Is one better than the other?


When most people think of omega-3s, they automatically think of EPA and DHA, which are found in fish, such as anchovies, salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines and more. other seafood. “However, fish are not the primary producers of EPA and DHA. Like us, fish must get them from their food,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D., MPH, RD, Senior Dietitian at RR-UCLA Medical Center and author of Survival Recipe: What You Can Do To Live A Healthier, More Eco-Friendly Life. “The main producers are actually algae, which produce plant-based omega-3 DHA; some also manufacture EPA. The algae are then eaten by plankton and smaller fish, which are then eaten by larger fish, so the amount of omega-3s builds up as you move up the food chain.

Why are these omega-3s important? Mbg director of scientific affairs, Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, shares these insights: “In addition to imparting fluidity to our cell membranes, which has major implications for everything from normal cell signaling to the fight against oxidative stress, through gene expression. these marine omega-3s offer an array of health benefits. “*

And other dieticians agree. “EPA has anti-inflammatory properties and supports cardiovascular health, especially healthy triglyceride levels and blood pressure,” * says nutritionist Keri Gans, RD, author of The small change regime. Research also suggests that the EPA is the Omega-3s to promote a balanced mood, although both are certainly involved, and DHA is known to be highly concentrated in the brain (when consumed!). *

“DHA also has anti-inflammatory properties and is associated with heart health, but it is also known to aid brain development during pregnancy and infancy,” adds Gans. It’s also a staple for eye development and function, and you’ll find it particularly concentrated in the retina. *

The United States Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that healthy adults consume at least two servings of fish per week, which is roughly 250 to 500 milligrams of EPA and DHA per day. However, most of us don’t get much — and, according to Harris, that probably wouldn’t be enough even if we did. do. “Typical intakes of EPA and DHA in the United States (a country with low consumption of fish) are around 100 to 150 milligrams per day on average,” he says.

And honestly, Harris is generous because nationally representative data indicates that Americans’ average EPA and DHA intake is only 86 milligrams per day.

“In a country like Japan or Korea, where fish are eaten almost every day, intakes are between 750 and 1,000 milligrams. [and up] per day. The latter is much better than the former in terms of health, ”says Harris. And the AHA agrees with him. As Ferira explains, “Hundreds of research studies, including epidemiologic and interventional clinical trials, have led AHA’s cardiology experts to recommend 1,000 milligrams (i.e. 1 gram) and more EPA and DHA per day for increased support of cardioprotective health. It’s a dose-response relationship. Following is more in this case. “*

She goes on to say that two servings of fish are your baseline. “The recommendation of two servings of fish per week (500 mg EPA + DHA per day) is like the starting point or minimum for the general population, but in reality these are the highest levels like 1 gram and plus those marine omega-3s that deliver significant heart health and other benefits for the whole body throughout life. “*

Since we can technically producing EPA and DHA from ALA – more on this shortly – there is no official daily requirement issued by national organizations for these two omegas; although many health experts believe there should be. This pair of marine omega-3s is certainly “conditionally essential”.

Ferira concludes: “whether they are ‘essential’ or ‘conditionally essential’, they are only semantics created by humans. -3s have all the ingredients of a essential nutrient. I am not anti-ALA. I am an ALA, EPA and DHA pro! “

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