Every so often we hear of something new to the world of health and nutrition. If you keep pace with the news on this subject, then you may have come across Omega 3 vitamins frequently enough to know how it benefits your well-being. 

However, like most people, you may not understand the full extent of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids, the complex, difficult-to-pronounce, types of Omega 3s within those nutrition-rich supplements. Since it’s vital that you know what you’re eating, here’s a simple guide. Read on!

EPA and DHA – Introducing The Omega 3 MVP

When nutritionists say that you need Omega 3 vitamins, they rarely specify the type of Omega 3s. Check the label on the bottles at your local pharmacy or nutrition store, and you’ll see the words EPA and DHA etched with different concentrations. 

At the basic level, Omega-3 fatty acids are important nutrients, that contribute to membrane formation in your body cells. However, the human body can’t produce these, thus it’s necessary to obtain your fill of Omega 3s from external sources—and be regular about it.

Coming to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), these are two significant Omega 3s. Each necessary, each with different benefits for the body, EPA and DHA are present in most Omega 3 vitamins you’ll browse through a health store.

Depending on your unique health circumstances, you may need both of these Omega 3s in equal amounts, or one more than the other. Hence the reason we’re breaking down these fatty acids here is so you can understand the benefits—and the need—present for you!

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) & It’s Health Advantages

EPA is a fatty acid consisting of 20 carbon atoms. Its main purpose is to generate eicosanoids, which are essential in fighting inflammation within the body. Interestingly, EPA functions within the liver to transform into DHA, the other Omega 3 fatty acid. 

By adding adequate amounts of EPA to your diet, you can benefit your health in various ways. Primarily, this type of Omega 3 fatty acid aids in preserving your brain’s gray matter. The gray matter is responsible for controlling your movement, memory, and emotions. 

As you age, your brain’s grey matter reduces—hence the cognition problems that arise later in life. A 2015 study revealed that people over the age of 65 with higher EPA levels in the blood plasma had lesser gray matter shrinkage. Another study showed the connection between EPA consumption and slower cognitive decline. Moreover, there’s some evidence that adequate EPA leads to lowering depression and reduces the risk of memory loss problems, such as dementia.

EPA in Omega 3 vitamins isn’t just for the elderly; the fatty acid has significant mood-boosting advantages. If you’re someone who struggles with a high-stress life with anxiety and low motivation, adding Omega 3 can be helpful. A series of trials in 2019 involving control groups given EPA, DHA, and placebo came up with promising results. The EPA-dominant supplements were most effective for stress, anxiety, and depression.

Other Health Benefits Of EPA

  • Helps prevent melanoma skin cancers. There are approximately 200,000 new cases of the most fatal form of skin cancer. A study revealed that individuals with a higher intake of EPA had an 80% lower risk of developing malignant melanoma. 
  • Regulates heart function. Adequate consumption of EPA-dominant Omega 3 Vitamins has a positive effect on people with coronary heart disease. It’s also incredibly helpful for individuals suffering from high blood pressure and high triglycerides.
  • Promotes a healthy balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins in the body, thus strengthening your immune system against harmful pathogens 

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) & It’s Health Advantages

DHA is a fatty acid composed of 22 carbon atoms. This remarkable fatty acid plays a significant role in promoting brain and eye health. Moreover, it is crucial for fetal growth and development, continuing to benefit till early childhood.

One of the notable functions of DHA is supporting blood pressure regulation. Omega 3 fatty acids, including DHA, have a positive impact on heart health. What makes DHA more relevant in heart health discussion is that various studies show that DHA has a more impactful outcome in comparison with EPA in studies involving the effect of both fatty acids on high blood pressure.

DHA is also incredibly effective for memory and learning. Your brain, being approximately 60% fat, benefits from the inclusion of healthy fatty acids in your diet. DHA accounts for 97% of the brain’s omega 3 fatty acid content. Research shows that DHA plays a vital role in boosting brain health across all age groups. 

In young adults, DHA supplements can enhance both episodic and working memory. For elderly individuals, DHA supplements provide improved neuronal responses. The fatty acid also supports fetal brain development. Moreover, it is just as important for developing infants and young children, improving learning capabilities and behavior management. Hence the reason pregnant women are recommended—keeping within safe dosage limits—to take Omega 3 vitamins with DHA before, during, and after pregnancy. 

Other Health Benefits Of DHA

  • Contributes to your eyesight. Research shows that people who suffer from vision issues benefit from a regular intake of fish oil supplements with Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Promotes healthier birth weights and lowers the chances of premature birth. Both EPA and DHA are valuable for pregnant women to ease labor and postpartum, with beneficial effects continuing for the baby till they reach adolescence.

Are EPA and DHA Both Necessary?

Yes, EPA and DHA are equally essential for the body to function properly. Luckily, you can easily get enough of both by taking a high-quality supplement buy from amazon. Fish oil softgels and capsules are amongst the primary kind of Omega 3 vitamins that contain a sufficient combination of EPA and DHA—although the ratios may differ for different brands. Choose a supplement that aligns with your health goals and needs.

Bottom Line…

To keep your body functioning at optimal levels, make sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of both EPA and DHA every day. These are present in various fatty fish. However, if you want a more convenient source of EPA and DHA, you can rely on high-quality Omega 3 vitamin supplements.