First off, remember that these are supplements. You should take fish oil on days when you aren’t eating fish; it’s best to get fish oil through eating whole foods, ideally supplements are not your sole source of omega-3 fatty acids.
On days when you don’t eat fish, take a supplement containing a minimum of 500 mg of EPA/DHA (two main components of omega-3s). Getting extra omega-3s at least three to four times weekly, if not every day, is a reasonable way to be sure your levels stay high. To help with particular health issues, such as depression or high triglycerides, larger amounts may be needed. In such cases, discuss fish oil with a knowledgeable doctor before you try large doses.
When you buy fish oil, check the label for the combined EPA/DHA content, not the total amount of fish oil. For example, if the label says each capsule has 1,200 mg of fish oil, and 220 mg of it is EPA and 150 mg of it is DHA, the total EPA/DHA content would be 370 mg. To get the recommended amount of 500 mg of the two combined, you would have to take two capsules.
To save you the math, many brands now refer to the EPA/DHA combination as total omega-3s. Look for a brand that has all you need in one capsule. Check the label before you buy so you can tell exactly what you are getting.
Fish oil supplements are best taken with a meal.
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