I am excited about Omega-3 health benefits mainly because the science makes sense to me, and I personally have seen beneficial results. Your results may, of course, vary. However, I switched from a mainly vegan diet to a diet with added flax seed (2 tblsp) and fish oil supplement (4 g) in February 2010, with a further increase to flax seed (1/2 cup) and concentrated fish oil supplement (10 g) in June 2010 (after reading “The Queen of Fats”). My most recent blood tests show that my total cholesterol has improved from being unable to measure due to high triglycerides (in January 2010) to very close to target at 210 mg/dl (in August 2010). My doctor commented that you do not often see such a “dramatic” improvement in blood lipids. In addition, my blood pressure readings have improved from high normal (131/84) to normal (114/77). Also, as noted previously, I subjectively have noticed a significant increase in mental acuity (lots of new ideas).
My breakfast is a bowl of 1/2 cup of fresh ground flax seeds with 1/2 cup of granola in almond milk (preferably home-made) and fresh blueberries in season, or raisins and cinnamon. I eat lots of salmon burgers, canned salmon sandwiches, and lox on bagels for lunch. Supper is mainly vegan, salads or rice or beans. I supplement with a fresh squeezed vegetable and fruit juice morning and evening, along with 5 g of concentrated fish oil twice a day. I also take lots of anti-oxidant supplements, including vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea extract and garlic extract.
As noted below, it is usually a good idea to make diet changes gradually, and slowly increase the flax seed and fish oil intake. I have received feedback that 1/2 cup of flax seeds is a lot to eat every day. In response, I note that I am a 58 year old male, weight 200 pounds. If your body weight is less, and/or you believe your omega-3 intake in the past has been better than the standard North American diet , then you could obtain good results with considerably lower amounts. Since I believe I need to compensate for many years of omega-3 deficiency, I am consuming as much as I can tolerate.
As noted below, there is no good research to suggest optimum values for Omega-3 intake, and blood tests for Omega-3 blood content (or Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios) are not readily available. The only guideline seems to be that the maintenance ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 intake which results in optimum conversion of LNA to DHA & EPA is 2:1. However, it is not easy to assess the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio in any particular diet. On the other hand, there do not seem to be as negative side effects associated with excessive Omega-3 intake, (other than the frequent nose bleeds that the Greenlanders, who consumed only fish products, apparently suffered from). The benefits are reduced rates of heart attack and stroke due to reduced inflammation and thinner blood.