Fact: Not all omega-3s are created equal
There are three main omega-3s – EPA, DHA and ALA. EPA and DHA are the primary omega-3s you need to support heart health and can be found in fatty fish and omega-3 supplements.
Differences between EPA, DHA and ALA
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is a true “essential” omega-3 because our bodies can’t make it on its own. We need to get ALA from our diet by consuming ALA-rich foods like flax and chia seeds. ALA is a precursor to EPA and DHA, but the conversion rate in our bodies is extremely low – often less than 1 percent of ALA is converted to EPA and DHA.
The long-chain omega-3s EPA and DHA are known for supporting heart, brain and eye health at all stages of life. In fact, our heart, brain and eyes contain the highest omega-3 content compared to other parts of the human body.
The human body does not produce significant amounts of EPA or DHA on its own, so you must get these important nutrients from the foods you eat and the supplements you consume. If you’re looking to get the heart health benefits of omega-3s, go straight to the source of EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are naturally found in marine sources, including fatty fish – salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring – shellfish, and marine algae.