FAQ: Do we need to consume more omega-3 fatty acids?



Current intakes of omega-3 fatty acids may not be optimal. Most diets only contain about 0.1 to 0.2 g or 100 to 200 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day. Some experts recommend higher intakes of all omega-3 fatty acids, based on clinical evidence showing that omega-3 fats help reduce inflammatory reactions, promote the health of blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and other chronic diseases. Higher ALA intakes of 2 g to 3 g per day have been proposed. An intake of 500 mg of EPA + DHA daily has been recommended to reduce risk of heart disease. For people with existing heart disease, an intake of 1 g (1000 mg) of EPA + DHA daily is recommended.