Why fish oil as source of omega-3?


There are two different versions of omega-3: long-chain and short-chain. Long-chain omega-3, which include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have longer molecular chains. And this is a very important difference between omega-3 from fish oil (from fish, crustaceans and molluscs) and omega-3 from plants (canola, linseed, primrose, hempseed, etc.): land plants only contain short-chain omega-3 and none, or low levels of EPA and DHA. These are produced from a short precursor: the alpha-linolenic acid, but mammals cannot produce short-chain omega-3 on its own, and do not convert the short-chain to the long-chain versions efficiently. Long-chain omega-3 are widely recognized for their health benefits, but only limited evidence of health benefits is available for their main precursor, the alpha-linolenic acid (shorter than EPA and DHA).

However, both the long and the short-chain varieties are commonly referred to as omega-3 fatty acids, and it is difficult for consumers to recognize this difference.

As consumers concerned about our health, we must have into account this information when buying omega-3 supplements.




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