Fact: The human body does not produce significant amounts of EPA or DHA omega-3s on its own
Your body must get the majority of its EPA and DHA from the foods you eat and the supplements you consume. Unfortunately, the typical American diet includes too little EPA and DHA.
Are you getting enough?
Before reading on, let’s see if you are getting enough omega-3s in your diet. Take our brief quiz now to see how you compare to expert recommendations.
The amount you need
There is no established Adequate Intake (AI) or Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) in the United States for EPA and DHA omega-3s. A growing number of expert bodies and health professionals recommend 250 milligrams (mg) to 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA per day.
A serving size of omega-3 rich fish is considered 3.5 ounces cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish. Two servings of fatty fish – for example, salmon, mackerel, herring or tuna – per week will provide approximately 650 mg to 3,340 mg of EPA and DHA, fulfiling your daily recommendation.
If you do not consume significant amounts of fish on a regular basis due to dietary preferences or a vegetarian lifestyle, there are EPA and DHA supplements on the market that are made from fish, krill and vegetarian marine algae. Individuals with coronary heart disease may need to consider daily intakes as high as 1,000 mg (1 gram) of EPA and DHA per day, according to the American Heart Association.
Select a high-quality omega-3 supplement and read the label to see how much EPA and DHA is in each serving to ensure you are getting recommended levels of these good fats.