Dr. Tieraona Low Dog recommends omega-3 fatty acids for excellent health. She explains the differences between the various forms of omega-3 which are ALA, EPA and DHA.
DHA is noted for its role in neurological development. EPA seems to be pivotal for good mental health. ALA is found in plants and must be converted into EPA and DHA.
Dr. Low Dog has been involved in national health policy and regulatory issues for over ten years.
(Transcribed from video interview)
Dr. Low Dog:
The type of omega-3 that’s found in plants is what we call alpha linolenic acid – ALA and it’s not, you have to convert that now in your body to these other more usable forms of omega-3, which is EPA and DHA, and these are found already pre-made in fish oil. So you don’t have to make them. You just eat the fish or take the fish oil and they are preformed.
Now DHA is very, very important for developing baby inside the mother’s womb. DHA is important for neurological development. It’s very important for the fetal brain. So moms need to make sure that they are getting a prenatal with DHA or that they are taking an omega-3 supplement, or that she is eating low mercury fish a couple of times a week, meaning she is staying away from shark, tile, king mackerel – things like that. Pesticides, mercury, heavy metals concentrate when you go up the food chain so the bigger the fish is; the more concentrated, the more problems.
Now EPA seems to be more important possibly for mental health and for things such as depression when we get older. So DHA critical in the young developing brain, EPA more important in our mental health and for depression as we get older.
I would say that one of the big, big reasons for using omega-3s though is its powerful effects on the cardiovascular system. We do know that omega-3s can reduce the risk of sudden death, sudden cardiac death – big problem.