Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to normal growth and health and our bodies need them every day.
There are three sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an essential fatty acid. This means it must be obtained from food because our body can't make it. Essential fatty acids are used for specific body functions and are not used for fuel. ALA consumption is associated with lower blood pressure and decreased heart disease.
ALA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. It's found in plant sources like walnuts, flax seed, canola and soybean oil and, to a lesser degree, green leafy vegetables. Milk from grass-fed cows also contains ALA, while milk from cows not fed on pasture is not a source of this essential fat.
EPA and DHA
EPA and DHA are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and are found in fish, fish oil supplements and algae extract.
DHA supports normal development of the brain, eyes and nerves. Supportive but not conclusive research also shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
While there's no dietary reference intake (DRI) for DHA or EPA, the Institute of Medicine suggests an intake of 160 milligrams of DHA and EPA combined each day. And the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least two times each week, which is equal to about 1,250 mg of DHA and EPA daily.
Stonyfield Organic Omega-3 Milk is a delicious and easy way to increase omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. It's a complete source of omega-3 nutrition with naturally occurring ALA and 50mg of added DHA and EPA per serving.
- The Importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases Artemis P. Simopoulos: Exp. Biol. Med. 2008;233:674-688