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In previous blog posts about our recently published analysis using YOUR omega-3 data, we shared the following key findings:

Key finding #1: neither following the American Heart Association guidelines of consuming 1-2 seafood meals per week (without additional supplementation of EPA+DHA), nor taking an omega-3 supplement with insufficient EPA+DHA is likely to produce an Omega-3 Index that is optimal for health (8% or higher).

Key finding #2: Approximately 1,300 mg per day of EPA+DHA was needed for 50% of the population to achieve and Omega-3 Index of 8% (~1,900 mg per day was needed for 90% of the population).

Key finding #3: On average, the amount of EPA+DHA in krill oil supplements was about 80% less than the amount in fish oil supplements.

In today’s blog we will explore how to identify how much EPA and DHA an omega-3 supplement has and how to be sure you are taking the full serving size.

EPA+DHA content in supplements used by GrassrootsHealth participants

GrassrootsHealth participants use a wide variety of EPA+DHA (marine/algal) supplement products. In fact, more than 400 different supplement products were used among the 1092 GrassrootsHealth EPA+DHA supplement users in our study!

Even more surprising to us was how much the amount of EPA+DHA in one serving (based on the product label) differed among the supplement products: 50 to 3,570 mg! The amount of EPA+DHA needed for 50% of our study population to achieve and Omega-3 Index of 8% (~1,300 mg) was found in a single serving of only 14% of supplement products. Furthermore, 7% of products did not provide the amount of EPA and/or DHA on their supplement label.

How much EPA and DHA is in my omega-3 supplement?

Supplement labels may have amounts for many different ingredients on them. It is often difficult to know which numbers are important! It is useful to identify the combined amount of EPA and DHA in a supplement product since these long-chain omega-3s have been linked to numerous health benefits and are measured by the Omega-3 Index. On the example nutrition label below, the amount of EPA is 170 mg and the amount of DHA is 200 mg per serving, totaling 370 mg of EPA+DHA. Note that this is NOT equivalent to the amount of cod liver oil (2 g) nor the amount of total omega-3 fatty acids (460 mg) listed on the label, which are often the numbers advertised on the front of the product (and higher than the amount of EPA+DHA so without careful inspection, you may think you are getting more than you actually are).

Another important piece of information to identify on the nutrition label is the serving size amount. In the example above, the serving size is 2 soft gels. Therefore, if an individual was taking just one then they would be getting half of the listed EPA+DHA amount. Among GrassrootsHealth participants using EPA+DHA supplements, 38% took less than one serving (as indicated on the product label) and for some this may have been unintentional.

Following the “directions” on supplement labels is also important. For the example supplement above, the directions say “take two soft gels once daily at mealtime” (not shown on the picture). Taking EPA+DHA supplements with a fatty meal is important for maximum absorption of many fish oil supplements. Krill oil supplements and triglyceride-based fish oils do not need to be consumed with a fatty meal because they contain of phospholipids which aid absorption.

If you discover that your omega-3 supplement has insufficient EPA+DHA per serving to allow you to achieve your desired Omega-3 Index, we encourage you to use the Omega-3 Calculator to determine an estimated amount of how much more EPA+DHA you will need. Some ways to increase your EPA+DHA intake are to take more than one serving per day of your current supplement (33% of GrassrootsHealth participants do), switch to a supplement with higher EPA+DHA content, take more than one supplement (14% of GrassrootsHealth participants do), or add more fatty fish to your diet.

In the next blog in this series we will take a look at the EPA and DHA content in seafood.

Are you getting enough omega-3 fatty acids?

Is your dietary and supplemental intake of omega-3s enough to ensure an Omega-3 Index of at least 8%? Make sure you also know your vitamin D level (with a target of 40-60 ng/ml or 100-150 nmol/L). Find out your levels today! Visit the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your level can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!

Important Message

NEWS ALERT: States, Governments Acknowledge the Need for Vitamin D to Build the Immune System; Vitamin D*action has achieved a major milestone of ‘Moving Research into PRACTICE’!

EVERYONE needs to know about the benefits of vitamin D... We need your help to do this. Donating $25.00 today will positively affect millions of lives!

We will take this opportunity to use our extensive network to get pertinent information on vitamin D to the new US COVID Panel as well as local and state government representatives around the world.

Donate $25 today to help support this outreach effort (and, let us know if your employer could match the donations made by individuals from now until January 1, 2021!). You can also "text-to-give" by simply texting Daction to 44321.

Donations made through GiveLively are received in full by GrassrootsHealth.

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.

NEWS ALERT

The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!