its benefits. Omega-3 is a sub-group of essential fatty acids—which are good-for-you fats used by every cell in your body.
EPA and DHA
While some plants provide an Omega-3 fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), seafood, fish, and fish oil provide the two most biologically functional Omega-3 fats: EPA and DHA. Both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) have been researched extensively and are known to be beneficial for heart health, joints, the immune system, healthy mood, and brain health.‡*
How much should I be getting?
Research shows that most Americans do not consume enough Omega-3 and confirms that consuming adequate amounts of Omega-3 from fish oil improves health and may reduce the risk of heart disease.‡* The American Heart Association recommends consuming at least two 3.5-ounce servings of oily fish each week for the beneficial Omega-3 fats (about 500 mg to 1.5 g per serving). That includes salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. If you’re not a big fan of fish, consider taking a high-concentration, purity-guaranteed daily fish oil supplement.*
‡Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.