Omega 3 Overview

What Is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid.

What does EPA stand for? EPA is the abbreviated form for eicosapentaenoic acid, one of the 3 types of omega-3.

There Are 3 Types Of Omega-3

  • ALA - alpha linolenic acid
  • EPA - eicosapentaenoic acid
  • DHA - docosahexaenoic acid

There is some hierarchical order to these types of omega-3.

ALA can be thought of as the initial building block of the omega 3's. Within the body ALA can be converted into EPA, and to a lesser degree DHA.

For example, studies show that once consumed, between 0.2% to 21% of ALA may be converted into EPA, and up to 9% of ALA is converted into DHA [3].

Not all omega-3's sourced from the diet are ALA. For example, fish , a potentially rich dietary source of omega-3 can contain high levels of EPA and DHA.

Is Omega-3 Good For You?

A well known benefit of omega-3 is that when taken direct from food or from supplements, it can help prevent or reduce further complications associated with both coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Other omega-3 benefits which may require more evidence, include cognition and concentration enhancement, joint maintenance and blood pressure reduction.

Any side effects of omega 3 are usually mild provided the omega 3 recommended dose is taken.

Omega-3 Structural Formation

Structurally, omega-3 fatty acids are a carboxylic acid with a long chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms in formation.