Scientists are currently debating whether or not to give omega 3 fatty acids a daily recommended intake like protein, vitamin C and other nutrients. At a meeting of cardiologists, Dr. Carl Lavie stated that a healthy individual should consume 500 mg/day of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) to meet their body’s needs. People with cardiovascular disease should consume somewhere from 800 -1000 mg/day. (According to one study, men who took omega-3 after a heart attack were 27% more likely to be alive after two years than men who didn’t). However, not all cardiologists share the same opinion, instead stating that the evidence to come up with the guidelines is not strong enough.

These doctors also warned that dietary supplements are not well regulated and in fact a tablet that claims to contain 1000 mg of omega 3 may in fact only have 300mg.

The American Heart Association already recommends:

  • that in people with cardiovascular disease they should consume 1000mg/day
  • for healthy adults 500mg/day or the equivalent of 2 servings of oily fish a week, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna and sardines.
While the debate continues around the issuing of guidelines for omega-3, its a good idea to eat more fish, it also tastes great and is a wonderful source of lean protein.
By Rebecca Subbiah RD
Possible Guidelines for Omega-3 Intake
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