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Do I Need Fish Oil Supplements?

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD, CPT
February 13, 2023
November 28, 2023

Fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a variety of bodily functions, such as supporting heart health and lowering triglycerides. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in many foods, including fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. Read more, or watch the video!

Whether or not you need to take fish oil supplements will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. Some people may benefit from taking fish oil supplements, while others may be able to meet their omega-3 needs through their diet.

How Much Do I Need?

The recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids varies depending on an individual's age, sex, and life stage.

Adults should generally consume at least 450-500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day.

Keep in mind that it is important to follow the recommended dosage for any dietary supplement, as taking too much can be harmful. Note that these recommendations are for the general population and may not apply to everyone.

It is also a good idea to check with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, as some supplements can interact with medications or have other potential risks or side effects.

How Do I Get Omega-3s From Food?

It is generally recommended that people aim to get their nutrients from food whenever possible.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that adults consume at least two servings of fatty fish per week.

The AHA also recommends that people with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, consume 2000-4000 mg of EPA and DHA per day (from prescription versions like the supplement Vascepa) under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

If you are not a fan of fatty fish, there are other sources of omega-3 fatty acids that you can incorporate into your diet, such as nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils.

In General About Fats

So if you are thinking on taking supplements, remember that it's always recommended to get it first from food. Talk with your Dietitian to see how you can get more of it. If you are interested in taking fish oil supplements, speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice. They can help you determine if fish oil supplements are appropriate for you and, if so, recommend the right type and dosage.