Omega 3’s: EPA vs DHA Health Benefits

Omeag 3

By: Sarah Pittman BS in dietetics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Omega 3’s are essential fatty acids that are found in fish oils. These fatty acids are composed of two crucial components: EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are highly unsaturated (polyunsaturated) fats that are found in cold-water fish. Both EPA and DHA help to maintain healthy function of the brain and retina regulate cell activity and healthy CVD function. They can also act as a source of energy, insulate the body from heat loss and cushion tissues and organs.

EPA:

  • Helps reduce cellular inflammation
  • Helps reduce neuro-inflammation (depression, ADHD, brain trauma)
  • Maintains a healthy cardiovascular system
  • Useful in the mental development of children
  • May be useful for burning excess fat before it gets stored
  • Helps joint health

DHA:

  • Helps reduce the entry of enlarged LDL particles into muscle
  • Can decrease blood triglycerides and increase HDL
  • Essential for a functional nervous system
  • Fights inflammation
  • Supports muscle recovery
  • Can lower blood pressure

Where can you find omega 3’s?

  • Anchovies
  • Bluefish
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sturgeon
  • Lake trout
  • Tuna

With the wide range of health benefits that omega 3 fatty acids can provide, it is important to consider adding foods rich in omega 3’s to your diet!

What are your favorite foods that are rich in omega 3’s? We would love to hear from you!

Sources:

Definition of Omega-3 fatty acids. MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13977. Published 2018. Accessed December 28, 2018.

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) | EPA Benefits. Xtend-Life Natural Products. https://www.xtend-life.com/blogs/supplement-ingredients/eicosapentaenoic-acid. Published 2018. Accessed December 28, 2018.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fact Sheet. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet#2. Published 2018. Accessed December 28, 2018.

What’s the difference between EPA, DHA & ALA?. Alwaysomega3s.com. https://alwaysomega3s.com/learn/epa-dha-ala-omega-3s. Published 2018. Accessed December 28, 2018.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Eatright.org. https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/what-are-omega-3-fatty-acids. Published 2018. Accessed December 28, 2018.

What Are the Real Differences Between EPA and DHA?. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-the-zone/201204/what-are-the-real-differences-between-epa-and-dha. Published 2018. Accessed December 28, 2018.

 

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