How much omega-3 a day?

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are among the essential nutrients that must be consumed through the diet. Here, you can find out how much omega-3 is recommended per day.
The intake of omega-3 fatty acids is essential for our health. But how do omega-3 fatty acids actually work in the body, and how high is the requirement? Here you can find out how much omega-3 is recommended per day, when you should take omega-3, and what the optimal omega-3 dosage is.

This is what omega-3 fatty acids are good for.

This is why you should get your daily omega-3 dose: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health. They have an anti-inflammatory effect and can positively influence triglyceride metabolism and blood pressure. Because they contribute to normal heart function, they are associated with the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for brain function and vision.

Lack of or insufficient intake of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid can result in deficiency symptoms such as impaired vision, muscle weakness, and tremors. An adequate supply of omega-3 is particularly important during pregnancy; otherwise, the development of the infant’s brain may be negatively affected.


Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health. An insufficient supply can cause deficiency symptoms such as visual disturbances.

Omega-3 daily requirement: How much omega-3 a day?

How many milligrams of omega-3 per day are recommended, and how much EPA and DHA per day does this correspond to? The requirement for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA can already be met with one tablespoon of rapeseed or linseed oil. For healthy adults, a requirement of 250 to 300 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) combined is usually stated.

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The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends an intake of omega-3 fatty acids equal to 0.5 percent of the daily calorie intake. These are estimated values. The exact daily omega-3 requirement is not known and depends on individual factors. Anyone wishing to assess their supply status more accurately can determine the omega-3 index by means of a blood test and have it clarified by a doctor.

Too much omega-3—is it possible? In its 2009 statement, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment recommended a maximum daily intake of 1.5 grams of EPA and DHA. Exceeding this amount can lead to undesirable side effects. In a 2012 statement, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) indicated an intake of up to 5 grams of EPA or DHA as safe for health.


The daily omega-3 requirement for healthy adults is about 250 to 300 milligrams of EPA and DHA.

Omega-3 intake: side effects

Can too much omega-3 be harmful, and how much omega-3 is too much? Even though omega-3 fatty acids have a number of positive effects on health, overdosing can also cause side effects. Taking omega-3 capsules in high doses, for example, poses a risk of impaired blood clotting. Studies have also shown that high intake levels can lead to increased cholesterol levels and impaired natural immune defenses. Side effects are not to be expected from the consumption of omega-3-rich foods.

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If the dosage of omega-3 fatty acids is too high, side effects such as increased cholesterol levels, increased bleeding tendency, and impaired immune function are possible.

Can the daily requirement of omega-3 be met through diet?

Where is omega-3 found? Good sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are fatty cold-water fish such as salmon or tuna. Those who avoid fish as part of a purely plant-based diet, for example, hardly consume any EPA and DHA.

ALA is predominantly found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. In the human body, the conversion of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from plant foods is severely limited and thus insufficient. Therefore, products fortified with omega-3 fatty acids or appropriate dietary supplements can be taken. Microalgae are particularly suitable as plant sources of DHA.


The daily requirement of omega-3 can be met by 1 to 2 servings of fish per week and plant sources of omega-3, as well as dietary supplements.

How much omega-3 fatty acid do humans need?

For an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids, you should use corn, safflower, wheat germ, sunflower, and soybean oil and products made from them only rarely and instead rely on canola, walnut, flax, and olive oil. The latter provides no omega-3 itself but also no omega-6 competitors and is thus suitable as an ideal base oil in the kitchen.

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Two fish meals (mackerel, salmon, and herring) totaling about 200 grams can be consumed per week to cover requirements. Walnuts, algae, chia seeds, free-range eggs, and organic butter can also contribute a small part to the supply. Athletes: On the inside, pregnant women and the elderly have a slightly higher need for omega-3. In pregnancy, at least 200 milligrams of DHA per day are recommended.


Those who regularly consume fish do not need to take additional supplements.

Dietary supplements: omega-3 capsules

Due to the health-promoting effects of omega-3 fatty acids, they are in great demand in the form of dietary supplements. Omega-3: when to take it: in the morning or in the evening? Ideally, omega-3 should be taken with a meal so that the nutrients can be better absorbed by the body. However, at what time omega-3 is taken does not matter. Intake can also be spread throughout the day, for example, in the morning and in the evening with a meal.

Knowledge to go

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA are believed to have health-promoting effects. But how much omega-3 a day is recommended? Two fish meals a week and the use of rapeseed, linseed, walnut and olive oil ensure an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids for the body. Those who do not eat fish can resort to fish oil capsules or vegetable alternatives from algae oil.