EPA and DHA are the two types of omega 3 fatty acids which are among the most important and beneficial elements found in the fish oil. As omega 3 is not formed naturally in the human body, intake of fish oil supplements can benefit our body in many ways. Let’s discuss the benefits and side effects of this essential fatty acids in the following write-up.
Fish oil is recommended for many health conditions. It is high in omega 3 fatty acids which in turn is rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are the essential fatty acids which cannot be generated by the body. Hence they should be taken through a healthy diet. Some vegetables also carry a considerable amount of omega 3 fatty acids but fish oil is richer than all. Hence EPA DHA fish oil is the most widely used supplements to fulfill the requirement of the body. Well, let’s go further and find out the composition, health benefits and side effects of EPA and DHA fish oil.
What is EPA DHA Fish Oil?
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the two types of omega 3 fatty acids which are found in the cold water fish. These fatty acids are very helpful in the proper functioning of the body. They consist of a long chain of carbon atoms with some double bonds. The EPA molecule has 20 carbon atoms and 5 double bonds which is denoted as 20:5n-3. Whereas DHA molecule consists of 22 carbon atom with 5 double bond and denoted as 22:5n-3. The human body is unable to synthesis n-3 fatty acids hence it is necessary to take these fatty acids from external sources.
Both of these components are present in the cold water fish in large amounts. The fish which have the higher amount of omega 3 fatty acids are salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, tuna and anchovies. Amongst these, you can get highest EPA DHA content in salmon and tuna. Intake of these fish will definitely increase the level of omega 3 fatty acids in the body but EPA DHA fish oil supplements are considered to be more effective than the intake of fish. They are effective and help in curing many health conditions.
After getting an idea of the unsaturated fatty acids let’s look forwards to their benefits. There are a number of EPA DHA benefits, following are some of them.
- Fish oil rich in EPA and DHA is very good for cardiovascular diseases. They causes thinning of blood which in turn reduces the blood pressure problems and prevent heart attacks. It also reduces the chances of clogged arteries.
- Fish oil is considered good for the proper functioning of brain. It is recommended by many doctors and is very helpful for pregnant women and breast feeding mothers. Required amount of EPA and DHA is necessary for mental stability in children and adults.
- Omega 3 essential fatty acid play a very important role in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The anti-inflammatory property of the fish oil helps in relieving pain, tenderness and stiffness of joints.
- Studies show that EPA and DHA are helpful in reducing and preventing the tumors. Although it cannot cure the disease completely but can just reduce the effect. It also helps in regaining the muscles and appetite in the cancer patient.
- Skin benefit is also a very important part of omega 3 fish oil benefits. It repairs the damage done to the skin from the overexposure of sun or UV rays.
Excess intake of fish oil may sometimes show some side effects. Some people may even be allergic to the fish oil and hence may suffer from the side effects. Following are some of the side effects.
- The fish oil behave as a blood thinner. So the people who are already taking medication for thinning blood should not take fish oil supplements.
- Blood thinning may also cause difficulty in blood clotting which may further take you to excess blood loss at the time of injuries.
- Many people are allergic towards the fish oil. If you are allergic to few fish then it is better not to take fish oil.
- Overdose of fish oil may cause vitamin toxicity. Hence, it is recommended to take fish oil vitamins only in case of vitamin D deficiency.
- Low blood pressure, stinky mouth and nose bleeding are some of the other side effects.
Always consult your doctor before taking EPA DHA supplements. Never take excess dose of this essential fatty acid as it can cause you many health complications.