Omega-3 Nutrients Facts
- Omega-3 fatty acids are required in human health but cannot be made by the body so we must consume them. They are, therefore, called essential fatty acids.
- Fatty acids are components of the fat molecules that exist in food and in our bodies.
- Research has identified that EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoic), the omega-3s found in marine oils, are the two most important fatty acids in human health.
- Consuming enough EPA and DHA omega-3s is important for general health across the lifespan.
- EPA and DHA are most easily obtained from consuming cold-water fish—like salmon and tuna—or from taking purified supplements made from fish oil.
- In general, omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body while omega-6s have a pro-inflammatory effect. Both omega-3s and omega-6s are needed for optimal health but they need to be in balance. Too much omega-6 in relation to omega-3 has a negative effect on health; we can help restore the balance by consuming EPA and DHA omega-3s.
- Many countries and health organizations around the world recommend consumption of at least 500mg EPA and DHA per day.
- EPA and DHA are healthy fats that everyone needs. Pregnant moms and developing babies have a special need for omega-3s.