A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition will make it possible for researchers to calculate how much omega-3 EPA and DHA they need to use in their studies in order for subjects to reach a healthy Omega-3 Index.
Until now, there has been very little guidance about what dose of EPA and DHA should be tested in a study. And with the wide differences in study results in recent years, it is likely that dose played a role in the relative success or failure of omega-3 studies. In other words, if the dose of EPA and DHA in a study isn’t high enough to make an impact on blood levels (i.e. the Omega-3 Index), there may be no effect on the desired endpoint, leading to a neutral result.
This paper showed that if people want to reach 8% in a relatively short amount of time, such as three to four months, they would need 1-2 grams EPA and DHA per day, depending on their starting Omega-3 Index. “As noted, the equation developed [in this paper] can aid in predicting population Omega-3 Index changes, but because of the large interindividual variability in the Omega-3 Index response to EPA and DHA supplementation, it will likely be less useful in the clinical setting where direct testing of the Omega-3 Index would be the preferred approach to assessing EPA and DHA status,” the study authors explained.