Omega-3 Health Benefits

Omega-3: DHA, EPA and ALA diagramFatty fish represent the best source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Younger surface swimming, troll-caught albacore tuna are one of the best sources of Omega-3 essential fatty acids available today. For biological reasons, troll-caught albacore contains more Omega-3s than other tuna species. Yes it’s true. Not all tuna are created equal.

DHA & EPA

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid. It is found in cold water fatty fish and fish oil supplements, along with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Vegetarian sources of DHA come from seaweed. DHA is essential for the proper functioning of our brains as adults, and for the development of our nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are part of a healthy diet that helps lower risk of heart disease. Our bodies naturally produce small amounts of DHA, but we must get the amounts we need from our diet or supplements.

ALA

Alpha-linolenic acid is a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. It is similar to the omega-3 fatty acids that are in fish oil [eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)]. Alpha-linolenic acid can be converted into EPA and DHA in the body. Alpha-linolenic acid is highly concentrated in flaxseed oil and, to a lesser extent, in canola, soy, perilla, and walnut oils.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis. In the body, these essential fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and may be particularly important for cognitive and behavioral health as well as normal growth and development.

Studies suggest that alpha-linolenic acid and other omega-3 fatty acids may help treat a variety of conditions. The evidence is strongest for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease, such as high blood pressure.

(source: www.umm.edu)

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