From Dr. Mercola:

Many Americans diets are lacking in healthy fats, and this includes the animal-based omega-3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although omega-3s are most well known for their role in heart health, they’re important for so much more.

Your brain, bones, mental health and even your risk of cancer are all impacted by these beneficial fats. In the U.S., Americans spend about $1.2 billion on omega-3 fat supplements every year,1 although few are aware of what dose, and what sources, are best.

I firmly believe that getting the correct macronutrients, especially fat is, one of the the most important choices you can make in your diet. You need to have the absolute highest quality fats to build your cell membranes and optimize your mitochondrial function. 

How Much Omega-3 is Right for You?

There is no one answer to this question, as how much omega-3s you need depends on your body size, age, health status, the type of omega-3 and more.

There is no set recommended standard dose of omega-3 fats, but some health organizations recommend a daily dose of 250-500 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA for healthy adults.

Keep in mind this applies to EPA and DHA, not to ALA (alpha-linolenic acid, a type of plant-based omega-3 found in flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp).

While your body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, it does so at a very low ratio, and only when sufficient enzymes (that many people are deficient in) are present. This means you’d need to consume far more ALA to reach optimal omega-3 levels (and even then may not reach therapeutic levels).

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your body will likely require additional omega-3 fats. The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada recommend pregnant and lactating women (along with all adults) consume at least 500 mg of omega-3s, including EPA and DHA, daily.

The European Commission recommends pregnant and lactating women consume a minimum of 200 mg of DHA, in particular, per day.2 Your diet also dictates how much omega-3 you need, especially if you consume a lot of omega-6 fats.

Most people are consuming far too many omega-6 fats compared to omega-3 fats. The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1.5 to as high as 1:5, , but the typical Western diet may be between 1:20 and 1:50. Even the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements states:3

“Most American diets provide more than 10 times as much omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. There is general agreement that individuals should consume more omega-3 and less omega-6 fatty acids to promote good health.”

To add insult to injury these additional omega-6 are nearly all industrially processed oils and many of them are heated converted a significant percentage of these fats into trans fats, or even worse cyclic aldehydes.

 Certain health conditions also indicate an increased need for omega-3 fats. For instance:4

Heart health: The American Heart Association recommends people with coronary

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