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The Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Should You Supplement?

Fish oil has both EPA and DHA. Algae oil has DHA and may be a good option for people who don't eat fish.

Talk to your doctor about taking a supplement first. He or she may have specific recommendations, or warnings, depending on your health and the other medicines you take. Your doctor can also recommend the right dose.

People with heart disease are usually advised to take 1 gram (1,000 milligrams) daily of DHA and EPA combined from fish oil.

People with some health conditions may take doses of up to 4 grams a day -- but only under a doctor's supervision.

The most common side effects from fish oil are indigestion and gas. Getting a supplement with a coating might help.

Omega-3 supplements (EPA/DHA) can make bleeding more likely. If you have a bleeding condition -- or take medicines that could increase bleeding, like Coumadin, Plavix, Effient, Brilinta, and some NSAIDs -- talk to a doctor before using any omega-3 supplements.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 20, 2013

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