OMEGA 3s have been scientifically proven to improve general wellness at all stages of life from infants to seniors, and everyone in between. The important OMEGA 3s are: ALA, DHA and EPA. Currently there are many products on the market which claim to contain health promoting 'OMEGA 3', but contain only alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), not DHA or EPA. Plant based foods such as flax and chia contain OMEGA-3 fatty acids as the "short chain" known as ALA but, they are completely devoid of the very important long-chain OMEGA-3 known as DHA and EPA.
ALA is alpha-linolenic acid, a short-chain fatty acid is an essential part of a healthy diet because, like essential vitamins, it cannot be made in the body and has to be acquired through diet. Its main function in the body is to produce DHA and EPA. However, the conversion of ALA to DHA/EPA in the human body is extremely limited, such that <10% of the ALA from the diet goes to DHA. Consuming DHA/EPA in their pre-formed state is the most direct and efficient way of providing these essential long-chain fatty acids to the body.
EPA is eicosapentaenoic acid, a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid has the ability (as does DHA) to lower triglycerides and risk factors for heart disease along with reducing inflammation and inflammatory factors.
DHA is docosahexaenoic acid, a major fatty acid in brain phospholipids (major component of all cell membranes), particularly in the brain and retina (of the eye) where it is a physiologically essential nutrient for supporting optimal mental and visual performance respectively, and plays a major role in brain function.