The very low conversion efficiencies in humans strongly support the consideration of regular consumption of fatty fish, the main source of long-chain omega-3. To cover omega-3 requirements, oily fish is recommended to be included in the diet twice a week (≥ 340 g/week).
Additionally or as an alternative to fish, EPA, DHA, and GLA can be taken as a dietary supplement.
Which types of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids should I take?
Both omega-3 and -6 fatty acids exist as short or long-chain fatty acids.
Certain types of plants produce omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, in form of alpha-linoneic acid (ALA/omega-3) and linolenic acid (LA/omega-6) respectively. Most beneficial to the human body are the long poly-unsaturated fatty acids EPA, DHA and GLA, which derive from these precursors. While many types of fish easily convert ALA to EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, the human body is not very efficient in converting the omega-3 fatty acid (ALA) to EPA (5% conversion rate) or DHA (conversion from ALA is below 0.1%).1,2
Recommended daily omega-3/-6 intake
The modern western diet is deficient in omega-3 and instead contains an excessive amount of omega-6 fatty acids.
However, the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is a determining factor in physical and mental well-being. Too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 fatty acids can create physiological imbalances and can be the root of many symptoms and disorders.22
Therefore, it is essential to restore this balance. The following table shows the recommended daily intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in g/day.