EPA and DHA are the two essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Where do you naturally find them? Fish, to a lesser degree algae, and the brains of land animals.
- If you don’t get omega-3 fatty acids, you get very ill.
- It might show up as cardiovascular disease or accelerated dementia or and
increased risk for autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis.
The average North American is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids because we eat foods that have been laden with processed oils, not the essential omega-3 fatty acids.
• Linolenic acid (not to be confused linoleic acid) is biochemically an omega-3 fatty acid,
meaning it has a similar double-bond structure to EPA DHA, but it doesn’t have the
Linolenic acid – obtained from foods like chia, flax seed and meats – does not have
the same kind of benefits as EPA and DHA.
- A little bit of linolenic acid can be converted to DHA and thereby EPA, but not
enough to make a big difference.
- There’s nothing wrong with linolenic acid, but you can’t rely on it as a source for
EPA and DHA.