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Advantages of Taking Fish Oil, EPA and DHA

Advantages of Taking Fish Oil, EPA and DHA

Even when we keep up on our exercise routines and eat healthy, our bodies can't get all of the good nutrients they need. There are many scientifically proven benefits of taking natural supplements like fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA that can help maintain our health. These good fats have a wealth of benefits from reducing the risk of disease to easing aches and pains. Here are just a few of the advantages of these natural fat supplements.

Fish Oil

Although fish oil can be consumed naturally from eating cooked fish, we can get the same nutrients from fish oil pills. These contain oil from especially fatty fish species like mackerel, tuna, and salmon. The bottle will list where the oil comes from and what level of omega-3 fatty acids it contains. The two most important acids to have are EPA and DHA.

Fish oil is most often taken by people who are trying to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is especially good for the heart and blood systems because its properties help reduce blood clots and lower blood pressure. Fish oil is vital for maintaining a healthy heart.


Fish oil supplements are only healthful because of the important fatty acids they contain. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are naturally sourced from fish, nuts, and even some plants. These omega-3 fatty acids are not naturally produced by the human body which is why they are so vital in supplements. They are the key ingredients to reducing inflammatory diseases.

The difference between EPA and DHA is their chemical acid chain structure. DHA contains slightly more carbons (bonding properties) than EPA. This means that DHA is actually more vulnerable to destruction than EPA and will expire quicker. If you buy fish oil with mostly DHA, you can expect the shelf life to be less.

Although their benefits are only slightly different, there are some things that EPA does better than DHA (and vice versa). Some scientific studies have shown that EPA is more helpful for mental disorders like depression than DHA. Whereas EPA tends to be better for brain-related issues, DHA is more often recommended for those who are trying to maintain nutritional needs in their food diet. Vegetarians, for example, are often prescribed to take fish oil with high DHA levels because the lack of meat in their system will result in low DHA levels are specifically related to food consumption. EPA levels are less of a concern for meatless eaters.

About the Author: Mark Delano is the Managing Editor and handles all day to day operations for He is a personal fitness trainer, nutritionist and avid mountain biker who also enjoys exploring the trails of Arizona. Besides his everyday duties at HealthyMale, Mark is also a guest columnist for several blogs related to men's health.

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