Skip to main content

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential

Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
AP Photo/Nick Ut
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are polyunsaturated fats, commonly referred to as the "good" fats because they play an important role in health and vitality.  EFAs help with heart disease, arthritis, inflammation, asthma, infant development, pregnancy, depression, language and learning, attention and focus, cognition, dementia, aggression and anger, immune function, diabetes, weight management, dry eye syndrome, vision, prostate health, colon health, osteoporosis, and longevity.  Research shows that the most beneficial EFAs are the Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
 
Bernadine Healy, M.D. wrote in 2008 that "No nutrient is more important for decreasing cardiovascular death - and more lacking - than omega-3... raising omega-3's could be as important to public health as lowering cholesterol."
 
DHA is an essential fatty acid that is known to effect thinking and memory, depression and mood balance, and pregnancy and lactation.  DHA is important to nerve and brain cells and is essential because the human body is unable to make sufficient quantities; therefore, it must be obtained through the diet.
 
Like DHA, EPA is an essential fatty acid that must also be obtained through the diet because the human body is not able to make enough on it's own.  EPA is important for heart health, immune function, and autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, including arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease.
 
Both DHA and EPA are naturally found in fish. The best source of Omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, are cold water fish such as sardines, anchovies, salmon, and herring.  Fish oil can also be taken as a dietary supplement.  
 
International experts recommend 500 mg EPA+DHA to avoid deficiency, 1g EPA+DHA for proactive support, and 2-4g EPA+HDA for high intensity support. (2009, Nordic Naturals, Inc)
 
Consult a qualified medical professional before taking any dietary supplements.
 
For more information on omega-3s visit www.drweil.com
 
In Charlotte, find quality fish and fish oil supplements at EarthFare. 

Comments

  • Kristen 4 years ago

    Great article! I didn't realize all the benefits of DHA and EPA! I need to get more of those...