Omega-3s Explained

Omega-3s Explained

What are Omega-3s? 


Omega-3s are fatty acids that the body doesn’t produce naturally and stem from your diet. They are key to the body and provide a number of health benefits. 


There are three types of Omega-3s: ALA, DHA, and EPA. ALA derive from plant-based sources, whereas DHA and EPA come from fatty fish and fish oil. 


What do Omega-3s do? 


The most important Omega-3s are DHA and EPA which play a pivotal role in the body. EPA can reduce chronic inflammation and may reduce symptoms of depression. DHA is a structural component in the retinas and skin, while also being an integral part of brain development and function. It also boost heart health by reducing by reducing bad cholesterol particles.  


A very small percentage of ALA is converted into EPA and DHA and the rest is stored as energy. 


Other Core Benefits of Omega-3s 


Seafood based Omega-3s provides various health benefits and may have a positive effect on: 

  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Central obesity
  • Diabetes 
  • Sleep
  • Menstrual pain
  • Skin (acne, aging, and hydration)
  • Reducing fat in the liver
  • Certain cancers 
  • Autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s

A lack of DHA and EPA  is often associated with: 

  • Impaired brain function and onset of Alzheimer’s; 

  • Osteoporosis; Omega-3s often improve bone strength 

  • Macular degeneration, a leading cause of permanent eye damage and blindness

  • Learning disabilities, ADHD, asthma, and aggressive hostility in children 


Sources of Omega-3s


EPA can be found in herring, salmon, eel, shrimp, and sturgeon. DHA is mostly found in fatty fish like anchovies, salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, and halibut, as well as algae. Both have small amounts in grass-fed animal products, but seafood contain much higher levels. 


Summary

Seafood based Omega-3s are integral for positive health. For those on a plant-based diet, speak to a doctor about potentially supplementing your diet, or using fortified foods, as an avenue to obtain the daily value of Omega-3s.