DHA and EPA Benefits
DHA and EPA are acronyms for Docosahexaenoic acid and Eicosapentaenoic acid. They are both fish oil supplements. Our bodies do not produce these nutrients, so we need to consume them from other sources.
These fatty acids are necessary, from improving your internal health to having beautiful skin on the outside because of their many benefits. Read on to find out!
What are DHA and EPA, and why are they important?
DHA and EPA are omega 3 fatty acids found in many kinds of fish and shellfish. They are essential because they help fight against chronic diseases and improve our overall health.
These fatty acids are obtained from fatty fish, but the fish do not produce these nutrients. The fishes consume algae which are the source, and humans, in turn, consume the fishes.
These nutrients are required for healthy aging, weight management, and proper functioning of the heart.
DHA is the most abundant omega 3 fatty acids available.
What are the benefits of DHA and EPA?
Apart from just being an additional source of nutrients, DHA and EPA have many health benefits.
Reduced Risk of Heart Diseases:
One major cause of many diseases is inflammation due to unhealthy fats present in the body.
When you consume DHA and EPA regularly, they lower the amount of fat entering the blood. They prevent blood clots and inflammation. Thus, omega 3 fatty acids greatly reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Fights Eye Problems and Protects Vision:
Nutrients that support the vision are found in DHA and EPA. They help reduce pressure in the eyes by removing additional fluids.
You can reverse conditions such as dry eyes by adding these nutrients to your diet. These are fatty acids that keep your eyes healthy. They are also an important supplement to consume during pregnancy so that the baby can develop healthy eyes.
Improved Brain Function:
DHA and EPA help improve blood flow. They ease the stress on the brain during mental activities and positively affect memory.
Infants and children need enough omega 3 fatty acids for a healthy brain. Getting a sufficient amount of these omega acids in the first years of life also reduces the risks of many diseases.
Better Mental Health:
DHA and EPA help improve mental health and mood conditions. They bring down the number of mental illnesses such as depression, postpartum mood disorders, and other brain issues.
These fatty acids allow consumers to destress by increasing serotonin levels, resulting in a better mood.
These fats boost immunity by enhancing the function of immune cells. They fight against infectious diseases and are also a safe bet against COVID-19.
Provides Long-lasting Stamina:
DHA and EPA are stored as a source of energy, and your body uses the stored energy in the long run. As such, these fatty acids become an essential food choice for athletes.
DHA and EPA provide athletes with the stamina they need. They also help reduce muscle pain and stress events.
Better Functioning of The Nervous System:
Omega 3 fatty acids are necessary for the good performance of nerve cells in the body.
DHA and EPA are collectively responsible for improving the transmission of nerve signals in your body. They facilitate a good relationship between the brain and other body parts.
Improves Skin Elasticity and Prevents Aging:
The collagen present in these fatty acids helps in improving skin elasticity. They thus, prove to be an anti-aging agent because they influence skin health. DHA and EPA also help fight acne, resulting in clear and glowing skin.
Reduces Hair Loss and Facilitates Hair Regrowth:
DHA and EPA are both responsible for healthy hair growth. The oils in these nutrients strengthen and prevent hair loss. They also promote healthy hair regrowth by opening up the hair follicles.
Symptoms of DHA and EPA deficiency
People who do not consume seafood regularly or take supplements are at a higher risk of suffering from this deficiency.
If you are anxious about how DHA and EPA deficiency can affect your overall health, these symptoms will help you identify the cause.
- Eye diseases such as cataracts, dry eyes, and macular degeneration.
- Skin irritation and dryness.
- Deterioration in mental health.
- Joint pain.
- Hair loss or dryness.
Where can you get DHA and EPA?
The human body can only produce small amounts of DHA and EPA, so you must obtain the rest from your diet. This is why a healthy diet becomes essential. Both the fatty acids are only found in cold-water oily fish, so a diet with adequate seafood is recommended.
To get enough of these nutrients, you should consume fatty fish regularly; three servings is the minimum amount for a healthy diet.
Salmon, sardines, oysters are good sources of these omega 3 fatty acids. It is recommended that you consume these fatty acids with a meal containing fats to make absorption easier.
Dietary supplements are another way of including DHA and EPA in your diet. Fish oil supplements are a good option and can reduce inflammation and many harmful diseases.
Are supplements better than natural sources of DHA and EPA?
Supplements can in no way replace natural food. However, you must balance out your nutrition intake by considering the circumstances around you.
You can use supplements if high-quality natural sources aren’t available. Also, make use of such supplements if you have specific target nutrition. However, the best course you can take is to look for a natural source for healthier eating.
DHA and EPA are safe supplements for a healthy life, and including them in our diet will show promising results. It is hard to say no to such a necessary supplement that improves the eyes, brain, hair, and heart.
You now know which supplements you need to include in your diet. So, the next time you look for some, you won’t be confused about which to buy.
In addition to taking supplements regularly, it is also important that you include natural sources of DHA and EPA in your diet. Fatty fishes and oysters should now appear in your diet now and then.
Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil – Benefits, Uses & Side Effects
Two of the most popular sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are fish oil and krill oil. Commonly these oils are taken as supplements for the Omega 3 fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish oil is a little older and a lot more well-known. It continues to be a popular choice for many people who wish to take an Omega 3 supplement. However, there is a new kid on the block, Krill oil. And this new supplement boasts a lot of supposed benefits. How does it compare to the tried and true fish oil?
Continue reading to find out more about these two supplements.
Krill oil is the oil extracted from Euphausia Superba, also known as the Antarctic krill. The main components of krill oil are Omega 3 fatty acids and phospholipid fatty acids. Krill oil comes mainly in the form of capsules.
Krill oil supplements are thought to be beneficial for high cholesterol management and high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Besides this, krill oil supplements can also alleviate symptoms of dry eyes.
Krill oil can make our blood platelets less sticky and thus prevent them from forming clots.
As krill oil has both EPA and DHA fatty acids, it is great for several body functions.
Krill oil also contains a natural antioxidant called astaxanthin which gives it a reddish shade.
Benefits of Krill Oil
Although krill oil and fish oil contain similar fatty acids, the structure of the fatty acids in krill oil is a bit different.
As such, it is processed differently by the body. More particularly, the body is thought to absorb krill oil a little better. The fatty acids in krill oil are phospholipid derived, which is easily absorbed, making it more effective.
Studies show that even with a lower dose of krill oil, participants showed higher levels of EPA and DHA; despite the participants taking fish oil at a higher dose. However, the data still is not finalized, and experts require more findings.
Another study that explored the comparison between fish oil and krill oil showed similar findings. Although both supplements showed similar benefits, krill oil showed better LDL cholesterol management and triglycerides— bad cholesterol. Interestingly, participants took krill oil in lower doses.
Dosage, Side Effects, and Precautions of Krill Oil
Krill oil is safe to take at a limit of 3 grams per day and more intake can lead to thinning out of the blood. You may experience nausea, fishy burping, or, in some cases, diarrhea. Stop your taking it if you do experience severe symptoms.
There are not many studies on krill oil, so it is best avoided during pregnancy. Avoid administering to babies, and if your child experiences allergies to shellfish, it is best to avoid krill oil.
Avoid having krill oil pre and post-surgery as the blood-thinning effect may cause complications.
Krill oil also interacts with blood-clotting drugs and weight loss drugs. Contact your doctor if you are on any such medications.
Fish oil is derived from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, to name a few. And like krill oil, the main fatty acid components are EPA and DHA. Although sometimes confused with other omega 3 supplements like cod liver oil, they are not the same.
The FDA also considers high concentrations of fish oil as a prescription drug for lowering triglyceride levels. And although fish oil is available as a supplement, these supplements do not contain nearly the same concentrations as prescription fish oil.
The fatty acids in fish oil also help with mental health and heart health. It can also help with skin conditions like psoriasis and other conditions like dry eyes. And like krill oil, fish oil also helps prevent blood clotting.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil is well researched and shows many benefits and possible benefits. It is great for heart health, with research showing a decrease of up to 50% of triglyceride levels.
When taken orally at about 4 grams, prescription fish oil provides up to 3.5grams of omega 3 fatty acids. So it is beneficial for people who suffer from a deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids.
Other benefits of fish oil include helping cancer patients fight off weight gain. Experts believe that fish oil helps mental health and thus helps them stay active and fit.
Fish oil seems to help with recovery after postoperative procedures. Fish oil after organ transplants seems to help decrease the negative effects of cyclosporine on the kidney. Also, patients who took fish oil before an angioplasty did not see a reblocking of blood vessels.
Dosage, Side effects, and Precautions of Fish Oil
If you aren’t on a prescription, then fish oil is safe to take at a maximum of 3 grams per day. Never take more than the required amount, as it can cause your blood to thin out. You may experience nausea, fishy burps, heartburn, or even diarrhea.
Fish oil supplements should also not be given to babies, instead fed through tubes. For adolescents and children, a maximum intake of 2.2 grams is safe.
Fish oil is also safe to take during pregnancy. And it is also safe to be taken via an IV for about 1-4 weeks.
Fish oil, however, is shown to interact with birth control pills, blood pressure medication, and weight loss medication. Contact your doctor if you are on any such medication.
Which one should you take?
Krill oil, although having many claims, lacks sufficient evidence to back it. On the other hand, fish oil has been studied for years, even to the extent of now being used as a prescription drug.
Another advantage that fish oil provides is that it is cheap and very accessible. As a lot of people experience allergies to shellfish, making fish oil the better option as well.
However, if you do have the extra cash and don’t mind shelling out a little more for krill oil, it could benefit you. There is substantial evidence showing it is absorbed better and works well even at lower doses.
Krill oil should not be feared despite its lack of research. However, if you want a safer, cheaper option, fish oil is the one to go. Try them out and see which one fits you best. We hope you have more insight into these two Omega 3 supplements.