Daily Recommended Intake of DHA


#1

Hello.

I was wondering if anyone knows the official recommendation for daily intake of DHA from an authority source?

I am not talking about Omega 3, but specifically DHA, and EPA would be interesting too.

Thank you!


#2

If I recall correctly you don’t need any DHA/EPA, as your body can make it (from ALA), but they may have other health benefits. Found this with a quick Google search, from the FDA:

FDA Announces Qualified Health Claims for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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.

So 3 g/day (each? both?), according to the FDA. That’s a rather old press release, so maybe thinking has changed since then.


#3

I thought the conversion is inefficient and also the body mostly produce EPA from ALA not DHA.


#4

That sounds like a TUL rather than a recommendation, I’m curious about this too.

I found an interesting source: http://www.goedomega3.com/index.php/files/download/304 seems the adult recommendations for intake of (EPA + DHA) range from 100 to 500mg per day, or higher if you have heart disease.


#5

You might find this old thread helpful. But at the same time, you might not. It wasn’t very conclusive; turns out there are a lot of different opinions out there: How much EPA and DHA in soylent 2.0?

If you take fish oil as the instructions on the bottle say to (mine says 3 softgels a day, and each has 300mg EPA/DHA), you’re getting 900mg EPA/DHA total. Some brands have more EPA than DHA, some are the other way around, and I don’t know what’s better but chances are it doesn’t really matter. From that info alone, I’d say you’re probably fine if you’re getting 500mg/day of DHA and 500mg/day of EPA along with an otherwise healthy diet.

Soylent 2.0 actually doesn’t have any EPA or DHA. It relies entirely on a few grams of ALA, and we all seem fine so far anyway. Go figure.

Don’t trust me with advise like this though, all I have to back me up is a high school transcript and a nifty CPR certification thingy I found under my bed.

EDIT: Post above mine looks better. 500mg of each is probably a lot more than needed.


#6

It doesn’t matter how efficient the conversion is if your body produces enough.

That was my point. “Zero” is apparently an acceptable intake according to the FDA (as in there is no required intake). I found this:

Dietary reference intakes for DHA and EPA.

Various organizations worldwide have made dietary recommendations for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and fish intake that are primarily for coronary disease risk reduction and triglyceride (TG) lowering. Recommendations also have been made for DHA intake for pregnant women, infants, and vegetarians/vegans. A Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), specifically, an Adequate Intake (AI), has been set for alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of The National Academies. This amount is based on an intake that supports normal growth and neural development and results in no nutrient deficiency. Although there is no DRI for EPA and DHA, the National Academies have recommended that approximately 10% of the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for ALA can be consumed as EPA and/or DHA. This recommendation represents current mean intake for EPA and DHA in the United States ( approximately 100mg/day), which is much lower than what many groups worldwide are currently recommending. Global recommendations for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids underscore the pressing need to establish DRIs for DHA and EPA because DRIs are recognized as the “official” standard by which federal agencies issue dietary guidance or policy directives for the health and well-being of individuals in the United States and Canada. Because of the many health benefits of DHA and EPA, it is important and timely that the National Academies establish DRIs for the individual long-chain (20 carbons or greater) omega-3 fatty acids.

Note the wording: can be, not should or must. I don’t think I’ve seen any reputable sources that claim it’s required to directly consume EPA or DHA. (But if someone finds one, please share.) The average intake in the US is 100 mg/day (between the two, apparently, not each), so if you want a number to shoot for that seems as good as any.

tl;dr: minimum zero, average 100 mg/day (total), maximum 3 g/day (total)


#7

The nutritional powers that be don’t set a RDA or DRI for DHA or EPA because our bodies can make all it needs from ALA. It is true that our bodies are inefficient at the convention and there is evidence that some of us are more inefficient than others. There is also evidence that there is added benefit in getting more DHA and EPA than our bodies can make on their own.


#8

Horsfield is exactly right - because neither EPA nor DHA are actually essential, there’s no AI (Adequate Intake) or RDA defined. You can get by with zero if you’re consuming ALA. But there appear to be benefits to getting EPA and DHA in our diets for most of us.

Adequate Intakes: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids#intake-recommendations

The LPI site has, I think, the single best well-sourced page with solid information on Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and I recommend it highly. Also, the footnoted references are a great guide if you want to dig more into the research.