On its January 20 2016 publication, examiner.com published a list of answers to common questions about omega-3s that consumers have. Besides some well known questions as “Are omega-3s really beneficial to heart health?” and “Besides heart health, what are other benefits of EPA and DHA?”, two questions we recommend re-visiting “What’s the difference between omega-3s found in fish versus those from plant sources?” and “How much EPA and DHA omega-3s do I need?“.
The former compares vegetable sourced Omega3 in the form of ALA vs marine origin as these are the three main omega-3s: DHA, EPA and ALA. The last, ALA, is found predominantly in flax and chia seeds and is the precursor to the two other types. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t convert it very well—less than one percent of the ALA we consume becomes DHA or EPA. DHA and EPA omega-3s are found in fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon and herring.
Regarding the daily intake, while there’s no official Adequate Intake (AI) or Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) in the United States, most health professionals agree that the average adult needs between 250 and 500 mgs of EPA+DHA omega-3s each day.
In November 2015 examiner.com also addressed the best way to chose our Omega3s. We agree with the writer that it’s important to read the fine print. Pay special attention to the “Supplement Facts” panel on the packaging, more specifically;
- Check that it lists the exact amount of EPA and DHA omega-3s in the supplement.
- Choose a supplement with the right amount of omega-3s for your needs. (We think that a daily dose of 1gr/day is the starting point).
- If you experience a fishy burp, try another brand, this is thought to be a result of oxidation.
- If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, buy an algae-based supplement instead of fish or krill.