Murray recommends 1,000 mg EPA-DHA (not just “fish oil”) per day for general health and as much as 3,000 mg daily for specific health concerns, such as heart disease risk. Some practitioners worry that taking too much can lead to excess bleeding or interfere with blood sugar control, but in 2012 the European Food Safety Authority published a statement saying that people can take as much as 5,000 mg EPA-DHA per day without increasing bleeding risk or impacting metabolism. For higher amounts, it’s still best to consult a doctor; ask for a blood test to check your current levels.

Can I get enough omega-3s from food? 

“Absolutely, but with caveats,” says Stuart Tomc, CNHP. First, cut back on foods high in omega-6s, such as safflower, soybean, and corn oils; these promote inflammation and appear to interfere with the conversion of ALA to EPA-DHA. Next, enjoy two to three servings of oily fish, such as sardines and wild-caught salmon, per week, and top it off with ALA via greens, chia seeds, hemp oil or seeds, and flaxseed meal. The more omega-3s you get from food, the fewer pills you’ll need.