Medically reviewed on May 17, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Table of contents
Omega-3s are one of the many nutrients necessary for a healthy body.
But how much omega-3s per day should you consume? Whether you’re exploring nutrition for the first time or you’re a long-time omega-3 devotee, brushing up on recommended daily values is never a bad idea. This article will help guide dietary and supplementation to help ensure optimal omega-3 intake, but be sure to consult with your healthcare provider to learn what they recommend for you specifically. (For easy omega-3 supplementation, try Everlywell's new Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement.)
Before we jump into intake recommendations, let’s explore each of the three essential fatty acids in the omega-3 group :
What is omega-3 good for? Each essential fatty acid in the omega-3 group performs critical cellular functions in the body, including :
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not provide recommendations for omega-3 intake at large, they’ve published daily values for the omega-3 ALA specifically . The dosages differ based on age and other health factors, but the maximum recommendation is the same for everyone.
Let’s explore these expert recommendations in more detail.
The FDA offers the following age-related guidance for daily ALA intake :
Infants are an interesting outlier in the FDA recommendations—this age group is the only one whose suggested intake reflects all omega-3 fatty acids, not ALA alone.
When the FDA originally established an Adequate Intake (AI) level for omega-3s, insufficient data was available to determine how much ALA alone would lead to positive health outcomes for infants. But since all three omega-3 fatty acids are bioavailable in breast milk, the FDA recommendation reflects the average daily omega-3 consumption of healthy, breastfed infants.
The FDA offers two more recommendations for daily ALA intake :
Recent studies show that adequate omega-3 intake could slightly increase infant birth weight and slightly prolong the gestation period . While current evidence doesn’t suggest that omega-3 supplementation can prevent low birth weights or premature birth, even slight positive changes in fetal health can lead to better infant health outcomes.
While the FDA does not make any other recommendations, your healthcare provider may suggest omega-3 supplementation to support other possible health outcomes, like:
While omega-3 research is still ongoing, current data suggests that the fatty acid group could provide health benefits for the above purposes and more.
While omega-3 deficiency is very uncommon in the US, possible side effects are itchy skin, rashes, and red skin .
While the FDA recommends consuming no more than 5 grams of omega-3s per day, the side effects of overdose can be relatively mild. They include:
Fish oil supplements can make it easy to get the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids, and with Everlywell's Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements you can help nurture heart, brain, and skin health. Each bottle contains a 30-day supply of omega-3 fish oil softgels, and with a monthly subscription you can save 10%.
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