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September, 2012 Issue

Fishing for Omega-3 Supplements from Marine Algae

Omega-3 supplements of the long chain fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) are routinely recommended for their overall health benefits. They are important for heart-health, optimal brain development and function, and lowering inflammation linked with chronic disease. Because Americans typically consume only a third of the recommended 250 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA, taking an omega-3 supplement is probably a good idea. Although our bodies can convert the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in foods such as flax or walnuts, into EPA and DHA, the conversion rate is low. So we must rely on fish or fish oil as our primary source to get adequate amounts.

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