What Is the Difference Between EPA and DHA Omega-3 Fish Oil?
Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) because they are needed in normal metabolic processes but cannot be made by the chemistry available in the body. They must be ingested in the form of food rich in Omega-3 EFAs or by supplementation. Both EPA (a 20 carbon chain molecule) and DHA (a 22 carbon chain molecule) play essential yet differing roles in the make up of human metabolism. Both are needed and both are intertwined in their function. Fortunately both usually come together in varying amounts in specialty supplements, however some supplements use advanced distillation processes to remove one or the other or to adjust the proportions.
The standard for Optimal Health Bridge products are set high, usually 70% concentration or better. In stores, you may see a preponderance of products that yield a 30% concentration and we label these commodity fish oils. Mainly folks try commodity fish oil and it sits on the shelf because of the low quality, taste issues and repeating issues. Thirty percent concentration is the natural proportion of about 180 EPA to 120 DHA that you find in North Atlantic cold water fish. Optimal Health Bridge standards are 70% of Omega-3s or better. When we label a product with an amount, such as 400 EPA and 300 DHA per 1000 mgs that means it’s a minimum of that amount but laboratory analysis proves it to always be a little better than that. Our supplement facts boxes are the minimum not the maximum.
The function of DHA is attributed to better brain health and eye health. The reason for this is that DHA is a building block for brain cells and cells of the retina. Pregnant and nursing mothers are encouraged to take high DHA supplements to nourish the brain of the infant. DHA is also attributed with the reduction in triglycerides numbers for those afflicted with higher than normal triglyceride counts.
EPA on the other hand, vies with Aranodonic Acid another fatty acid that causes inflammation in the body. And this is so helpful for the mitigation of moderately high blood pressure and inflammation in the arteries and joints. Both molecules are needed and Americans are woefully deprived of Omega-3s.
Because of the heavy metal pollution in the seas, we encourage only a moderate amount of fish consumption and lean towards supplementation for getting this vital nutrient in guaranteed pure form. Farm raised fish have very little Omega-3 content. Don’t tell anyone I told you.
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