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American Heart Association Recommends EPA, DHA to Support Heart Health


Heart man woman exercisingNumerous well-designed studies have established that omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA found in fish oil support cardiovascular health. Now the American Heart Association (AHA) is recommending that Americans boost their consumption of EPA and DHA to support heart health.

The statement published in the AHA journal, Circulation, recommends cutting carbohydrates, eliminating trans fats, restricting fructose and increasing fiber and including omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources to support heart health.

The AHA recommended intakes range from a baseline of .5 to 1 gram up to 2-4 grams daily of EPA and DHA for optimal benefits. Because getting the higher daily recommended amounts is difficult to attain through diet alone, the AHA states that dietary supplements may be needed.

Among omega-3 supplements, fish oil is generally regarded as the best source of both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Most algae sources provide only DHA. While ALA from plant sources is an essential fatty acid, many of the reported health benefits associated with omega-3 have been the result of supplementation with EPA and DHA. The body can theoretically convert ALA into EPA and DHA, but the actual conversion rate is very low. In fact, many studies suggest that the conversion rate can be as low as 1 percent or less -- making fish, fish oil supplements, and food products fortified with fish oil considered the best sources of omega-3 for consumers.

NOTE: Typical fish oil supplements are 18% EPA and 12% DHA. CNCA EPAmax and Omega- 3 Max EC provide 720 mg EPA (30%) and 480 mg DHA (20%), or 1200 mg combined. Two of our softgels meet the American Hearth Associations’ baseline recommendation and 4-6 softgels meet the upper range of the AHA recommendations.

For more diet recommendations, read Heart Health: Top 8 Foods and Nutrients.

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