The omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are essential nutrients for all vertebrates including humans. They provide well established beneficial effects in a range of human pathologies including cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, and important roles in neural development and function, as Dr Doug Tocher explains in a piece he wrote for IFFO. It is recommended to get at least 500mg EPA+DHA per day. Pregnant and lactating women should get at least 700 mg per day of EPA+DHA, with at least 300 mg of that as DHA*.
Yet, 80% of people worldwide are not getting enough EPA and DHA omega-3s in their diets. On Global Omega-3 Day (3rd March), it is important to raise awareness on their benefits and the way to get them.
It’s easy to lump all omega-3s together: EPA, DHA and ALA, although they are not all equal. While EPA and DHA are found in oily fish like sardines, anchovies, salmon, the ALA is found in plant foods like walnuts, flax and chia seeds. The body is able to convert ALA to EPA and DHA, however the process is not very efficient. That’s why it’s important to get EPA and DHA directly from food sources or dietary supplements.
Fish oil is the natural source of EPA and DHA: up to one third of fish oil is EPA and DHA.
Through fish oil fed to farmed fish, and through fish oil contained in health supplements, humans benefit directly and indirectly from fishmeal and fish oil.
Take a look at our nutrition webpage to learn more and don’t forget to spread the word!
Want to know more: watch our short video featuring Dr Doug Tocher, and visit the alwaysomega3s.com website.
The IFFO March 2023 newsletter covers the following topics:
- Registrations are open for the Members' Meeting
- IFFO celebrates Global Omega-3 Day
- No such thing as waste
- MarinTrust welcomes new Fisheries Manager