Omega-3s are types of fats that are consumed through your diet. The three main types of omega-3s are:

  • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

DHA and EPA play many important roles in the body, and supplementing with these fatty acids has been linked to a number of potential health benefits.

For example, research has found beneficial links between these omega-3s and certain heart disease risk factors, like triglyceride and cholesterol levels. In addition, DHA and EPA may help support cognition and regulate inflammation in the body.

ALA has to be converted into DHA and EPA for the body to be able to use it. Otherwise, it’s just used for energy. However, studies have found that the conversion rate of ALA to EPA and DHA is only about 5 to 8 percent.

Due to their importance for overall health, experts typically recommend a combined DHA and EPA intake of between 250 and 500 mg per day.

Take a look at the infographic below to learn about the different sources of omega-3s.