Daily norm of Omega-3. How to properly take fish oil capsules?

Daily norm of Omega-3. How to properly take fish oil capsules?

Daily norm of Omega-3. How to properly take fish oil capsules?
Daily norm of Omega-3. How to properly take fish oil capsules?

ABOUT Mega-3 are similar to vitamins - they are important for the brain and metabolism, but are not produced in the body and must be taken with food. Although Omega-3 supplements are not helpful, it is about covering the RDA.

In fact, the lack of Omega-3 in the diet is one of the indicators of an improper diet. Taking fish oil capsules can help alleviate this problem. How to properly drink such capsules - before or after meals? How long? You will find the answers in the article.

What is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is a type of fat that is crucial for human metabolism, but cannot be produced by the body. To maintain health, it is necessary to regularly eat foods containing omega-3 fatty acids - mainly sea fish and oils from some plants.

Fish oil is the most convenient form of omega-3 intake. It is absorbed 5-10 times better than fatty acids from linseed oil, chia seeds, avocados and other plant sources. To cover your daily needs for Omega-3, you can take both fish oil capsules and just eat fish regularly.

In turn, Omega-3 capsules differ from fish oil in that they analyze the content of active ingredients in them - this helps to more accurately comply with the recommended daily dose. In addition, Omega-3 capsules can outperform fish oil in terms of absorption.

//  Omega-3 - in short:

  • essential for metabolism but not produced in the body
  • there are about 5 different types of omega-3s
  • subtype of fats (fatty acids)
  • Sources of omega-3 differ in the degree of absorption

Recommended daily dose

For adults, the minimum daily intake of Omega-3 is 0.25 g (250 mg). The optimal dose for health is 1 g (1000 mg). The maximum safe number depends on the sources of Omega-3 - no more than 7-8 g per day in the form of fish oil in capsules and virtually unlimited in the form of ordinary food.

//  Omega-3 daily norms:

  • Children under 12 months - 0.5 g
  • Children from 1 to 3 years - 0.7 g
  • Children from 4 to 8 years - 0.9 g
  • Children from 9 to 13 years - 1-1.2 g
  • Children from 14 to 18 years - 1.2-1.6 g
  • Adults from 18 to 50 years - 1.2-1.6 g

How to take Omega-3 properly?

Omega-3 fats are needed by the body all the time - the recommendation to take fish oil in courses is wrong. The time of administration does not matter - you can take the capsules both in the morning and in the evening. Traditionally, fish oil is taken before meals (or with food) so that the taste does not differ.

However, it is important to note that the lack of Omega-3 is an indicator that the diet is not properly structured. Intake of fish oil in capsules is not able to outweigh the harm caused by an unhealthy diet consisting mainly of fast carbohydrates and poor in vegetables and natural fish.

//  Tips on how to get enough Omega-3 with your regular diet:

1. Eat fish more often

About 30-50% of the fat in salmon, salmon and other marine fish is omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids - the fattier the fish, the more useful substance it contains. To cover the need for Omega-3, you should eat 100-150 g of sea fish 2-3 times a week.

2. Eat plant-based omega-3s

Chia seed oils are the leaders in the content of plant Omega-3 - 60-65% of their composition are important for the health of fatty acids. Flaxseed oil contains about 55% Omega-3, hemp oil 20%, walnut oil and rapeseed oil 10%. Below you will find a table of the content of Omega-3 in food.

3. Eat nuts regularly

Plant omega-3s are found not only in oils but also in nuts. Walnuts are in the lead, followed by pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts. As a reminder, macadamia nuts are distinguished by their unique chocolate taste and pleasant vanilla aroma.

4. Take Omega  -  3 all the time

Omega-3 fatty acids are needed all the time to fight inflammation. It is not enough to "drink" them every few months, as they cannot accumulate in the body. The best solution would be to normalize the diet and periodically take fish oil capsules.

5. Fish oil capsules are not a cure

The metabolic benefits of fish oil appear only when you cover the existing deficiency in the body. Regular intake of higher doses of Omega-3 capsules not only has no positive effect, but can also be toxic.

6. Don't chase low prices

Cheap fish oil may contain too few active ingredients. You will probably need to take several capsules at once to cover your daily needs for Omega-3 - which is more expensive. Rely on fish oil capsules exclusively from well-known brands - and check the composition of the package.

Foods with Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in plants and animals. Vegetables include ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), animals include DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Studies show that only 10-20% of plant omega-3s are absorbed by the body.

Therefore, sea fish, as well as fish oil in capsules, are preferable to intake from plant sources of Omega-3. At the same time, farmed salmon can be considered even more useful than wild salmon - beta-carotene is used to give a reddish color, fish contains vitamin A,  which is important for immunity and metabolism. 

Total Omega-3 Omega-3 fat profile, g
ALA gave EPA
Flaxseed oil, tablespoon 7,3 g 7,3 g - -
Chia seeds, 30g 5 g 5 g - -
Walnuts, 30g 2,6 g 2,6 g - -
Salmon, boiled, 100 g 1,5 - 1,8 g - 1,2 - 1,3 g 0,3 - 0,5 g
Herring, boiled, 100 g 1,6 - 1,8 g - 0,9 - 1 g 0,7 - 0,8 g
Rapeseed oil, tablespoon 1,3 g 1,3 g - -
Canned sardines, 100 g 1,1 - 1,3 g - 0,7 - 0,8 g 0,4 - 0,5 g
Trout, boiled, 100g 0,8 - 0,9 g - 0,4 - 0,5 g 0,4 g
Sea bass (sea bass), boiled, 100 g 0,5 - 0,7 g - 0,4 - 0,5 g 0,1 - 0,2 g
Shrimp, cooked, 100 g 0,2 - 0,3 g - 0,15 g 0,15 g
Canned tuna, 100 g 0,1 - 0,3 g - 0,1 - 0,2 g 0,05 g
Beef, cooked, 100g 0,05 g 0,05 g - -

Flaxseed oil as a source of Omega-3

Despite the fact that flaxseed oil (just like flaxseed) contains a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, only a small part of them will be fully absorbed by the body. To cover the daily dose, it is important to drink at least a tablespoon of linseed oil a day.

The same goes for chia seeds - to cover your daily needs for Omega-3, you must consume at least 30 g of such seeds per day. Although it is most practical to cover the need for these fatty acids through the content in various sources - including fish oil.

The best capsules with fish oil

When choosing the best fish oil capsules, pay attention to the content of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids in the formula, as well as the recommended dose. Remember that the RDA is about 1 g of Omega-3 per day as EPA and DHA.

In an attempt to make the product cheaper, manufacturers often reduce the amount of active ingredients. Although it will be mentioned on the fish oil package that several capsules will need to be taken to cover daily needs, the buyer will not pay attention to this.

The quality of the raw materials and technology also plays a role - from what kind of fish this fat is extracted from to the quality of the capsule itself. Good capsules have a thick shell that breaks down in the stomach and minimizes the aftertaste, unlike liquid fish oil, which must be drunk with a spoon.


Omega-3s are like vitamins - they are important for metabolism, but they cannot be produced in the body and must be consumed regularly with food. The daily norm for Omega-3 is about 1-1.2 g per day and the dose for fish oil should be recalculated, taking into account the content of active ingredients.

Scientific sources:

  1. Efficacy of the conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to long-chain n-3 fatty acids in humans,  source
  2. Examine.com: collection of supplements, nutrition, fitness and health - fish oil,  source
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids, reference information for health professionals,  source
  4. Consumption of fish, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease, Kris-Etherton, Penny M. William C. Harris, Lawrence J. Appeal,  source
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: Lifelong health benefits,  source
  6. Applications of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements for athletic performance,  source