What if there was a single nutrient shown to support heart health, brain health and development, brain vascular health, blood sugar metabolism, eye health, immune health, joint health, and the health of all your cells? Omega 3’s from fish and fish oils are well-known, but many practitioners don’t realize the significance they carry in supporting health. The essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are integral components of each and every cell membrane in the human body, and when the balance is shifted toward an increased ratio of the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA), the body shifts to biochemical pathways that are less than desirable.
One of the primary challenges in maintaining the healthy cell membrane balance of omega-3 fatty acids is the copious amounts of omega-6 fatty acids-primarily arachidonic acid-that are consumed within the standard American/Western diet. The clinical approach must be two fold, with one portion focused on dietary reduction of AA intake, and the other in the increased intake of EPA and DHA through diet and supplementation.
Dietary modification should be the foundation of any plan, as it can address concerns around both reduction of AA intake , and increasing EPA and DHA intake. The Mediterranean diet is a great option to achieve this goal. This well-known diet reduces many of the foods that pack the Western diet full of AA. Additionally, incorporation of cold water fish is an excellent way to increase the dietary quantity of both EPA and DHA.
Recommendations found in the literature vary from 1-7 grams of EPA and DHA daily, but a quick Pubmed search of the literature will provide plentiful condition specific dosing information.