How educated are you on omega-3 fatty acids? Chances are, you only know about two-thirds of the story. And if your fish oil supplement is lacking the other third, you’re missing out on some huge benefits.
Most people by now are familiar with omega-3 fats and their health benefits. These essential fats have been found in research studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancers. They’ve also shown an ability to elevate mood and boost brain function as well as enhance muscle growth, fat loss and athletic performance.
You may even know the two main omega-3 fats by their names, or at least their initials – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). What you probably didn’t know is that there’s a third critical omega-3 fat: docosapentaenoic acid (DPA).
Science is uncovering the specific benefits that each of these three essential fats provide. For example, DHA appears to be the most critical for enhancing muscle growth; EPA may be most important for the brain- and mood-boosting benefits of omega-3 fats; and now, it appears that DPA may be the one most important for reducing inflammation in the body and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In other words, it’s not enough to just get adequate amounts of DHA and EPA. You need sufficient doses of all three major omega-3 fats, DPA included.
Although scientists have been well aware of DPA for some time, no one could confirm its major role. Now, new research is uncovering just how important this third omega-3 fat is.
DPA is an elongated form of EPA. The latest science suggests that it plays an important role in reducing inflammation in the body, as well as improving cardiovascular health and even brain function. One European study found that DPA intake plays a far more significant role in lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in men, and therefore lowering the risk of heart disease, than do DHA or EPA.
DPA also appears to have a more direct role in blocking the production of cyclooxygenase, an enzyme that produces the prostaglandin hormones that spark inflammation. Earlier research had shown that EPA (‘E,’ not ‘D’) helps to control inflammation. But new data from the University of San Diego now shows that, in the body, EPA must first be elongated to DPA to take action and blunt inflammation.
Although some of the EPA you consume will be converted into DPA, the conversion can be inhibited by many factors. Plus, research shows that even in optimal conditions, a good amount of EPA is lost during the conversion to DPA. This means the only way to ensure you’re getting an adequate dose of DPA is to supplement with it.
The fish oil you choose should not only provide DPA, but a sufficient dose of it. At this time, it appears 200mg-300mg of DPA per day is adequate. Just one problem: Very few fish oil/omega-3 supplements will tell you if they contain DPA, let alone specify how much of this important omega-3 fat is in the product.
But that all changes with my Omega JYM fish oil supplement. Omega JYM provides 75mg of DPA per capsule, which means the prescribed four-capsule daily serving of Omega JYM delivers 300mg of DPA in addition to 1,500 mg of DHA and 1,500 mg of EPA. No other fish oil product delivers that much of all three critical omega-3 fats in one dose.