Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats vital for normal metabolism and growth. Three of the most nutritious fatty acids are EPA, DHA, also known as long-chain omega-3s, and ALA.
Omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy heart by maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within a normal range. They also help promote a healthy inflammatory response within the body.
The typical Western diet has an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Adequate consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is therefore necessary to outweigh the heavy consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, which are prevalent in processed and fried foods.
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA can be found in cold water, oily fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Other sources include krill and algae, as well as vegetarian sources like flax, walnuts, chia and soybean. EPA may help reduce blood viscosity (thickness) and platelet aggregation.
According to the American Heart Association, the recommended intake of two servings of fish per week for healthy individuals would provide an average of 250 mg – 500 mg of EPA and DHA per day.
In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Qualified Health Claim for omega-3 fatty acids, asserting that supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Did You Know?
There are over 16,000 published papers on the science behind Omega-3’s significant role in the human body.
- Essential fatty acid ALA cannot be produced by the human body and must be ingested
- Unlike ALA, EPA and DHA can be produced by the body, but typically not in large amounts. Dietary sources (food or supplements) can help ensure meeting the optimal amount
- Helps maintain heart health
- Helps maintain cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within a normal range