Some studies have suggested that the more eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) one consumes, the less likely one is to suffer from cardiovascular disease and death.
Many intervention trials have indicated that higher intakes of both EPA and DHA positively enhance one’s health in a myriad of ways, including lowering blood platelet reactivity, lowering blood viscosity, lower bad cholesterol, among additional effects not routinely measured in the public health care system. Some of these include a favorable influence of DHA/EPA on postprandial lipemia (blood fat surges after meals caused by carbohydrates), arterial compliance, heart rate variability, lowering of the resting heart rate, and antiarrhythmic effects.
Increasing intakes of DHA/EPA to approximately 4 to 5 fatty fish dishes per week would greatly benefit the public health. The current intake of these healthy fats (mostly found in fish) is about 130 to 150 mg per day, about one-fifth of what is targeted for overall heart health. Due to this, the American Heart Association has now recommended 2 fish servings per week for healthy individuals would provide approximately 250 to 300 mg of DHA/EPA necessary for heart health.
A study from GISSI-Prevenzione has reported that a regular Mediterranean style diet with fish could reduce sudden cardiac death by about 45 percent in patients that have experienced myocardial infarction, whereas Vitamin E supplementation had no effect. Fish oil supplements may be taken as a replacement for fish to experience benefits from DHA/EPA.
Population studies have determined that those who lack sufficient levels of DHA/EPA in their blood lipids are at a far greater chance of developing the coronary disease than other people.
A recent review of several studies indicates that eating fish as a source of DHA/EPA has an inverse correlation to ischemic stroke. Those who consume 5 or more servings of fish per week had a 31 percent overall reduction relative to those who eat fish less than once per month. It is recognized that there may be other benefits in fish than DHA/EPA that may offer benefits independent of or synergistic to DHA/EPA.
Despite continual recommendations for Americans to eat more fish from both governmental and nonprofit health agencies, North Americans consume only 1 serving of fish every 7 to 10 days due to inconvenience and concerns regarding environmental contamination and taste. Because of this reality, it is becoming ever-more important for Americans to consume DHA/EPA from non-fish sources like cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurts, bread, and cereals.
A new marketplace for DHA and EPA-enriched foods is opening up to close the nutrition gap created by American distaste for fish, and to ensure that Americans attain greater cardio health and ways to prevent disease. Supplements such as Kyani Sunset contains 500mg of Omega 3 (EPA 32%, DHA 13%). These supplements make it more feasible for Americans to increase their intake of EPA and DHA.
The American trend for consuming vital fatty acids such as DHA/EPA is not promising, but utilizing supplements, looking for DHA and EPA-enriched foods, and eating fish can help remedy the trend. Above all, DHA and EPA have proven their health benefits several times over through study and observation, as well as formal recommendations from acclaimed agencies. Including these acids in our diet would do nothing but benefit us.