People taking different brands of fish oil need different amounts to get the same effects. How many capsules a day you need to make a difference depends on how much DHA and EPA are in each capsule.
The contents of a capsule of fish oil include two essential fatty acids, decosahexaenoic acid, also known as DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, also known as EPA. These are the fatty acids your body uses to use anti-inflammatory hormones.
Not everything in a capsule of fish oil, however, is DHA and EPA. There may be other components of fish oil. There may be added antioxidants, usually vitamin E.
And in some poorer quality products there may be "marine liquids," which are, to put it euphemistically, "fish juice."
Products that contain marine liquids as their main ingredient—the fish oil you get in a WalMart store in the USA is about 70% "fish juice," for instance—tend to spoil and to cause upset stomach.
To minimize the likelihood of stomach upset and fishy burps, choose products that maximize the percentage of the product that is DHA and EPA. Some of the better blends offer about 600 mg of DHA and EPA in each capsule. If you take that kind of product, then an optimal dosage is usually:
- Omega 3 dosage for kids - 1 capsule a day for children
- Omega-3 dosage for adults - 2 or 3 capsules a day for adults
- More than 1 capsule (up to 3) per day for children and more than 3 capsules per day (up to 5) when there are obvious signs of inflammation, such as broken out skin, fever, and joint pain
Omega-3 Fish Oil Dosage For Different Needs
If you are looking for a product that stops inflammation, make sure it contains at least 360 mg of EPA per capsule. If you are looking for a product that supports brain growth and recovery from ADHD (more about omega-3 fatty acids and ADHD), dyslexia, and coordination problems, make sure each capsule contains at least 240 mg of DHA.
And what about fish oil esters, the main ingredient of both the cheapest big box store brands and also of the most expensive form of fish oil, Lovaza?
Fish oil esters are omega-3 essential fatty acids that have been boiled in alcohol to make them less easy to digest by any bacteria that may have been sealed up in the capsule. Not only are fish oil esters harder for bacteria to digest, they are also harder for you to digest.
It's a lot better just to start with a clean and wholesome product.
Some of the least expensive brands of fish oil offer as little as 1/5 of the DHA and EPA content found in the best quality products. And the most expensive, prescription fish oil, Lovaza, is made of fish oil esters!
The best value for your money is a high-quality product like Xtend Life that offers fish oil without additives or impurities in a form your body can use right away.