Almost everybody is already taking fish oil, right? Unfortunately, a couple of regular fish oil capsules a day does not do much. I recommend supplementing with at least four grams a day of EPA & DHA omega-3 to reduce inflammation. This therapeutic dose is consistent with American Heart Association recommendations for reducing high triglycerides. Please note that this is not four grams a day of fish oil, but 4000 mg a day (4g) of the EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids contained in the fish oil. These mega doses of omega-3 can dramatically lower CRP. In one six month study, subjects receiving just 1.5 gram a day of EPA & DHA omega-3 lowered their CRP by almost 40%. http://ncp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0884533609335376v1
Can you get enough omega-3 from eating fish? It is possible, but very difficult. You would need to eat about 11 oz. a day of salmon (more than $180/month) or eight cans of tuna a day (over $300/month). Regrettably, most fish has traces of mercury, PCB's and other contaminants and may not be a healthy source of omega-3 if over consumed.
Normal fish oil softgels contain just 180mg of EPA and 120mg of DHA per softgel. At this low dosage, you would to take 14 softgels a day for a therapeutic dose!!! An inexpensive bottle of 100 softgels might be as cheap as $3.50 which works out to a cost of about $15.00/month for a therapeutic dose. 420 softgels a month is a whole lot of pill popping!
Higher dose fish oil might contain 300mg of EPA and 200mg of DHA. At this dosage, you would need to take eight softgels per day. A bottle of Swanson Super EPA Fish Oil with 100 softgels costs $6.39 purchased online which works out to just $15.34/month. A little less pill popping, but 240 softgels a month is still formidable.
Now, if you can convince your doctor that omega-3 is a good thing, he/she will probably prescribe the patented prescription omega-3 from fish oil called Lovaza. It only requires four softgels per day, but is very expensive! Doctors generally prescribe it to treat high triglycerides which usually are associated with high CRP. A bottle of 100 softgels is $167.69 at Walgreens which is a cost of $201.23/month!!! Don’t be fooled. This is nothing more than concentrated, very expensive fish oil.
I prefer to take fish oil as a pleasant tasting lemon flavored liquid oil. The champagne of fish oil is Carlson Lemon-Flavored Liquid Fish Oil. You need to take just one tablespoon per day (3 tsp). Remembering how disgusting the cod liver oil of my youth tasted, I was initially hesitant, but, honestly, it really tastes good. A 500 ml (16.9 fl oz) bottle costs $22.19 purchased online from Swanson which works out to $19.97/month.
Taking a therapeutic daily dose, omega-3 has also been shown in studies to lower triglycerides 20-30% and raise healthy HDL cholesterol by about 5% on average. Many diabetics report more dramatic results.
Bibliography of Research on Omega-3 and Inflammation: