3

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Half a gram of fish oil per 10 lbs of bodyweight per day?!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 11, 2010 at 11:49 PM

From Robb Wolf's FAQ:

My rough recommendation on fish oil supplementation is 0.5-1.0 g/10lbs Body Weight/day of EPA/DHA. The top end is for sick/fat people, the lower end is for most other folks. It seems like a lot, but a can of sardines is about 2.5g EPA/DHA. We are replacing a missing FOOD! Please. Please. Do not ask how many capsules that turns out to for you. Do a little math folks.

From his podcast, he seems to be suggesting these levels for the sake of losing body fat. This is roughly 10 times the recommendation for fish oil that I've always heard -- 1.0-1.5 g/person/day. I've also never heard of fish oil being of any benefit for losing body fat.

Anyone know where Robb is coming from with this?

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 11, 2012
at 11:48 PM

.25g per what unit of body weight?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 18, 2010
at 07:16 PM

Great quote: "Most fish oil is of questionable providence"

37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

(1219)

on March 13, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Here you go: http://bit.ly/df9hml

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 12, 2010
at 03:05 AM

DHA is the form of omega-3 your body actually uses. You only need DHA. EPA and ALA can be converted to DHA by your body, but conversion levels vary and are typically low. I would check out The Queen of Fats by Susan Allport for a good primer about omega 3s.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 12, 2010
at 03:04 AM

DHA is the form of omega-3 your body actually uses. You only need DHA. EPA and ALA can be converted to DHA by your body, but conversion levels vary and are typically low.

0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on March 12, 2010
at 02:44 AM

Um where is your source for EPA specifically not being essential? I can't find anything aside from omega 3s are essential fatty acids and EPA/DHA/ALA are the three omega 3's fatty acid chain forms, where your body uses EPA and DHA and only uses ALA to transform into the other to forms (at a 5% rate which is why its not good to get ALA as a supplement?)

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11 Answers

7
A49ad052f6f7cb7dfe39e9285e2263fb

on March 13, 2010
at 12:00 AM

Those levels will just make for more oxLDL and leaky gut and possibly liver inflammation, in my opinion. Eliminate non-coconut plant oils from your diet and then take 1-2 g/day DHA/EPA max.

4
4c8a9bec5a27b66b28d3c5cddeb70e93

on March 12, 2010
at 12:29 AM

Guys, also remember that just like a corn fed cow, if your a recent convert to paleo then your body cells & fat tissues will be reflecting this omega-6 imbalance. So just starting to eat grass-fed beef and correcting the ratio in your diet won't necessarily correct the imbalance in your tissues! Then add to the fact that most people start losing weight [fat] on a paleo diet, so your body is breaking down all this old imbalanced fatty tissue you have, increasing the omega-6 circulating around your body.

^This is far from a scientific description but I believe the overall concept is sound.

IIRC your tissues have an average turn over time of something like 2 years. So you can be eating 100% paleo for a year and still have some lasting effects going on from your previous SAD diet.

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 12, 2010
at 12:01 AM

Hmmm, paleolithic people didn't need fish oil to stay healthy. I think that perhaps it has a therapeutic effect on SAD eaters, but if you are eating paleolithically you probably aren't getting too much omega-6. I personally think actual fish is the superior source of DHA. Most fish oil is of questionable providence...who knows what kind of PCBS are in it and how much of the DHA has been oxidized?

When I took fish oil in the winter I unfortunately learned of its immunosuppressive effects. I think I finally gave it up when I cut myself while cooking and I couldn't stop bleeding...like an Eskimo, I had impaired my blood clotting.

Honestly, eat fish. I HATED fish before I started paleo and had to force myself to eat it. It was totally worth it.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 18, 2010
at 07:16 PM

Great quote: "Most fish oil is of questionable providence"

2
5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

on March 12, 2010
at 12:18 AM

Maybe he's talking about people who haven't cut back their O-6 intake. In those cases, it would indeed take a lot of O-3 to get back to a healthy ratio.

For those of eating pastured meat, eggs from pastured chickens, milk and cheese from pastured cows and some occasional fish, I suspect anywhere near that much supplementation would actually be unhealthy.

Also, beware of cod liver oil as a source of O-3; getting too much vitamin A seems to offset the value of the O-3 and vitamin D.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on February 02, 2012
at 11:14 PM

Robb has since revised these recommendations on his podcast a couple of times. He's recommending that you follow the stuff posted on the website if you're trying to reverse metabolic derangement and get healthy. Once you're ok, feel free to cut it way down. I'm not a big fan of any fish oil because you're just consuming another easily oxidized PUFA, but if you have a lot of damage to turn around, I can see the recommendations being that high.

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 13, 2010
at 09:54 AM

I think we have to pay attention to the fact that Robb says: "It seems like a lot, but a can of sardines is about 2.5g EPA/DHA. We are replacing a missing FOOD!" The figure is presumably not fish oil per se, but just omega 3, on the assumption that people aren't eating oily fish daily.

The figure he cites isn't an unreasonable estimate for balancing out the omega-6 from a vaguely normal diet. Eating a pound+ of conventional meat per day and a couple of eggs, would easily get you up to 5g+ of omega-6. If you're eating any nuts, seeds, avocados etc with that, then you'll substantially exceed this.

I agree that optimally we should seek to keep PUFA balanced and very low (just meeting EFA requirements), but I'm not sure what would be worse: somewhat unbalanced omega 6 but less total PUFA or balanced, very large amounts of omega-3+omega-6. My suspicion is that the former is worse, but obviously reducing omega-6 (and thence omega-3) would be best.

1
0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on March 12, 2010
at 02:32 AM

Omega 3's and Omega 6's are both considered essential fatty acids.

Wikipedia with refferences on EFA's so yeah your body needs them and they can't be produced by your body.

And I believe Robb Wolf may be coming from the the Athlete/training side of things but he's definitely on the high end for fish oil.

decent overview on Fish oil for combat athletes here

and quoted from the above link

How Much Should I Take?

There's a lot of variation in opinion on this; some recommend low doses in the range of 900mg EPA/DHA, others opt for extremely high doses of over 10g; Tolson recommends between 1-4g, and Berardi between 3-6g. Most of the literature in cardiovascular disease has revolved around the 1-4g range.

For athletes, little data is available. Dr. Barry Sears and Robb Wolf both recommend a high-end dose of 0.5-1.0g/10lbs BW; this equates to 8.5g/day for a 170lb athlete. Anecdotal reports of decreased DOMS, recovery time, and accelerated BF loss are abound, but no well controlled studies exist.

Many of the regular posters who frequent this board take approximately 3g daily; this would translate into 10 capsules of 180/120 strength. So at 300mg of combined EPA and DHA (get it? 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA would equal 300mg combined EPA/DHA) per capsule, you'd have to take 10 a day. Break 'em up into 2 caps 5 times a day, or 3 caps morning/noon, 2 caps supper/bed, or whatever. I'm sure you're smart enough to figure that part out.

if you aren't an athlete I'm sure your needs will be less depends on what you are supplementing it for, and for that I'd consult the thousands of studies on PubMed (there's the vs. omega 6 ratio on the SAD, there's heart health, there's ADD/ADHD, Depression, and there's training and recovery). If you are eating 3-4 omega 3 eggs and lots of good clean food that already has enough omega 3s, and you aren't eating lots of omega 6's you should be fine without a need to supplement.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 12, 2010
at 03:04 AM

DHA is the form of omega-3 your body actually uses. You only need DHA. EPA and ALA can be converted to DHA by your body, but conversion levels vary and are typically low.

1
37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

on March 12, 2010
at 12:32 AM

EPA is not essential and fish oils provide essentially nothing of benefit to a healthy person. Fish liver oils have some value, but that is from the A and D content, not from the Omega 3 content. Omega 3 (ALA) is not essential and only appears helpful because of the large amount of Omega 6 (LA) in the average SADers diet. As of the moment the only reliable cod liver oil is the fermented oil produced by Green Pastures. Everyone else removes the vitamins and then adds back synthetic vitamins to standardize the amount.

If you are healthy do as Melissa says and eat fish (or other sources like butter, egg yolks and liver). :-)

0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on March 12, 2010
at 02:44 AM

Um where is your source for EPA specifically not being essential? I can't find anything aside from omega 3s are essential fatty acids and EPA/DHA/ALA are the three omega 3's fatty acid chain forms, where your body uses EPA and DHA and only uses ALA to transform into the other to forms (at a 5% rate which is why its not good to get ALA as a supplement?)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 12, 2010
at 03:05 AM

DHA is the form of omega-3 your body actually uses. You only need DHA. EPA and ALA can be converted to DHA by your body, but conversion levels vary and are typically low. I would check out The Queen of Fats by Susan Allport for a good primer about omega 3s.

37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

(1219)

on March 13, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Here you go: http://bit.ly/df9hml

1
C4d4a9db7ee3b315eae97795555a1177

(623)

on March 12, 2010
at 12:18 AM

I heard that podcast as well and I believe he said to only do that for a certain amount of time when new to Paleo and then to cut back to 0.25 grams per body weight. Carlson's fish oil comes in a liquid form so you dont have to put back capsules, taste like lemons and is free of any contaminants. You can find it online at a decent price.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 11, 2012
at 11:48 PM

.25g per what unit of body weight?

0
Medium avatar

(4878)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Interesting...

This is the same dosage (or less!) recommended by those who feed their dogs a Raw (Meat, of course) diet. This is recommended for anything from joint to behavioral issues. In fact, some recommend to feed enough to cause diarrhea, then backing off slightly.

I've been feeding my 65 lb dog 6-7 grams/day for 8 years and his health is the equivalent to that of a much younger dog. (I've estimated his age at 12 to 15 years old based on the limited gray hair, teeth damage, and very thick skin he had when I got him as a "rescue". Vets currently age him at 9ish.). Yes, the younger appearance could be the Raw diet, but I can't help to think this heavy dosage is also keeping away the normal physical deterioration currently being experienced by his age cohort.

-1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 02, 2012
at 11:07 PM

I AM NEITHER A DOCTOR NOR A NUTRITIONIST, I BEGAN TO TAKE 2 GRAMS A DAY TO IMPROVE MY BLOOD LIPIDS. AFTER A WEEK AND A HALF, I NOTICED TWO THINGS. FIRST I WASN'T AS HUNGRY, AND SECOND I STARTED TO LOSE BELLY FAT.

SO I WENT ON LINE TO SEE WHETHER THESE WERE DUE TO THE OMEGA 3, AND SURE ENOUGH, STUDIES HAVE PROVEN THAT OMEGA 3 DECREASES THE AMOUNT OF INSULIN THE LIVER PRODUCES WHICH ALLOWS THE BODY TO BURN STORED FAT FOR ENERGY......

I'M BLOWN AWAY BY THIS NUTRIENT...

LOU

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