EPA+DHA supplementation is needed with the typical Western diet


It is estimated that Americans (which mainly follow a Western diet) consume less than 100 mg/day of EPA+DHA (while the current recommendations are 250 to 500 mg/day for healthy adults). A healthy adult requires at least an omega-3 index (the sum of EPA and DHA content in red blood cell membranes) of 8% to achieve their preventing benefits. This index predicts cardiovascular disease mortality. It has been recommended a value equal to or greater than 8% as a cardioprotective level (reduced risk of primary cardiac arrest, sudden cardiac death, coronary atherosclerosis and acute coronary syndrome), but in Americans not taking omega‐3 fatty acids supplements, mean omega-3 index values range from 4% to 5%.

The results of a study of the Penn State University suggest that a healthy, normal‐weight adult with low fish intake who increased his or her dietary intake by 250 to 500 mg/day of EPA+DHA would experience an increase in omega-3 index values of about 1% to 2%.

In order to reduce cardiovascular risk, increasing consumption of EPA and DHA with fish oil supplementation is needed to achieve the current recommended dietary intakes in people who consume very little fish.



Flock MR, Skulas-Ray AC, Harris WS et al. Determinants of erythrocyte omega-3 fatty acid content in response to fish oil supplementation: a dose-response randomized controlled trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2013 Nov 19; 2(6):e000513.



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