What are EPA and DHA omega-3s?
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that plays an important role in cardiovascular health. Increasing scientific evidence shows that EPA also plays a role in overall immune health and inflammation balancing (1-4).
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that accounts for approximately 97 percent of the omega-3 fats in the brain and 93 percent of the omega-3 fats in the retina of the eye. It is also a key component of the heart.
Just as calcium is essential for building strong bones, EPA and DHA ensure that the cells in the brain, retina, heart and other parts of the nervous system develop and function properly. In order to ensure optimal development and function, the body must continuously replenish EPA and DHA in the diet every day, as the body utilizes these important fats continually to maintain health. Sources of EPA and DHA include algae, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and trout; as well as dietary supplements, foods and beverages fortified with EPA and DHA.
Health Benefits of EPA and DHA Omega-3s
A number of systematic reviews and meta-analysis have shown that the EPA and DHA omega-3s are beneficial for heart health in a number of ways by (7-11):
- Reducing blood pressure
- Reducing heart rate
- Reducing the risk of CVD, particularly in those with high triglycerides and high LDL cholesterol
- Reducing cardiac death
- Reducing postoperative atrial fibrillation and length of hospital stay after heart surgery
What is life’s™OMEGA?
life’s™OMEGA goes directly to the source – algae – to deliver vegetarian EPA and DHA omega-3 to support overall health throughout the lifespan. The vegetarian equivalent to fish oil, life’s™OMEGA is the first plant-based EPA and DHA combined product that gives consumers an alternative to traditional fish oils.
Science Supporting life’s™OMEGA
Several studies have demonstrated that vegetarians and vegans have much lower concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA compared to those who eat fish. In a study published in Clinical Nutrition, vegans who had an omega-3 index of 4.0 percent or below were given life’s™OMEGA (172 mg DHA and 82 mg EPA per day) for 4 months (5). Participants in the study responded strongly to the algal omega-3 supplement, which resulted in elevated omega-3 blood levels to a healthier range.
In another study, 93 adults with high triglyceride levels were given 2.4 grams a day of life’s™OMEGA, fish oil or a placebo. Researchers found that the group taking life’s™OMEGA showed a significant 19 percent decrease in triglyceride levels as well as increases in healthy HDL cholesterol, concluding that life’s™OMEGA is well tolerated and normalizes cardiovascular lipid biomarkers in the same way standard fish oils perform, but without the fishy burps (6).
1. Gioxari, A.; Kaliora, A.C.; Marantidou, F., Panagiotakos, D.P. Intake of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition. 2018 Jan;45:114-124.e4.
2. Calder, P.C. Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Biochem Soc Trans. 2017 Oct 15;45(5):1105-1115.
3. Fraga, V.G.; carvalho, M.D.G.; Caramelli, P.; de Sousa, L.P.; Gomes, K.B. Resolution of inflammation, n-3 fatty acid supplementation and Alzheimer disease: A narrative review. J Neuroimmunol. 2017 Sep 15;310:111-119.
4. Yu, J.; Liu, L.; Zhang, Y.; Wei, J.; Yang, F. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on patients undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal malignancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cancer. 2017 Apr 14;17(1):271.
5. B Sarter, KS Kelsey, TA Schwartz , WS Harris. Blood docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in vegans: Associations with age and gender and effects of an algal-derived omega-3 fatty acid supplement Clin Nutr. 2015 Apr;34(2):212-8.
6. Maki KC, Yurko-Mauro K, Dicklin MR, et al. A new, microalgal DHA- and EPA-containing oil lowers triacylglycerols in adults with mild-to-moderate hypertriglyceridemia. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2014 Oct;91(4):141-8.
7. Am J Hypertens. 2014 Jul;27(7):885-96
8. Clinical Nutrition 2017;36:737-746
9. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2017) doi:10.1038/s41430-017-0052-3
10. J Clin Lipidol. 2017 Sep - Oct;11(5):1152-1160
11. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017 Jan;92(1):15-29