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I know that the levels of EPA and DHA are what's "active" in fish oil, and it seems to take high amounts to be effective.  What I can't figure out is how much fish oil is safe to take.  MY pills say they  have 1000mg of fish oil and 180mg of EPA and 120mg DHA.  Crazymeds.com says "You need to take 3,000 to 5,000 mg a day of EPA and DHA combined."  That means a hell of a lot of pills, and thousands of mg of fish oil!

This concerns me because I have read that fish oil slightly increases the risk of hemmorhagic stroke...Eskimos who eat a lot of fish have a higher incident of this type of stroke even though they have lower incidence of heart disease. 

How many pills can I safely take?  Is there a web site where you have seen this info. posted?  I'd like to take about 6 of my pills per day, as this really seems to help me lose weight, but this would mean 6,000mg of fish oil--and I'm wondering if this is safe.  What constitutes a "high" dose of fish oil?

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This page has roundup of several studies on Fish Oils and Mental Health/Depression/Dementia, and if you got to the site's home page http://www.oilofpisces.com/ you'll see links to info on the use of fish oil for a number of other disorders.

As AM said, most sources I read recommended getting 1000 - 2000 mg of EPA. This study says there was "There was no apparent benefit of 2 g over 1 g ethyl-EPA daily" in the treatment of bipolar depression.

The site AM gave you includes a good chart, which details the amounts used in various studies. Here's the link again: http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/meds/Omega-3.htm (wasn't able to open it from your link, AM; extra space in the URL). There are several links from this page that are also worth exploring.

Bottom Line: My pills have the same composition of yours: 1000mg of fish oil and 180mg of EPA and 120mg DHA. So I take 6 pills a day to get 1000 mg of EPA (well, a little over at 1080 mg). I divide it into 3 pills twice a day. Can't say whether it's working yet; haven't been on it very long. But if you want to get 1000 mg of EPA, take 6 pills daily.

PS - Hmm, just re-read your question. I don't know what would constitute too high a level of fish oil. While everything I've read of course mentions fish oil, the focus has been on the EPA levels.

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Heya devon00,

Well, AM and Revlow said a lot.

What they said, including the same research.

I can only add:

1.  I take 8 grams, roughly 80 calories, 30% EPA/20% DHA.

Started for cholesterol, but continued b/c stopping gave me withdrawals including depressed as all hell.

2.  Better fish oil than lard or hydrogenated veg oil or palm kernal oil.

3.  No known effects of "too much" fish oil, although it stands to reason that an overabundance of any one nutrient over another is not a good plan.

4.  There's some question as to *why* the Inuit have more hemorrhagic stroke.  Again, perhaps it's balance?  Or that less ischemic stroke = more hemorrhagic stroke.  Or that there's one or more other factors involved.

At any rate, I think it's *highly* unlikely that people on the average North American diet have too *much* omega-3 PUFAs in our diet.

It *is* bloody expensive.

Aside:  The folks in this small town laugh about fish oil.  They mostly catch and eat fish, all summer and all winter.  A shortage of fish is not their main concern.


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