Omega-3 fatty acids recommendations

Scientific research shows that our diet can have a significant impact on our health. Click here to read my post and find out which diet is the healthiest.

For example, some studies show that lower levels of RBC DHA and EPA in late middle age were associated with markers of accelerated structural and cognitive aging. The MRI finding of lower brain volume represents a change equivalent to approximately 2 years of structural brain aging. [1]

So, I think consuming omega-3 is pretty important for our health. That’s why in this article we’ll find out omega-3 fatty acids recommendations, what are the primary sources of omega-3 and how much should we take to stay healthy.

Are omega-3 fatty acids healthy for us?

Meta-analysis of 83 RCTs found high‐certainty evidence that long‐chain omega‐3 fats (LCn3) do not have important positive or negative effects on mortality or cardiovascular events and moderate‐certainty evidence that they have little or no effect on cardiovascular disease mortality, stroke or arrhythmia in primary or secondary prevention. [2]

Meta-analysis of 10 RCTs found moderate evidence for the beneficial effect of n-3 PUFAs on muscle mass, especially for those taking supplements at more than 2 g/day. We also observed that a long period of n-3 PUFA supplementation may improve walking speed. [3]

A systematic review of 20 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 2 non-randomized controlled trials (NRCTs) says that the impact of omega-3 on rheumatoid arthritis is uncertain at the moment. Certain dietary interventions including anti-inflammatory diets, vegetarian diets, Mediterranean diet and elemental diets may help alleviate the symptoms significantly, others mildly, whereas it seems that a certain group of foods continue to aggravate the symptoms. [4]

A study says that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids supplements can improve executive functions, white matter microstructure, GM volume, and vascular markers in older adults. [5]

A systematic review of 48 studies shows that there is no evidence of a clear benefit of omega 3 fatty acids on total mortality, cardiovascular events, cancer, and strokes in a wide group of participants. [6]

Omega-3 primary sources

The primary sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish, fish-derived supplements and plant-based (e.g. algal-derived) omega-3 supplements.

Also, we can get omega-3 from some nuts and seeds such as flaxseed and walnuts. However, these foods contain different forms of omega-3 (ALA) that can be converted into EPA and DHA. There’s not enough research yet about ALA and if they have the same benefits as EPA and DHA.

Omega-3 fatty acids recommendations and dosage

You need to consume fish at least 3 times a week to lower the risk of subclinical vascular brain abnormalities. Dietary intake of fatty fish is the main source of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) DHA and EPA. [7]

Though fish can be healthy because of containing omega-3 fatty acids it still can be unhealthy because of also containing various substances such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers and heavy metals, including methylmercury, lead, cadmium. All these substances can increase the risk of stroke. [8, 9]

One of the studies showed that the mean omega-3 index in the vegan subjects was 3.7% and a relatively low dose of EPA + DHA (243 mg per day) significantly raised the omega-3 index. The mean absolute increase was 1.7% over 4 months. [10]

So, based on scientific research I would recommend everybody on a plant-based diet or who doesn’t eat fish at least 3 times a week to take 250 mg / day or more of an algal omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) supplements.


So, what are omega-3 recommendations and main sources based on science? Well, main sources of omega-3 are fish, fish oil, fish-derived supplements, nuts and seeds (e.g. walnuts, flaxseeds) and plant-based (e.g. algal-derived) supplements. It is recommended to eat fish at least 3 times per week or to take 250 mg / day or more of omega-3 supplements.

P.S. If you want to learn more about other vitamins, what are their recommended dosages based on science, get healthy meal plan examples, my top science-based recipes that can be cooked in less than 30 minutes each and find out how science-based nutrition can prevent the most common diseases, improve your overall health and help you live longer then you can click here to learn more.

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