Why You May Need More EPA & DHA Than You’re Currently Getting

Although EPA, DHA, and ALA are all long-chain PUFAs, ALA is the shortest of the three. To get a bit extra science-y, EPA has 20 carbons and double bonds, DHA has 22 carbons and 6 double bonds, and ALA has 18 carbons and three double bonds. As these chemical variations point out, they’re three distinctive fat with distinctive roles in our physiological well being and wellness.                                          

Another distinction is availability. ALA is prevalent in our diets and located in plentiful quantities in lots of crops—together with flaxseed, canola oil, olive oil, walnuts, and different tree nuts, in line with Chip Lavie, M.D., FACC, FACP, FCCP, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at Ochsner Health.

In distinction, EPA and DHA will not be broadly discovered within the meals provide, nor are these marine omega-3s broadly consumed by Americans. And since solely a small quantity of ALA is transformed to EPA and DHA, we’re missing these PUFA MVPs that work additional time for our coronary heart, mind, redox stability, and extra.* “Making EPA and DHA from ALA is possible but very inefficient, and achieving optimal omega-3 index levels is nearly impossible with only ALA,” says Harris.

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