T Nation

EPA/DHA

OK, I’ve done some searches through past issues and the forum, and I still can’t figure this out. John Berardi recommends we get 6 grams or so of EPA/DHA in our diets. My understanding is that about only a quarter of the EPA/DHA in flax oil and whatnot is actually absorbed. Is this correct? What is the best way to get these 6 grams- through capsules (if so, what kind works for you best?) or is there an oil out there I can use on salads, veggies, and in MRPs to get up to those 6 grams? Thanks

Hi, Nick. You’re correct that only a small portion of flaxseed oil is converted to EPA/DHA – and then ONLY if you’re enzymatic pathways are working correctly (not in all people and usually not as well as we age). The simplest solution is to take something like Ultra Omega 3 from Health from the Sun ($6.50 per 236 ml bottle @ www.iherb.com). They have the breakdown on the back of the bottle. I take 1.5 tablespoons to get my 6g of EPA/DHA. There are capsules, but I hear people talking about taking 20 to get their 6g. Liquid is cheaper than capsules. I calculated it costs me .59 a day to get my 6g. I just pour it over my tuna or salmon. You might want to take it toward the beginning of the day as some people have reported a stimulatory effect and trouble sleeping if taken too late in the day.

Thanks so much for your help, Terry. So this Ultra Omega 3 is an oil, and you can get your full 6 Gs from this then? Sounds good. Does it taste like ass, and its something I need to pound down, or can I mix it with veggies or in an MRP or something? Thanks again for your knowledge- this is the second time you’ve helped me out. By the way, I think you’re the one who turned me on to ART for my injured shoulder- its been an absolute godsend- thanks for that too!

Hi, Nick. You’re most welcome.



Yes, the Ultra Omega 3 product is in liquid form, not capsule. It’s lemon-lime flavored, of all things, which I wasn’t too sure about in the beginning. But I have to tell you, it tastes awesome with canned tuna or salmon, which tends to be a bit dry to begin with. I wouldn’t want to drink it plain, but it also mixes pretty well with an MRP.



In answer to your other question, yes the 1.5 tablespoons gives me just over 6g of EPA/DHA. At that dosage, it actually provides you with 22.5g of fat (specifically Omega 3 EFAs), of which 6g is EPA/DHA. It will do the job for you.

Not to be critical, but how do you get “1.5 tablespoons gives me just over 6g of EPA/DHA”? My calculations don’t quite add up… (from their site, 850mg EPA + 500mg DHA = 1350mg aka 1.35grams; 1.35*1.5(teaspoons, their listed serving size) = 2.025grams.

Thanks Terry- I was going to ask the same question Kent did- it looks like 4 tablespoons would be what I would need for the 6 grams. Either way, I suppose its something I need to start doing seeing as how I get almost NO Omega 3 fats in my diet right now.

Kent - The 850 mg of EPA and 500 mg DHA are per teaspoon. Since there are three teaspoons per tablespoon, Tampa-Terry’s math is right on – 1.5 tablespoons give 6.075 g of EPA/DHA.

ooooooooooooh- TEAspoon, not TABLEspoon. Stupid metric system. Oh wait. It’s not the metric system. Damn, what else can I blame my brain fart on. Thanks for the help you guys…

You may have to take a lot of caps, but they don’t taste like fish oil, so I’m sticking with my Member’s Mark fish oil caps from Sam’s Club. Only a few cents pricier.

But to each his own.

try carlson’s cod liver oil… according to Dr. Mercola the best… I find it pretty good… no fishy taste and it has a lemon flavor…

you can buy through mercola.com

go to recommended products

Hi, Kent. No, you’re not being critical at all. Either statements and facts hold up under close scrutiny (and to logic) or they’re not really facts, are they?



The numbers that I have that are printed on the bottle are a little bit different, I guess, than what’s printed on iHerb’s web site.
A serving size is one TEAspoon. In that one teaspoon serving you get 850 mg of EPA and 560 mg of DHA. If you add the two (1,410 mg) and multiply by 4.5 (which is the number of teaspoons in 1.5 tablespoons), you should end up with 6,345 mg; i.e. 6.345 grams of EPA/DHA.



Does that add up? I ran the numbers again to make sure.

I just picked up some ?extra strength? fish oil concentrate from Wal-Mart. 46% more omega-3 fatty acids. It lists 240 mg EPA and 200 DHA. The EPA jumps by 60 mg while the EPA jumps by 80 mg. The EPA goes from 60% to about 55% and DHA moves up from 40% to 45% of the mix. I doubt this really makes a difference though. I just hope they start carrying a larger bottle.

If anybody cares it is Spring Valley brand.