FATS: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Fats are divided into three categories:  the good (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), the bad (saturated), and the just plain awful (trans fats).   In the good group are the omega-3s: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).  All three are good for you, but evidence for a health protective role is strongest for the DHA and EPA found in fish and fish oils.  ALA found in flax seeds, which is derived from plants, is less and only indirectly beneficial if you are trying to boost your omega-3s because the body uses most of it for energy and metabolizes only a small amount of ALA into EPA and DHA.

The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is one of the most abundant fatty acids in the brain. In the fetus and young infants, DHA is essential for proper growth and development of the brain, nervous system, and the retina of the eye. The richest dietary sources of DHA are the oils from cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and other marine animals.

Both DHA and EPA have since been studied in myriad trials and if there is any panacea out there it appears that they may just be it.  Scientific evidence indicates that the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA + EPA, have natural anti-inflammatory properties and may have potential benefits in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases
  • Asthma
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder and Depression
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema and Psoriasis
  • High blood pressure
  • Lupus
  • Joint disease including Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Migraine headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Obesity

Visit vitalremedymd.com for more preventive healthcare solutions.

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