The Omega-3s EPA and DHA are the “dynamic duo” of the healthy fat world. EPA and DHA work as a team to maintain good health at all stages of life by helping young bodies develop normally, and older bodies age healthfully.
EPA: Eicosapentaenoic Acid and DHA: Docosahexaenoic Acid
- Found primarily in oily marine fish, but also some algae
- DHA plays a structural role in cell membranes, aiding in normal growth and development
EPA and DHA work together to:
- Support the normal growth and development of the brain, eyes (retina) and nervous system
- Help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and normal triglyceride levels
Oily, marine fish such as wild salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovy, are the best source for Omega-3 EPA and DHA – and the only common source that contains both of these key fatty acids in abundance.
There is a third Omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, which is found in some plant sources like flax or chia seed. While our bodies utilize ALA for energy production, we must further convert ALA to EPA and DHA before we can ultimately receive the healthful benefit from Omega-3s. Unfortunately, ALA does not readily convert to EPA and DHA, roughly 1% converts, so consuming preformed EPA and DHA from marine sources is the optimal way to ensure you receive the health benefits of Omega-3s.