It’s 9:00 a.m. and you’re late for work. You’re hustling out the door with coffee in one hand and your bag in the other. You reach for your keys, but alas, they are not in their typical spot.
After running around the house scanning countertops and rummaging through drawers, you stop and think. Tracing your steps, you try to remember where you saw the keys last, but sometimes the memory never comes to you.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone—just about everyone has trouble with occasional memory loss. Luckily, omega-3 fatty acids can help improve brain function and memory, along with a myriad of other benefits, making omega-3s one of the most popular supplements on the market.*
Although omega-3s focus on brain health, these fatty acids are essential to maintain the health of our entire body.* Every cell, tissue, gland and organ is dependent upon the presence of omega-3s. These acids are the main structural component of cell membranes and are important for cell growth and division.
There are many researched-backed benefits of omega-3s, such as improvements in:
- Brain health and mood*
- heart and cardiovascular health*
- joint health*
- eye health*
- the immune system*
- the appearance of skin and hair*
- the gut microbiome*
Although these essential fats are crucial for our overall health, they are not created by the body—we need to acquire them through our diet. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating one to two servings of fish rich in omega-3s every week, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna.
The Most Common Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are most concentrated in fatty fish, however, they are also found in other foods in your diet. Of the 11 types of omega-3s, here are the four most common types and the foods that contain them.
Types of Omega-3s and Their Sources:
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) – fatty fish, shellfish, fish oil, meat, eggs, dairy and microalgae
DHA is a key structural component of the brain, skin, macula and retina of the eye. DHA comprises more than 90 percent of the omega-3 fatty acids in the developing brain, making it a crucial supplement during pregnancy.
DHA may also have benefits for the aging brain.* DHA supplements have been linked to significant improvements in memory and learning.
DHA also promotes a healthy gut microbiome, which encourages the health of many systems in the body, including improvements in energy levels and mood.*
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) – fatty fish, fish oil, dairy, meat and microalgae
Most omega supplements have a high amount of EPA to support heart and cardiovascular health.* Studies show that EPA is also linked to joint health.*
- Docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA) – fish oil, oily fish, grass-fed beef and human breast milk
Although less studied than DHA or EPA, recent research is showing DPA has significant health benefits due to its ability to be converted into EPA or DHA depending on what the body needs. Supplementing with DPA results in higher levels of EPA and DHA in the body.
- Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) – flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, soybeans, kale, spinach and purslane
If you are vegan, you can acquire your omega-3 diet requirement through ALA, a fat that is found in plants. But in order for ALA to provide the omega-3 benefits, it must first be converted into EPA and DHA in the body, which is an inefficient process. Only a small percentage of ALA is converted into EPA and DHA, as most of it is used as energy like other fats.
How to Choose an Omega-3 Supplement
If you are not eating an adequate amount of omega-3-rich foods, you can take an omega-3 supplement. Taking a supplement allows you to enjoy the omega-3 health benefits without the risks of eating fish, such as a potential allergy or ingesting high levels of mercury and other contaminants.
With so many fish oil supplements on the market, which do you choose? It’s important to remember that not all supplements are of the same quality.
Here Are the Top Things to Look for When Shopping for an Omega-3 Supplement:
Amount of Omega-3s
A fish-oil supplement may contain little amounts of EPA and DHA. Read the label and make sure you’re taking at least 250-500 milligrams of combined EPA and DHA per day (or 1-1.6 grams of ALA in a vegan supplement).
Buy supplements that are known to be third party tested for contaminants, which proves that it has been verified safe from contaminants.
Just like any oil, fish oil is prone to going rancid when exposed to oxygen. Once fish oil supplements go bad, they’ll have a foul smell and become less potent (or even harmful).
Purchase fish oil that has been certified by Friend of the Sea, Mote Marine Laboratory, Marine Stewardship Council, Environmental Defense Fund or a similar organization. Also, make sure the source of the oil is from a small fish, which have shorter lifespans and are more sustainable.
AquaBiome Is the Best Omega-3 Supplement
Enzymedica produces a superior omega-3 supplement, AquaBiome, that meets all of the above criteria, in addition to supporting the gut microbiome.*
Amount of Omega-3s
Each serving of AquaBiome contains 1200 mg of total fatty acids, including a higher amount of DHA, which benefits the gut microbiome. AquaBiome also contains substantial amounts of docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), which is missing or found in very low levels in most other fish oil products.
Although DHA and EPA were originally found to have extensive health benefits, recent research is finding that DPA may be the most powerful of all the omegas in supporting overall health. Since DPA can be converted into EPA or DHA, it is considered the master omega that can be utilized by the body wherever it needs support.
Current studies have shown that DPA is more effective than EPA or DHA in heart health.* Additional studies show that DPA improves mental performance and eye health, and promotes a healthy metabolism by activating enzymes and genes that burn fat.*
“We call DPA ‘the missing omega’ since it’s rarely found in most fish oil supplements,” says Dr. Michael Murray, Chief Science Officer of Enzymedica. “We are finding that DPA is the top omega, so if you take a fish oil product that doesn’t have DPA, you’re not getting the full benefit you can.”
AquaBiome is absorbed efficiently into the bloodstream because the ratio of EPA, DHA and DPA in the formula is the same ratio found in nature.
“The ratio of the three omegas is very important. At Enzymedica, we looked to nature to find the perfect ratio,” says Dr. Murray. “AquaBiome has the exact same ratio as what is found in wild Alaskan salmon.”
The reason why DPA is missing from most fish oil supplements on the market is because these products are created through a molecular distillation process that extracts EPA and DHA from fish, but discards DPA as waste. Early research about the health benefits of omegas was only on EPA and DHA (as opposed to DPA), so manufacturers created the distillation process to prioritize the extraction of EPA and DHA.
Since DPA has emerged as an essential omega in recent years, Enzymedica has updated its distillation process. Enzymedica's fish oil is manufactured using a proprietary TMET extraction process that provides tremendous benefits over traditional molecular distillation, and is incredibly green and free of harsh solvents.
Along with weight, the TMET process also distills molecules by polarity, which captures the DPA. Adding the polarity step to the distillation process also creates a fish oil supplement that is incredibly pure because negative compounds, such as heavy metals and contaminants, can be isolated and discarded.
As a true stamp of purity, AquaBiome is independently tested for over 130 contaminants and is third party certified by the Clean Label Project.
“For every marker that matters, AquaBiome is the cleanest and purest omega blend found in the industry,” says Dr. Murray.
Freshness (Avoiding Those Horrible Fish Oil Burps)
Just like any oil, fish oil is prone to going rancid when exposed to oxygen. When the oil has gone slightly rancid, it will have a fishier taste and may cause burping.
The oxidation rate is the speed in which supplements go rancid, and some supplements tend to turn faster than others. The TOTOX value provides an overall picture of the freshness level of oil by measuring oxidation.
AquaBiome has one of the lowest TOTOX values in the fish oil supplement industry, meaning it is one of the freshest. With this low value, you are less likely to burp a fishy taste compared to other supplements that have more oxidation. AquaBiome also has a hint of natural lemon oil to ensure a positive flavor experience.
Omegas can be sourced from different types of fish and different ingredients. AquaBiome products are produced from sustainably sourced Peruvian Anchoveta, which is an oily fish in the anchovy family. These fish are caught using the sustainable method of traditional fishing vessels.
Peruvian Anchoveta also ensure the purity of AquaBiome. Since these fish have short life cycles, they are not only more sustainable, but they also contain less contaminants. Some manufacturers produce fish oil from bigger fish, such as cod or salmon, but since they are higher on the food chain, they have longer life cycles, and are therefore more likely to have contamination build up.
AquaBiome products are also certified for sustainability by Friend of the Sea and Mote Marine Laboratory.
Enzymedica Has a Mission to Restore the Coral Reefs
With every bottle of AquaBiome sold, Enzymedica donates to Mote Marine Laboratory to plant new coral in the third largest reef system in the world: the Florida Keys. This coral reef has been decimated by a plague, taking away nutrition and habitat from local marine life.
“My favorite part about AquaBiome is that this is a brand on a mission,” says Dr. Murray. “We are in a race against time to replace the reef and sustain life there.”
Enzymedica Offers Multiple AquaBiome Products
To provide the most comprehensive omega-3 supplements on the market, Enzymedica created different formulas to meet the diverse health needs of its consumers.
Enzymedica offers pure fish oil in two strengths, as well as products that contain additional herbs for a specific benefit. These herbs are from a 100-year-old nutraceutical company from Italy that uses a special technology to boost their absorption.
Here are the six AquaBiome products:
- AquaBiome Classic Strength has high-quality fish oil and nothing else
- AquaBiome Fish Oil Maximum Strength is a more potent version of the classic
- AquaBiome Fish Oil Digestive Relief contains boswellia phytosome, which adds gentle digestive support for occasional irritation and discomfort*
- AquaBiome Fish Oil Sports Performance contains quercetin phytosome, which reduces muscle soreness after exercise*
- AquaBiome Fish Oil Meriva Curcumin contains meriva curcumin, the most clinically proven curcumin in the world to support joint and brain health*
- An AquaBiome product containing Phytocannabinoids is coming out in 2020
Now that you know the many benefits of omega-3s and how they improve your brain function and memory, you’ll never lose your keys again.