EPA and DHA Omega-3 Important for Immune Health
Coshocton, Ohio – March 26, 2020 – As advanced as science is today, the human immune system is still poorly understood. Most Americans know that vitamin C supports immune health, and most consume the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. This is not the case when it comes to omega-3’s. The vast majority of Americans are not consuming even minimum intake recommendations for EPA and DHA omega-3’s, leaving a large percentage of the population lacking essential nutrition required for healthy immune function. EPA and DHA are essential nutrients in human health because they supply the raw material, the source materials from which our body can produce molecules necessary for our immune system to operate properly. For example, from EPA and DHA we produce compounds (e.g., prostaglandins, leukotrienes, resolvins) needed to support healthy respiratory function, body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and resolve inflammation. EPA and DHA also stimulate and balance immune system modulators such as B-cells, cytokines, and lymphocytes. The global minimum intake recommendation for EPA and DHA is 250 mg per day. However, studies show Americans consume less than 100 mg of EPA and DHA per day. The human body is incapable of making these precious, essential ingredients. EPA and DHA naturally occur only in seafood and fish oil, so the only way to get their health benefits is to consume seafood as part of a regular diet or through fish oil supplements.
“What we know from the scientific literature is EPA and DHA omega-3s found in fish oil are integral nutrients for a healthy immune system”, said Gretchen Vannice, Director of Nutrition Education and Research at AlaskOmega. Vannice added, “We’ve been focused on the extensive, documented benefits associated with optimal omega-3 status, including heart health, mental health, maternal health, and joint flexibility, especially as we age. But, attention on essential daily needs has really been lost. To be sure, at its core, the greatest need for EPA and DHA is to support normal, healthy metabolism, immune function, the nervous system, and other vital functions”.
EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid, is a 20-carbon fatty acid with 5 double bonds; this complex molecule is a mechanical genius when it comes to managing and regulating basic human metabolism. That’s why humans have a fundamental need for EPA and why consuming more has additional health benefits. The same is true for DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, with its 22-carbons and 6 double bonds. For example, during pregnancy, EPA and DHA omega-3 are crucial for the early development and programming of the human immune system. In early childhood, EPA and DHA are required for normal growth and development of cells throughout the body, including nerve and immune cells.
Professor Phillip Calder, Head of Human Development & Health and Professor of Nutritional Immunology within Medicine at the University of Southampton added, “Getting nutrition right is vital for the immune system to function properly. Many nutrients are involved, including omega-3. EPA and DHA (Omega-3 from fish and from supplements) are important in controlling the activity of the immune system, especially inflammation. It is unfortunate that many people do not get enough EPA and DHA in their diet.”
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Wiley Companies (formerly Organic Technologies) is the producer of MSC-certified AlaskOmega® fish oil products, including omega-3 and omega-7 concentrates, natural fish oils, and recently launched omega-3 powder. We start with wild-caught Alaska pollock oil from the cold, pure waters of Alaska’s Bering Sea, which is further refined and concentrated in our family owned and operated NSF-certified GMP facility in Coshocton, Ohio. The Alaska pollock fishery is the largest fishery in the world for human consumption. It is responsibly managed with less than 1% bycatch and certified sustainable and traceable by the Marine Stewardship Council, considered the gold standard for sustainability by the industry.
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