Everyone knows the necessity and importance of Omega-3s. We hear about omegas all over the place but do we really understand the types, how much to take, and when is the best time to take it?

 

So many products constantly throw claims around such as High DHA, plant-sourced omega, purified and free of PCBs, the list goes on and on. It doesn't have to be so hard.

 

Let's break it down for you. Our bodies need good fat. Good fat is necessary for cardiovascular health, cognitive development, protecting our organs, promoting our metabolism, reduction of cellular inflammation and so many other vital functions.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential and necessary good fat and there are 3 common types. The two most popular kinds are DHA and EPA that are found in fish. Another kind is ALA which can be found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds.

 

Everyone mentions the benefits and disputes High DHA vs. High EPA. What are the differences and where can they be found?

 

According to studies they are both extremely beneficial but do have different uses and benefits. Studies have shown that DHA is fundamental for pregnant women and infants. It is necessary at the early stage of development for the brain, CNS, and retina. However, for children with developmental problems, pure EPA or high EPA omega-3 has been shown to be the most effective for supporting cognitive function. When directly comparing EPA and DHA, it appears that DHA has a more significant impact on decreasing triglycerides, increasing the “good” cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure and heart rate than EPA.

 

EPA is well known for reducing cellular inflammation specifically in reducing neuro-inflammation. This is the reason why there are many links to improvement in depression, ADHD, and brain trauma due to high levels of EPA. It has also been shown to help with childhood behaviour and academic performance, as well as focus, attention and reducing aggression.

 

Regardless of the differences, it is important to have a balanced diet with both EPA and DHA as they are both essential to the body. 

 

 

Resources:

https://www.ascentahealth.com/omega-3-and-you/omega-3-benefits/dha-heart-health/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-zone/201204/what-are-the-real-differences-between-epa-and-dha

https://igennus.com/nutrition/omega-3-science/epa-vs-dha/

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet

http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/skinny-fat-good-fats-bad-fats#1

http://www.bistromd.com/nutrition/what-does-healthy-fat-do