Doubling your daily dose of fish oil could be better for your heart, especially if paired with exercise and a weight management program, according to a new study.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that daily supplementation with 2 grams of fish oil derived of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids—docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—provides even greater heart health benefits than 1 gram.
To reach these conclusions, Penn State researchers separated 125 people into five groups. Each group received daily doses ranging from 0 to 1.8 grams of fish oil. After five months, the group supplementing with about 1 gram of long-chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA) per day had improved cardiovascular risk factors, but the group taking the most, almost 2 grams per day, had maximum benefits.
The researchers based their findings on a new method of measurement, known as the Omega-3 Index. When fish oil is digested and broken down in the body, a certain amount of omega-3 is incorporated into red blood cells. The Omega-3 Index measures the level of omega-3 in red blood cells, showing how well a given amount of fish oil is absorbed and used by the body.
Along with showing that more fish oil is better, the new research also found that body weight and exercise influence omega-3 needs. Interestingly, people who exercised more responded better to fish oil supplementation. Compared to more sedentary people, active participants absorbed more fish oil into their red blood cells for any given dose, suggesting that exercise may somehow enhance omega-3 use in the body.
The study also showed that weight should be considered when figuring out fish oil needs, as heavier people were found to need more omega-3 than smaller people. Based on their findings, the study authors estimated that a person weighing about 120 pounds would need only about 0.9 grams of fish oil per day to improve cardiovascular health, whereas 1.2 grams per day would be needed for a person weighing about 165 pounds.
The typical American consumes far short of fish oil recommendations, getting less than 0.1 grams each day. For best cardiovascular protection, recommendations are that a person should consume fatty fish twice per week, exercise regularly, and supplement with at least 1 gram of fish oil daily.
Taking Isagenix IsaOmega Supreme provides 1.2 grams of total omega-3 fatty acids (.6 grams EPA and .48 grams DHA) ensuring that omega-3 recommendations are met. However, based on these scientific findings, you might gain greater heart-health benefits from it by exercising and doubling your dose for 2.4 grams total per day.
Reference: Flock MR 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.