There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids. Knowing the difference between them could be important to your health, and your wallet!
The three types are: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and ALA (α-linolenic acid).
DHA and EPA
DHA and EPA omega-3′s are very similar and are usually grouped together because they are found in the same foods. These omega-3′s are marine-based and have the greatest health benefits. Some of the best sources of DHA and EPA omega-3′s include fish such as tuna, salmon, and trout. Fish oil supplements are another source. Currently, there are very few DHA/EPA omega-3 enhanced foods offered in grocery stores, and most omega-3 enhanced products contain ALA omega-3′s (described below). However, ALL Turke’s Omega-3 products are enriched with DHA and EPA omega-3′s to provide you with the greatest health benefits.
The other type of omega-3, ALA, is plant-based and does not have nearly the level of health benefits of EPA and DHA because your body has to actually convert it to EPA/DHA before it can be absorbed. The only problem is, your body only converts less than 20% of ALA omega-3′s you eat, according to most studies. Many consumer food products today use ALA from flaxseed (or flaxseed oil), and most poultry and dairy products that boast omega-3′s merely feed the animals flaxseed to increase the level of omega-3′s in the animals’ systems. These processes do not give nearly the same level of concentration or the same health benefits as eating foods rich in DHA or EPA omega-3′s.
Now that you know the different types of omega-3, what are the health benefits?