EPA and DHA Omega-3s for heart and brain health: The evidence speaks for itself
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the key omega-3 fatty acids found in marine oils. The health benefits of EPA and DHA are widely recognised by scientists and regulatory bodies around the world, including authorized health claims issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for heart, brain and visual health. In recent years, intake recommendations for EPA and DHA for health maintenance have risen sharply, whilst actual intake has only risen modestly. Sadly, most of the world’s population is in a state of insufficiency.
Decades of research have uncovered many health benefits of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are both essential building blocks for tissue structures and important biological mediators in health and disease, which is why health advocacy groups around the globe recommend eating foods rich in EPA and DHA as part of an overall healthy eating pattern. While people should eat fatty fish at least twice a week to get adequate amounts of EPA and DHA to support a healthy heart and brain, the reality is that the typical diet is far from ideal, with people consuming a fraction of what is needed. Health professionals should continue to advocate for increased fatty fish consumption, but for those individuals who will not or cannot comply, recommending a high-quality omega-3 supplement to support a healthy heart and brain makes good sense.
Thousands of research studies support the cardioprotective benefits of EPA and DHA. Higher intakes or blood levels of these fatty acids are associated with reduced risk of mortality from corona ...