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Recommended Fish Oil Dosages

By Juniper Russo

During recent decades, researchers have discovered fish oil's value in the prevention and treatment of dozens of medical conditions. The National Institutes of Health note that strong clinical evidence supports the use of fish oil to improve the outcome of several diseases, particularly those affecting the cardiovascular system. However, practitioners have not yet determined the ideal dosage of fish oil; opinions vary widely among experts and health organizations. A person's ideal dose of the two key omega-3 fats found in fish oil--docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)--may depend upon his medical history.

300- 500 Milligrams Daily

For adults with no history of heart disease, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization recommend 300 to 500 milligrams of DHA and EPA each day.

1 Gram Daily

Practitioners may recommend 1,000 milligrams of DHA and EPA each day to certain groups of people. The American Heart Association advises people with coronary heart disease to consume one gram of DHA and EPA each day; this recommendation is also popular for women who are pregnant or nursing.

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2-4 Grams Daily

The American Heart Association recommends that people with coronary heart disease (CHD) take 2 to 4 grams of DHA and EPA each day. The organization notes that these doses should be taken only under the guidance of a medical professional.

More than 4 Grams

Physicians and nutritionists generally reserve high doses of fish oil--any daily dose that totals more than 4,000 milligrams of DHA and EPA--for people with specific medical conditions. At high doses, fish oil may cause side effects that are unpleasant or even life-threatening. Consult a physician before taking more than 4 grams of fish oil each day.

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