It's unbelievable how much misinformation is out there when it comes to omega 3 fats. There are so many different products based on them, each one claiming to be the best one, its difficult for the average consumer to pick the best one out of them. Let's see now how we can make this process simpler.
There are four main omega 3 fats you should be aware of – DHA (Docosahexanoic Acid), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), DPA (Docosapentaenoic Acid) and ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid).
DHA, EPA and DPA – these are all animal fats and are mainly derived from fish sources. ALA is a plant based fat and is extracted from Flax seed oil.
Out of all these fats, DHA and EPA are the best and the most beneficial ones. They are responsible for the numerous health benefits that fish oil is associated with – Cancer prevention, protection against heart diseases, arthritis relief, brain development, and even protection against AMD – all these are the health gains you can get by taking these two fats.
DPA plays a supporting role to these two fats and is required in lower quantities in the body.
ALA is taken more as an alternative to DHA and EPA by those who are pure vegetarians and can not take fish oil. Keep in mind though, ALA is actually converted inside our body into DHA and EPA only. This process requires some specific enzymes which may not be present in everyone. It's also an inefficient process with a success rate of only 5% to 25%.
So it's much better to directly take DHA and EPA instead.
Now, one way to get these beneficial fats is to make fish a staple part of your diet. While good in theory, this is a bit difficult to implement.
Unless you are a fish lover, eating it day in and day out may quickly become tiresome. Not to mention the contaminants the fish may contain that it would have ingested from the polluted ocean waters.
A simple way around this is to take a fish oil supplement rich in omega 3 fats. Taking just a couple of pills daily would give you all the DHA and EPA your body needs without needing to eat copious amounts of fish.
A good supplement will contain highly refined oil purified by techniques like Molecular Distillation which removes all impurities from the oil. You can take such purified oil without worrying about any contaminants.
So there you have it. All the information you need to make these beneficial omega 3 fats a part of your health regimen.