On his website, Dr. Joseph Mercola explains what most people don’t know about Omega-3 fats. Many people believe they’re all the same, but Mercola details the two types of Omega-3s people need most. He writes (abridged):
Omega-3 fats are an essential for your health, not just an option. Optimal amounts are important for the healthy function of neurotransmitters in your brain, memory, mental health, insulin levels, weight, heart and bones, and much more.*
- At least 60 percent of Americans are deficient in omega-3 fats
- An additional 20 percent of Americans have such low levels of omega-3s, test methods cannot detect any in their blood
- An alarming 77 percent of survey respondents don’t know that low levels of omega-3s can be harmful to their health
- Omega-3 deficiency has become the 6th greatest killer in the U.S., implicated in about 84,000 preventable deaths in just one year
- The typical American diet contains 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, creating a potentially dangerous imbalance
Sure, omega-6s are important too, but nearly no one ever suffers from an omega-6 deficiency! You get more than enough omega-6s when you eat processed foods and snacks, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, meat and dairy.
Many people think that all omega-3 fats are the same. They’re actually very different, especially when it comes to your body’s ability to use them.
Wild Alaskan salmon store DHA and EPA in their bodies from their natural diet.
Both plants and marine animals supply different types of omega-3 fats, but the most valuable for your body and brain are docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA.
Plant sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp provide alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. Marine sources like cold-water fish and their oils are the only significant sources of DHA and EPA.
Dr. Joseph Mercola.
Read more from Mercola here.
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