Do I need to supplement with an Omega 3 supplement if I eat fish?

Josh Staub -

The answer to this question depends on many factors. The kind of fish that is being consumed and how often are both important to know because fish vary tremendously in their omega 3 fatty acid content. For example, 3 oz of Tilapia has <200 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids compared to 3 oz of wild salmon, which can have as much as 1500 mg or more of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fats contain omega 3 fatty acids while Omega 6 fats contain Omega 6 fatty acids. It is important to know how much Omega 6 fat the person is consuming. The balance between Omega 6s and Omega 3s is important. In the United States, people usually consume too many Omega 6 fats and not enough Omega 3 fats, raising their need for Omega 3 fats (and therefore Omega 3 fatty acids). Based on anthropological research, an ideal ratio of Omega 6/Omega 3 fatty acids is somewhere around 1:1. This ratio has been estimated to be around 10:1 to 20:1 in the United States today. There are many negative implications associated with consuming too many Omega 6 fats, many of which are linked to putting the body in a pro-inflammatory state. Lab testing can actually be performed to see someone’s Omega 6/Omega 3 ratio. Having this information would be beneficial to help guide one’s food and supplement intake.



Keep in mind this free educational portal is not to be interpreted as medical or healthcare advice. This portal is designed to be an educational platform to help individuals better understand how to use diet and nutrition to enhance their overall health. Without a full clinical picture we are unable to ascertain the best actions for any individual. Consult your doctor before implementing or changing current treatment plans. If you are a doctor, use the general guidelines provided in this portal to add to your clinical picture and enable you to make the best decision for your patient. 



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