T Nation

FDA Warning For Too Much Omega-3's?


I just noticed a little caution label on my bottle of omega-3 caps (ProSource Omega 1250) which has a sentence that reads, "The FDA recommends that consumers not exceed more than a total of 3 grams per day of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, with no more than 2 grams per day from a dietary supplement."

WTF??! What's the reasoning behind this? Is Berardi's advice going to poison me or something, since I take 5 to 6 grams per day??


Not a new warning, just typical FDA. From FDA site in 2004.

"Q: What happens if I consume more the recommend amounts of omega-3 fatty acids?

A: Some scientific studies show that consumption levels well over 3 grams per day may lead to excessive bleeding. Therefore, FDA recommends that consumption not exceed 3 grams per day from all food sources."

There has been lots of studies on this with conflicting results. Everyone agrees that omega 3's inhibit platelet aggregation, etc, which is a good thing for preventing stroke. The arguement is whether that could possibly lead to bleeding problems. Most studies involving eskimos (who based on their fish diet, eat more than fda recommends) have no bleeding tendencies.

I eat canned salmon 2x per day, and get about 4-5g omega 3's to balance out my 6. If I were 80 and on coumadin, and were worried about a hemorrhagic stroke, I might consider the fda guidelines. See studies below.
Or go to google scholar and search omega 3 and bleeding time.






The man trying to keep you hooked on their high priced drugs. LOL

Though that is probably more true than I care to admit I think it would be to due with the blood thinning that they cause.

I personally take 6 grms a day from supplements and then fish, wanluts, etc..


Omega-3 supplements usually have EPA and DHA in them, but are not 100% EPA and DHA. Fish oils have the highest concentrations.

If my memory serves me right, most omega-3 supplements need to be metabolised to get the useful EPA and DHA, where as fishoils have EPA and DHA allready present.


I have gotten into the habit of never listening to the FDA's recommendations. Either they are 50 years old, or they are so "safe" as to prevent any sort of actual beneficial change. The nature of the FDA is to prevent as many people as possible from hurting themselves. Even if something were proven to help 90% of people, but harm the other 10%, they would not recommend the item. It's gotten to the point that they can't really recommend anything except to check with your doctor. There is too much variability between individuals. Just because a certain segment of the population is allergic to peanuts doesn't mean I must avoid them at all cost.

Just be aware of anyone's reasons for their advice. If the FDA says not to take something because it may harm you if you have cancer and are 90 years old, but you are healthy and 20, then it's probably safe to say you can ignore their advice.


from what i've read it's all about balancing your fatty acids. the reason we have this omega 3 craze is cause the typical western diet(whatever that means) is way heavy on omega 6's. again one or the other isn't neccesarily bad for you but having too much of one in relation to the other is. why governments always come out with these dumbed down, teeter-totter, all or nothing recommendations is beyond me.


I like how there's a warning on Omega-3s, but no warning on margarine, vegetable shortening, or any other product that contains hydrogenated oil.

Go FDA!!



For all their benefits, I do think we need to respect the potency of n-3 fatty acids and not over consume them. I myself, take up to 3.0g EPA+DHA daily but not always this much. I also consume about 2.5g of the "weaker" n-3, linolenate from ground flax pretty regularly. With an average U.S. intake well below 500mg, this is still quite a bit.

There's more to the potency of EPA and DHA (or any fatty acid) than inhibition of platelet aggregation, as many of us know - so again respect the fat.

(Note: It's true that "fish oil capsules" are usually only 30% EPA + DHA, so let's not confuse three grams of fish oil (typically three capsules) with 3.0g of specifically EPA+DHA, which requires several capsules plus dietary sources.)


There are concerns, my concern is why the FDA advice is so darn vague. Omega-3 data is important as was/is Vitamin E data. Vitamin E isn't recommended to those who are on certain meds or have certain medical conditions. Okay, well I will keep that in mind. Same goes with Omega-3s. I will also keep that in mind.

What is also kept in mind is that cigs, alcohol, bad music, and bad movies are still legal and continue to take our lives, money, and sense of mind. Now hand me some patrone. lol.



So do you think that Berardi's recommendations (taking 4-6 grams per day of combined EPA and DHA) are potentially harmful at all?


More words of "wisdom" from the Foolish Dumb Administration!