3 Different Types of Omega 3 and Their Health Effects

omega 3 fish oil

Various studies have revealed the beneficial aspects and sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Their dosage and forms of supplements are essential to determine beforehand in order to enjoy a healthy body. If not, your doctor can always come in handy.

In the guide below, we are specifically targeting three primary sorts of omega 3 fish oil fatty acids: ALA, DHA, and EPA. You can learn about their full forms, health advantages, and sources alongside some fundamental frequently asked questions and answers. 

What Are 3 Types of Omega 3 Fatty Acids?


It is the abbreviation of alpha-linolenic acid and is also known as α-Linolenic acid. Most of the vegetable oils comprise this type of nutrient. Moreover, you can find it in walnuts, flaxseeds, soybeans, kiwifruit seeds, camelina, hemp, and chia. As per a source, females should take 1.1 grams while males should consume 1.6 grams of ALA on a daily basis. 

Also, omega-3 ALA or alpha-linolenic acid has antioxidant properties. This is valuable in reducing skin aging as well as inflammation. People consuming this fatty acid can relish the improvement in nerve function and lessening in heart disease risk factors. Moreover, the development of memory loss disorders can slow down. 

In terms of heart health, ALA can maintain normal pumping and rhythm. It can safeguard the human cells from oxidative damage. 


Docosahexaenoic acid is the full form of DHA, which is also a type of omega-3 fatty acid. It is a chief structural component of many parts of the human body, encompassing the retina, skin, brain, and cerebral cortex. Fortifying baby formulas that consist of DHA helps improve the vision of very young babies. In terms of brain development, it is effective for both kids and adults. 

In case the kids face a deficiency of DHA, they can suffer from the consequences in the later stages of their life. Some of these health issues comprise aggressive hostility, ADHD, and learning problems. Simply put, this leads to unproductive brain functions. Moreover, for curing certain sorts of cancers, high blood pressure, arthritis and type 2 diabetes, DHA can play a crucial role. 

A few of the DHA sources include hemp seeds, basil seed drinks, walnuts, canola oil, herring, salmon, edamame, and oysters. 


EPA means eicosapentaenoic acid and is a prime component of omega 3. It contributes significantly to reducing inflammation and providing various physiological benefits. Moreover, EPA is high in fish oil, and its consumption is effective in minimizing the signs of depression. Menopausal women can relish the reduction of hot flashes if they consider the intake of eicosapentaenoic acid.

Besides, they are also known as marine omega-3s because most of their sources are seafood. EPA shares this attribute with DHA, another omega-3 fatty acid, explained prior in this article. You can consume the products of animals that feed on grass, including meats and dairy for its consumption. Additionally, a few other sources are eel, sturgeon, shrimp, salmon, and herring. 

Other Types of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

  • Hexadecatrienoic acid (HTA)
  • Tetracosapentaenoic acid
  • Stearidonic acid (SDA)
  • Tetracosahexaenoic acid
  • Eicosatrienoic acid (ETE)
  • Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)
  • Eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA)
  • Heneicosapentaenoic acid (HPA)

Which Type of Omega-3 Is Best?

Although all sorts of nutrients play a vital role in the effective development of the human body, we usually come across the advantages of EPA and DHA.

Which Is Better, DHA or EPA?

It depends on why you are consuming each one of these fatty acids. In case you are opting for the improvement of brain health, then a higher concentration of DHA can work. If your mission is to reduce swelling or pain, then go for EPA.

Is ALA Converted to DHA?

The metabolism of a healthy person can convert ALA to DHA and even EPA. However, the percentage differs in both males and females. In women, 21 percent of ALA converts to EPA while 9% to DHA. Besides, in men, 8% of dietary ALA transforms to EPA and 0 to 4 percent to DHA. 

What Food Is Highest in ALA?

We found various results. For instance, according to one study, flaxseeds are the richest sources of ALA, while another article depicted chia sage as having the maximum ALA percentage. 

What Happens When ALA Does Not Convert to EPA and DHA?

It remains stored or utilized as energy. 

What Is the Side Effect of DHA?

In case the source is fish oil, you may observe a fishy aftertaste. Moreover, there are probabilities of burping, bloating, and nausea. These effects can also last for a long; contact a doctor for this matter. 

How Much DHA Is Safe per Day?

As per a source, the individual amount is not well-defined. However, the recommended quantity of DHA and EPA in a combined form is 250 to 500 mg. 

Is It Okay to Take DHA at Night?

As DHA has a firm association with fish oil, you can take it any time of the day to enjoy multiple health benefits. 

Does DHA Cause Hair Growth?

The high concentration of DHA as well as EPA is effective for healthy hair growth and the nourishment of hair follicles. 

Is EPA Good for the Liver?

Both EPA and DHA can reduce liver fat.

Is EPA Good for Skin?

According to a nutritionist, EPA can encourage skin healing. 

When Should I Take EPA?

EPA works best if you take it with a meal. 


Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA, ALA, and DHA are the source of many healthful effects on the human body. Fish oil has a high concentration of EPA and DHA; therefore, there are plenty of supplements available in the market to relieve your health issues. Also, ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, is found in walnuts, chia, and flaxseeds. It is good for nerve function and heart health. 

Alternatively, there is DHA or docosahexaenoic acid which is effectual for brain skin and retina. The third one is EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid, which has natural sources like shrimp, salmon, and eel. It is best for minimizing the inflammation and symptoms of depression. Our research also grabbed the beneficial effects of EPA for skin healing. For consuming EPA, you should accompany a meal with it for better absorption.

Read More:

10 Myths About Omega-3 Supplements You Should Know

If you are first going to invest in Omega-3 supplements, it’s important to get the best quality, effective dosage, and attention towards other dietary and lifestyle habits that boost health too!

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