FAQ: What is the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids?
The Institute of Medicine set the Adequate Intake of ALA at 1.6 g/day for men and 1.1 g/day for women, or 0.6-1.2% of energy intake, with a dietary omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 5:1 to 10:1. However, the consumption of this essential fatty acid is very inadequate in North America with approximately 41% of adults not meeting the Adequate Intake for ALA. No recommended intake level has been set by the Institute of Medicine for the omega-3 fatty acids EPA or DHA. The reason for this is that ALA is the only true "essential" omega-3 fatty acid in our diet. An essential nutrient (like ALA) is one that must be obtained from foods because our bodies cannot make it. Because EPA and DHA can be made from ALA, they are not considered "essential" nutrients in the strictest sense. Eating 5 g of flaxseed oil (less than a tablespoon) or 8 g of milled flaxseed (one tablespoon) daily provides enough ALA to meeting the Adequate Intake.