DHA is Needed More Than EPA, WHY?

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Posted by Dr Janine Bowring

December 17, 2020

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Humans tend to be severely deficient in DHA, as compared to EPA. This is why I recommend supplementation with more DHA as opposed to EPA. The VitaFish Oil from VitaTree Nutritionals contains a 40:10 ratio of DHA to EPA, yielding 400 mg of DHA per day.

DHA is Needed More Than EPA, WHY?

Eicosopentanoic acid (EPA) and decosahexanoic acid (DHA) are omega 3 fats found in cold water fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines. Humans tend to be severely deficient in DHA, as compared to EPA. This is why I recommend supplementation with more DHA as opposed to EPA. This is the important brain omega 3 fat necessary for cognition and brain function. DHA also concentrates at the back of the eye in the retina and is responsible for proper vision and the production of ocular melatonin. Ocular melatonin allows for the melatonin secretion to happen in the pineal gland at night, fire appropriately. It is important that DHA is supplied either in seafood or is supplemented everyday, as our brain uses its stores daily. DHA is a 22 carbon chain, with 6 double bonds, whereas EPA has 20 carbons and 5 double bonds. The body can easily convert DHA to EPA if required because it can easily lose 2 carbons to become EPA, however the EPA has difficulty converting to DHA by adding 2 carbons. This is why I think we all need to be supplementing with more DHA than EPA daily. DHA is concentrated in fast twitch muscles, like the heart, eyes and fast twitch skeletal muscles. Athletes, like sprinters who use fast twitch muscles, need to replenish more DHA than a sedentary person. It is interesting to note that hummingbirds have a high amount of DHA in their wings, and rattlesnakes in their rattle, as composed to their bodies. DHA also has been proven to be higher in individuals with faster metabolisms, and is one of the reasons I recommend getting sufficient DHA about an hour before exercise, to improve metabolism and feed the muscles with the DHA they require. As we evolved as humans further away from the equator, our need for DHA increased. So those of you who live at larger latitudes, need more DHA by evolutionary design, to make up for the lack of energy gained from the environment, namely the sun’s rays. Take care of your good health, and do it naturally.

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