Essential Fatty Acids-DHA EPA ALA

What are Essen­tial Fatty Acids? 

Nutri­ents required for liv­ing cells to func­tion properly 

Too much Omega-6 intake is a key health issue in the US 

Need for Omega-3s is greater because of exces­sive Omega-6 in the diet 

Why are they Essential?

Omega-3 Ben­e­fits:

  • Heart health 
  • Joint health
  • Men­tal health
  • Immune health
  • Infant and child development

Key Ben­e­fits of Omega-3

  • Qual­ity of Life
  • Longevity

Research and devel­op­ment of Essen­tial Fatty Acids:

–Pure fish oil sup­ple­ments are safe
–1752–1784—First reports of using fish oil for human health were from Samuel Kay, MD, at the Man­ches­ter Infir­mary.  He observed that cod liver oil improved bone and joint health.
–In Nor­way, there was a shift towards less heart dis­ease and greater longevity when Nor­we­gians were forced to eat more fish and less meat and ani­mal fats dur­ing the 2nd World War. 
–Sci­en­tists noted that Inuit Eski­mos in Green­land had bet­ter heart health and greater longevity when com­pared to peo­ple in Den­mark, even though the Eski­mos ate a high fat diet. The Eski­mos were eat­ing an Omega-3 rich diet 

1971–First sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tion indi­cat­ing that 
Omega-3 from fish sup­ports heart health in the US.  It was deter­mined that:

  • Essen­tial Fatty Acids (EFAs) are polyun­sat­u­rated (liq­uid) fats iden­ti­fied as essen­tial to human health.  They are nutri­ents required for proper func­tion of all liv­ing cells.  
  • EFAs impact every bio­log­i­cal process in the body 
  • Fish oil sup­ple­ments are a rec­og­nized key ele­ment in improv­ing over­all human health
  • Omega-3s are crit­i­cal (essen­tial!) for good health 
  • In the body, Omega-3 fats are found in cell mem­branes.  Mem­branes are the “hous­ing,” the outer struc­ture, that encases what is inside the cell.  The health of cell mem­branes is vital for all liv­ing bio­log­i­cal processes—getting enough Omega-3 keeps cell mem­branes healthy and work­ing properly. 

With­out suf­fi­cient sup­ply of Omega-3 fats 

  • cells become less flexible—compromising cell func­tion­ing and over­all health 
  • cells become less permeable—impacting release of waste products

Why Omega­ge­net­ics EPA DHA by Meta­gen­ics. It is rec­om­mended to have approx­i­mately 1400 mg a day in Omega 3 fatty acids for bet­ter cir­cu­la­tion, heart health, and weight man­age­ment.  I rec­om­mend only eat­ing Salmon a max­i­mum of 2 times a week and the other days tak­ing the fish oil.  There are many lower qual­ity fish oils on the mar­ket but buy­ing a low qual­ity fish oil can be worse than tak­ing no fish oil in many cases because bad oil can be more harm­ful than no oil.

This is why I like Meta­gen­ics fish oil:  Its always fresh, they take the time to remove the heavy met­als, and then take their sci­en­tific exper­tise to put the oil back together in its orig­i­nal bio-accessible state.  There is a good Algae alter­na­tive–Omega­gen­ics EPA DHA 300 Algae if you are veg­e­tar­ian or vegan option but is a good option for those who do not want to con­sume ani­mal prod­uct and want some­thing much more effec­tive than the dif­fi­cult to process plant based flax seed or oil where the body has to con­vert the plant based omega 3’s into what the body can uti­lize.  you need large qual­i­ties to into the bio-available form.  Take this sup­ple­ment each day if you don’t eat Salmon or other food high in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Does ALA in flax seed and wal­nuts deliver the same ben­e­fits as EPA and DHA? The jury’s still out on that, note the researchers, who included James Friel, PhD, of Canada’s Uni­ver­sity of Man­i­toba. The opti­mal dose of ALA is also not known.

Flaxseed and Firefighters

Friel’s team stud­ied 62 male fire­fight­ers in the Cana­dian city of Winnipeg.

Why fire­fight­ers? The researchers explain that fire­fight­ers tend to have risk fac­tors for coro­nary heart dis­ease includ­ing high stress lev­els, high-fat diets, lit­tle exer­cise while in the fire hall, and being older than 40.

The researchers gave the fire­fight­ers flaxseed oil sup­ple­ments in var­i­ous doses, fish oil sup­ple­ments or a placebo to take daily for 12 weeks.

As expected, blood lev­els of EPA and DHA rose in the fish oil group, and ALA rose in the flaxseed oil group. EPA lev­els also rose in the flaxseed oil group, but only at the higher doses (2.4 to 3.6 grams per day). The researchers write that it’s “quite attain­able” to get that much ALA from foods with­out tak­ing supplements.

Since flaxseed oil doesn’t con­tain EPA, the fire­fight­ers’ bod­ies must have con­verted some of the ALA into EPA. That didn’t seem to hap­pen at the lower doses of flaxseed oil.

DHA was a dif­fer­ent story. The flaxseed oil group didn’t get any increase in DHA lev­els; DHA only rose in the fish oil group.

More details on the ben­e­fits of Essen­tial Fatty Acids

  • EFAs were given the name “essen­tial” when researchers dis­cov­ered their impor­tance for nor­mal growth and devel­op­ment in young children
  • The body man­u­fac­tures most of the fats we need, includ­ing cho­les­terol, sat­u­rated, and unsat­u­rated fats
  • It can­not man­u­fac­ture fats that are long car­bon chains
    • Essen­tial fats are long car­bon chains (18 carbons +)
    • Essen­tial fats must be con­sumed in the diet or puri­fied supplements
    • National sur­veys show that Amer­i­cans greatly under con­sume essen­tial fats, and it’s affect­ing our health


  • EPA and DHA are found pri­mar­ily in oily cold-water fish such as her­ring, tuna, sar­dines, anchovies, salmon, and cod (Fish form)
  • ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found pri­mar­ily in flaxseed oils, cer­tain veg­etable oils, and some green leafy veg­eta­bles (Plant form)


  • Linoleic acid is found pri­mar­ily in seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes, and is heav­ily present in our diet as veg­etable oils (e.g. corn oil) and seed oils (e.g. sun­flower oil)
  • un fact: Eicosanoids “direct traf­fic” in cell walls

    An imbal­ance of too much Omega-6 (linoleic acid) forms a type of eicosanoid that pro­motes unhealthy con­di­tions, such as:

  • Heart con­di­tions
  • Inflex­i­ble joints and redness
  • Swelling
  • Poor mem­ory, unclear thinking
  • Com­pro­mised lung function
  • Acute immune conditions
  • Men­strual cramps
  • Incon­sis­tent mood and behaviors

Con­sum­ing enough Omega-3 allows the body to

  • Receive the nutri­tional ben­e­fits from a fat essen­tial for human health
  • Bal­ance the high intake of Omega-6 by pro­duc­ing ben­e­fi­cial eicosanoids that calm tissues

2 great ben­e­fits that can only be achieved by con­sum­ing EPA and DHA Omega-3 

When both Omega-3 and Omega-6 are in cells, they com­pete to pro­duce eicosanoids.
If a per­son has eaten Omega-3 and it is in the cell, Omega-3 will be favored because the enzymes that help make eicosanoids pre­fer to act on Omega-3; that’s nature’s design.

  • Con­sum­ing enough Omega-3 will slow down the pro­duc­tion of Omega-6 eicosanoids
  • Con­sum­ing too lit­tle Omega-3 allows for the abun­dant pro­duc­tion of Omega-6 eicosanoids with­out any “check and bal­ance,” and this leads to swelling, inflex­i­bil­ity,
    and com­pro­mised tis­sue functioning
  • With this imbal­ance, the pro­gres­sion of adverse health sit­u­a­tions begin, start­ing with unpleas­ant symp­toms, loss of vital­ity, then the onset of health con­di­tions, aging…

EPA and DHA occur together in foods, they work together in the body, they help bal­ance effects of high Omega-6 in the diet, and they con­tribute unique benefits

EPA (eicos­apen­taenoic acid) 

  • Heart
  • Sup­ports proper lev­els of blood fats
  • Main­tains healthy blood vessels
  • Pro­motes fit heart func­tion with aging
  • Joints
  • Sup­ports joint flexibility
  • Reduces swelling
  • Immune
  • Pro­motes healthy cell functioning
  • Strength­ens immune response
  • Fit­ness
  • Sup­ports healthy metabolism

DHA (docosa­hexaenoic acid)

  • Brain
  • Improves mood
  • Sup­ports healthy ner­vous system
  • Enhances mem­ory, clear thinking
  • Eyes
  • Essen­tial for good eye health
  • Slows decline of vision
  • Mother and Child
  • Essen­tial for infant brain and vision
  • Pro­motes healthy delivery

GLA (Gama­lineic Acid) omega 6 is found in bor­age, black cur­rant, and evening prim­rose oil

  • Cel­lu­lar health
  • Pro­motes smooth skin
  • Dimin­ishes skin blemishes
  • Reduces symp­toms of PMS 
  • Immune
  • Sup­ports healthy immune sys­tem functioning
  • GLA and fish oil work well together
  • Research sug­gests this blend sup­ports proper child devel­op­ment, includ­ing lan­guage, learn­ing, focus, and behavior

Inter­na­tion­ally Agreed Upon Recommendations

    • Infants (1–18 months)     32 mg EPA + DHA per pound body weight
    • Chil­dren (1.5–15) 15 mg EPA + DHA per pound body weight
    • Adults (15 years and older)   Min­i­mum 650 mg EPA + DHA per day
    • Breast­feed­ing women  Min­i­mum 300 mg DHA per day
    • For heart health sup­port   1 gram EPA + DHA per day
    • Indi­vid­u­als with high blood lipids   2–4 grams EPA + DHA per day
  • Large doses of cod liver oil for­ti­fied with high amounts of syn­thetic vit­a­min A may pro­vide too much vit­a­min A
  • There’s a risk for met­als and other impu­ri­ties in non-purified fish oil supplements
  • Fish oil sup­ple­ments are gen­er­ally more pure, have less impu­ri­ties then most fish, reported by con­sumer groups and researchers
  • If you take med­ica­tions for blood thin­ning, con­sult with your doc­tor before tak­ing Omega-3 supplements
  • Like with most sup­ple­ments, it’s often rec­om­mended to stop tak­ing Omega-3s before surg­eries, always con­sult with your doctor
  • Research shows that pure fish oil sup­ple­ments are over­all very safe

Heart Health

  • Improves heart health
  • Pro­motes healthy lev­els of vital fats in the blood
  • Sup­ports proper blood flow
  • Main­tains healthy blood vessels
  • Improves over­all heart function
  • Reduces effects of aging
  • Enhances longevity and vitality
  • Fit and youth­ful living

Pro­motes Healthy Joints

  • Improves joint flexibility
  • Reduces stiff­ness, swelling, tenderness
  • Improves range of motion
  • Lessens fatigue
  • Sup­ports symptom-free exercise
  • Sup­ports Men­tal Health
  • Improves dis­po­si­tion, focus, and behavior
  • Reduces mood swings, highs and lows
  • Lessens feel­ings of anger and loneliness
  • Sup­ports clear think­ing, memory
  • Omega-3 is essen­tial for proper brain functioning
  • Brain cell walls are made of fat; 30% of this fat is Omega-3 DHA
  • Brain cells with enough Omega-3 are bet­ter able to respond to mood-related brain sig­nals, keep brain traf­fic pat­terns efficient

The best defense for health­ful liv­ing is a strong immune system

  • Immune health
  • Impor­tant for vital immune function
  • Pro­motes vital­ity of all cells
  • By bal­anc­ing the impact of too much
    Omega-6, helps reduce con­di­tions
    asso­ci­ated with too much Omega-6
  • Sea­sonal and Acute Conditions
  • Lessens sea­sonal symptoms
  • Sup­ports strong immune response
  • Omega-3 is essen­tial for nor­mal devel­op­ment of brain, vision,
    and immune and ner­vous sys­tems in infants and children
  • Specif­i­cally, infants require DHA for nor­mal development
  • Omega-3 intake for mom pro­motes healthy delivery
  • Omega-3 dur­ing infancy sup­ports bet­ter health in adulthood
  • Chil­dren of moms who took cod liver oil dur­ing preg­nancy have
    tested higher on intel­li­gence tests
  • Omega-3 with GLA improves focus and behav­ior in children
    • Research shows that chil­dren with focus and behav­ior issues
      tend to have low lev­els of Omega-3 com­pared to other chil­dren 
    • Exclu­sive Raw Material
  • Cod liver oil: Only 100% Arc­tic Cod from North­ern Nor­we­gian waters
  • Fish oil: Only anchovies and sardines—low on the food chain
  • 100% Nat­ural Triglyc­eride Form of fish oil
  • Triglyc­eride oil is the form of fat:
    • Nat­u­rally found in food, in fish, and the human body
    • That our bod­ies are designed to effi­ciently digest
    • Nat­u­rally stabilized
  • In con­trast, ethyl esters, result­ing from many meth­ods of extrac­tion, are not found any­where in nature.  These “free fatty acids” rep­re­sent the major­ity of fish oil con­cen­trates on the market.

This is for infor­ma­tional pur­poses only and is not to be con­sid­ered a diag­nos­tic, treat­ment or cure any dis­ease.  Please con­sult your doc­tor if you have any questions.

I am also avail­able for nutri­tional con­sul­ta­tions by email­ing me at  Go to for addi­tional services.

To pur­chase one of the most high qual­ity fish oils for the money go to to pur­chase Omega­ge­net­ics DHA EPA 300 fish oil.  Vegan option avail­able cre­ated with Algae.  To make a pur­chase and to save use prac­ti­tioner code: Evo­lu­tion Well­ness.  Please con­tact me at for a free phone prod­uct con­sul­ta­tion.  There is also a free 5–10 minute well­ness assess­ment at the bot­tom of my page at Evo­lu­tion Well­ness & Nutri­tion Page with Metagenics.


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