Dosing Guidelines: How Much Fish Oil Per Day?

By Adrian Oaks / January 16, 2016

How much fish oil should you take every day? The answer is: it depends. Different brands of fish oil contain different ratios of EPA and DHA. It is important to read the labels to understand how much omega-3s they contain. To get started, let’s take a look at this bottle by Nordic Naturals.

The serving size is 2 soft gels (1000mg) for a total of 650mg of EPA and 450mg of DHA. There is a high amount of EPA and DHA and the ratio is almost even. This is what you should be looking for. In general, 1g of fish oil is about 250 – 500 mg of both DHA/ EPA. As you can see, these 2 fatty acids make up the bulk of most fish oil supplements. This is the best way to determine how much fish oil per day you should take.

It is best to treat fish oil like any other medicine – use as much as you need. Most people are underestimating the amount of omega-3s that they need, and notice no ill effects from taking 2-10 grams a day. The official recommendation from the FDA is 3mg a day for healthy adults and children, with an upper limit of 3 grams per day. This includes fish oil from food based sources as well as supplements. As you can see, it is pretty hard to take too much. A good rule of thumb would be to start with a small amount, maybe 1-3 grams a day. If you don’t notice any negative side effects, you can slowly increase the dosage over time. This is the easiest way to determine you tolerance level.

Fish oil for specific conditions

If you are taking fish oil and to treat a specific disease, things can get a little more complicated. You may want to consult your physician if you are on a specific drug treatment. Here is a list of how much fish oil per day you should take for different diseases:

• For depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD: 5-10 grams of fish oil daily. You may want to supplement with some St Johns Wort and tryptophan as they can help alleviate depression too. Evening prime rose oil has been shown to help ADHD.

• For reducing weight loss due to cancer: 4.7 grams of EPA and 2.8 grams of DHA daily.

• For hypertension/high triglycerides or low HDL: 1.04 grams of EPA and 1.4 grams of DHA daily.

• For arterial & cardiovascular health: 3 – 6 grams of fish oil daily. For additional cardiovascular benefits, niacin and green tea extract have been shown to help lower LDL.

• For treating allergies in children: 4 grams of fish oil daily.

• For arthritis: 3.8 grams of EPA and 2 grams of DHA daily.

• For Kidney diseases: 2.2 grams EPA and 1.4 grams DHA daily. For those with chronic kidney problems you may want to supplement with some Aloe Vera juice and magnesium as well. Aloe Vera juice can help to cleanse the system and support kidney health. Aloe Vera juice is high in citric acid, which helps to remove calcium deposit build up. Magnesium binds with oxalate, a mineral salt that causes kidney stones.

Keep in mind these numbers are in addition to any dietary sources of omega3s you may be consuming. Foods high in omega 3 can be beneficial to consume along with you supplementation. This is because whole food based sources are generally the most digestible and can sometimes have higher nutrient bioavailability.

Check out the table below to get an idea of fish that are high in fatty acids.

Fish TypeServing Size - gOmega3 Content - g%DV Fat
Canned Tuna (in oil)146391718
Atlantic Salmon178402334
Flax Seed Oil218116202