This month’s Trilogy article featured the reasons that you should still consider fish oil supplementation and not have concern about the new negative research regarding an increase in prostate cancer risk. As a recap, the main reason is that it was not a well-controlled study (in fact, it was not a study on omegas at all) calling into question the retrospective link found (Trilogy members can find the full article on MTL), but I wanted to use this post to remind you of proper omega dosing, which I find still to be a problem for many consumers.
When choosing a dose, you should be mindful of the two most active omega 3s: EPA and DHA. Most of us get appropriate amounts of omega-6s in our diets with a variety of nuts and grains, but because it is difficult for most to ingest the proper amount of fish and flax, many choose to ensure our omega-3 intake by supplementing. Supplementation is safe, but there is a contraindication being for those on coumadin or other blood thinning medications or with bleeding disorders, because EFAs themselves can be blood-thinners. Fish oil and other EFAs should also be discontinued prior to surgery. Those with fish and shellfish allergies should be very careful in finding the right supplement (it is of course, always better for everyone to have your supplementation reviewed by your physician). The two most active types of omega-3s are docahexaenoic acid (DHA) and ecosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Dosages for omegas can vary greatly depending on what therapeutic effect that you are striving for, but for most of us, supplementing approximately 1200-1500mg (1 to 1.5 grams) of EPA plus DHA is appropriate for preventative and anti-inflammatory measures. On the back of the bottle of your fish oil, add up the EPA and DHA and your total day’s dosage should be between 1000 and 1500mg; this is not the same as total Omega 3s. You should be able to get this dosage in 2 capsules – if not, shop for a better brand, also watching for low mercury content (less than 10ppm), and responsible sourcing!