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How Much Omega-3 Do You Need?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

how much omega 3 do you need daily

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  • Using the omega-3 index to measure the percentage of the fatty acid on the red blood cell membrane, researchers are able to infer the amount found in the rest of your body; they found taking 2,000 mg per day of an EPA and DHA triglyceride-based supplement could raise the omega-3 index to the low risk level
  • In his research, William Harris, Ph.D., determined an omega-3 index below 4% placed people at high risk of a cardiovascular event; 4% to 8% represented an intermediate risk and greater than 8% placed people at low risk for coronary heart disease
  • Data from other research found an inverse relationship between levels of omega-3 fatty acids and telomere shortening over a five-year period, indicating that those with the highest levels of omega-3 had slower telomere shortening, which holds promise for a longer life
  • Plant-based omega-3 sources do not provide EPA and DHA necessary for reduced inflammation and better heart health. While both krill and fish oil are good sources, fish oil carries the potential for contamination, while krill has greater shelf stability as it includes astaxanthin

Dietary fats are essential to good health. Although it is harmful to eat too many of some, or not enough of others, without healthy fats your body will not work properly. Fat is used to keep your skin and hair healthy, absorb certain vitamins and insulate your body to keep you warm. Certain fats are essential since your body cannot make them.

Fat is required for brain development as well as controlling inflammation and blood clotting. The most dangerous type of dietary fat is trans fat, which is found in baked goods and processed foods. During processing, healthy oils may be turned into solids through a process called hydrogenation to extend their shelf life. During this process, trans fats are formed.

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