All About Omega 3 Fatty Acids, EPA And DHA

omega 3 fatty acids

Medical conditions like diabetes, high pressure, high level of bad cholesterol LDL, low level of good cholesterol HDL, etc. have become a common occurrence among the people.

Usually, these diseases are more prominent among individuals above 40 years. However, lately the younger generations are also getting afflicted with it.

Such symptoms, if left untreated, are very likely to cause heart attacks. Therefore, as a precautionary measure the doctors will emphasize on diet restrictions, regular exercises and some medications.

For those who wish to prevent these diseases the natural way, need to opt for the epa dha omega 3 fatty acids. These acids have gained prominence in recent times due to their remedial actions on the human body. Those who are already suffering from various ailments can also resort to these fatty acids.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

What Is EPA, DHA And Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

EPA is the acronym for eicosapentaenoic acid while DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid. These are the fatty acids which are known as the Omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in plenty in the cold water fishes. The EPA and DHA contain 6 and 5 double bonds in the long structural chains due to which these fatty acids are made of unsaturated fats.

The EPA and DHA which are polyunsaturated fats are found to be very useful in the functioning of the human body.

The Functions Of EPA And DHA In The Human Body

The epa and dha work as vital nutrients and should be taken for the efficient functioning of the brain as well as retina. In the retina of the eye and the brain, dha omega 3 works as the tissue building blocks.

So consuming DHA is helpful for the healthy functioning of the retina. These fatty acids make neural transmitters like phosphatidylserine that is vital for the brain functioning.

In the human cardiovascular system, omega 3 epa dha gets converted into prostaglandins, which is a substance similar to the hormones. This substance helps in the cell activity and normal healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system.

Who Should Take Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplements?

Omega 3 epa dha is especially important during old age, infancy and for the development of the fetus. During the period of last trimesters of pregnancy, DHA in high concentration can be found in the brain that may be as high as 300 to 500% more than its concentration in the beginning of the pregnancy.

If we can add DHA supplements in the food of the pregnant mother, it will benefit in the development of a healthy fetus. In the elderly persons, lack of cognitive functions and mental focus is common, which may be due to less formation of EPA and DHA.

Proper dosages of epa dha supplement will help them prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s diseases, dementia, etc.  Healthy persons should also take omega 3 fatty acids supplements which act as an additional source of energy and an insulator for arresting the heat loss from the body.

It also nourishes the skin by preventing it from drying as well as flaking and finally works as a cushion for the tissues and the organs of the body. So the supplements of these fatty acids are beneficial for most people.

Importance of Omega 3 During Pregnancy

Natural Sources Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

After the detailed and scientific discussions regarding the beneficial effects of the omega 3 fatty acids along with sufficient facts and figures, the reader naturally would like to know the natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

This is quite justifiable because the natural sources are the safest for assimilation within the human body. The researchers point to the cold water fishes as the richest source of the omega 3 fatty acids.

The fatty fishes such as Tuna, salmon, Hoki and mackerel are the wonderful sources of these amazing nutrients which are said to protect the heart from the risks of cardiac diseases. These fatty acids are considered so important for the human body that doctors recommend consuming cold water fishes  2 to 3 times every week.


Your body need is about 600 mg to 800 mg of these fatty acids from the different sources of epa and dha fatty acids for the healthy functioning of your body.

But getting the full amount from the natural sources of cold water fishes poses the danger of inflicting detrimental effects due to the pollutants. In view of these practical difficulties, the nutritional experts are recommending to take the omega 3 fatty acid supplements along with your food.

In this way your body will be able to get the pure form of omega 3 fatty acid fish oil and take advantage of the many benefits of these essential fatty acids.

The Ratio Of EPA And DHA Is Important For Some Specific Ailments

Research has been conducted to find the benefits of the EPA and DHA individually on the remedial actions to some ailments. For the normal healthy persons taking fish oil having equivalent amounts of EPA and DHA, is quite ok.

But in some therapeutic conditions it is found that being similar in structure they tend to compete with each other at the bonding sites. At some conditions, the therapeutic actions of the fatty acid EPA are blocked due to the actions of the fatty acid DHA.

In order to ascertain the effects of taking the fatty acids individually many researchers have investigated the actions of these fatty acids in various health issues in which the deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids have been found to cause symptoms of the health issues.

It has been found that when EPA is given singly as the supplement, the effectiveness of the treatment is substantially enhanced. This has proved that with the absence of dha omega 3 supplements there was no competition between the two fatty acids, and the EPA could do its functions effectively showing the remission of the symptoms.

The ratio of EPA and DHA is important for some specific ailments

How The EPA Functions Singly?

The EPA can work in different ways in the human body. It acts as a catalyst for the production of many immune messengers, combining all such messengers it is named as eicosanoids.

The eicosanoids comprise of series-5 leukotrienes, series-3 thromboxanes and series-3 prostaglandins. All these messengers have a vital role in reducing inflammation.

The presence of “AA” in the human body is responsible for the production of inflammatory products. In the cell membranes, the EPA competes with the AA and thereby reduces the amount of AA in the cell membranes.

By reducing the amount of AA, the production of the inflammatory products is reduced and hence the symptoms show improvement. The enzyme cyclooxygenase is necessary for converting the AA into the inflammatory products.

The EPA attracts this enzyme away from the AA thus providing the impetus for the growth of the non-inflammatory products in lieu of the inflammatory products. In this way by cleverly utilizing the epa dha benefits we can get the beneficial effects of these fatty acids.

How the EPA functions singly?

The Benefits Of EPA And DHA At Various Stages Of Life

The roles played by epa and dha go on changing at different stages of life. In spite of the fact that EPA has shown to be beneficial for a number of health issues, it is not recommended for use singularly all throughout the life for everyone.

The DHA fatty acid is very important for the growth and development of the children. While in the womb the child depends heavily on the plentiful supply of DHA for the healthy growth of the brain, CNS and the retina of the eyes.

The pregnant women should take plenty of DHA fatty acid and continue taking the fatty acid till the child stops breastfeeding.

Children need DHA up to the age of 5 years after which the requirement of DHA reduces, and it is preferable to give EPA rich supplement. EPA supplements improve childhood performance level, focus as well as attention.

It also reduces the aggressive behavioral symptoms in children. Many inflammation related symptoms such as asthma, allergies and dry skin conditions can be improved by taking EPA rich supplements.

In the age group of 5 to 65 again the EPA supplement will be fruitful in maintaining good health condition. At a later period, if a person is affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease then dha omega 3 again becomes important.

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