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Fish Oil

Fish Oil


Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are an essential nutrient for good health. As your body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids you need to get them from food and/or supplements.



Omega 3 fatty acids, and therefore fish oil, have been found to be beneficial for good heart health, eye sight, brain development and mental health.



The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) estimates that consuming at least 90mg (for women) and 160mg (for men) of omega-3 each day is adequate for good health. However, the Heart Foundation recommends healthy adults should consume about 500mg of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources each day to lower their risk of heart disease.



Fish is the best source of omega 3 fatty acids. It is recommended that you eat two to three 150g serves of oily fish each week. This may include fresh, frozen or canned varieties of fish such as:

  • Salmon,
  • Sardines,
  • Blue mackerel,
  • Gemfish,
  • Blue-eye trevalla, 
  • Some types of tuna.


Other types of fish also contain some level of omega-3 fatty acids, but in lower amounts. Oysters, mussels, scallops and arrow squid also provide small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.


Fish is not the only source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in animal sources such as eggs, chicken and beef, and plant sources such as canola and soybean oils, nuts, and linseeds (also known as flaxseeds).


If you don’t eat enough oily fish each week, a supplement such as fish oil may be useful to help meet your omega-3 fatty acid needs. There are also some omega-3 supplements made from algae which are suitable for use by those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.



What should I look for in a fish oil supplement?
Look for supplements with the highest levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which together will give you the total amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the supplement. Many 1000mg capsules contain 180mg of EPA and 120mg of DHA, which together provides 300mg of omega-3 fatty acids. To meet the recommended 500mg each day, you may need to take one or two capsules, depending on how much omega-3 you are getting from food.



The NHMRC have set an upper limit of intake of 3,000mg per day.



The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.



Heart Foundation





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