Consumers / Consuming Omega-3

Why we need Omega-3s | Importance of Long Chain Omega-3s | Pregnancy | Children | Teenagers and Adults | Consuming Omega-3

Upper Intake Limits

The National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in Australia has recommended an upper intake of 4000mg of long chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) per day due to the possible effect of delays in blood clotting. 

How much Long Chain Omega-3s per day?

An intake of 500mg of long chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) per day is generally recommended for optimal health by various health bodies.



The average intake of long chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) in Australia is only 175mg per day (NHFA, 2008). This is well short of the ca. 500mg per day generally recommended by authorities for maintaining cardiovascular health. The National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHFA) – in August 2008 - recommended the following long chain omega-3 intake:

  • 500mg per day of long chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) to lower risk of coronary heart disease in Australian adults; via a combination of 2–3 serves of oily fish per week, fish oil capsules or liquid, and food and drinks enriched with long chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA).
  • 1,000mg of long chain omega-3s(DHA and EPA) per day for people with coronary heart disease.

The NHFA also encouraged the Australian food industry to develop a variety of foods enriched with Omega-3 as options for consumers.

For women, the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommended a slightly lower intake than men at 430mg per day owing to women’s better conversion of ALA to EPA.

For men, the NHMRC recommended an intake of 620mg per day to maintain optimal health.

The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL)

For adults, ISSFAL’s specific recommendation on long chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) is a minimum intake of 500 mg per day for cardiovascular health.

United States of America

The American Heart Association similarly recommends the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids for good heart health. They are currently assessing levels of long chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) daily intake closer to 500mg.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines also acknowledges a positive association between the long chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fats (DHA and EPA), found in fish and good cardiovascular health.


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidelines for daily intake - revised in 2009 -recommended 2-3g ALA or 250mg EPA/DHA and 10g LA to support cardiovascular health and neurodevelopment.

Dietary Sources of Long Chain Omega-3s

Cold water Fatty fish: anchovies, salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, halibut, etc

Organ meats or offal: liver

Egg Yolks: small amounts

 Approx. content of long chain Omega-3 (DHA & EPA) per serve 
1 cup of Naturale milk enriched with long chain omega-3s 33-150mg 
1 yoghurt enriched with long chain omega-3s 30mg 
2 slices bread enriched with long chain omega-3s 33mg  
1 serve oily fish such as salmon  1930mg