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Sigma Nutrition Radio

Mar 30, 2022

Omega-3 fatty acids have long been associated with various health outcomes. A type of omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in various plant foods such as flax seeds or chia seeds. Other omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are found typically in marine food sources such as oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel) and algae. And while higher intakes of such foods have shown benefit, there has been some confusion over the benefit of such nutrients due to some large omega-3 supplementation trials reporting null findings.

So what should we make of the current evidence base? Does supplementation lead to heart disease risk reduction or not? Do we need direct sources of EPA and DHA in the diet? Does ALA have unique benefits? What is an omega-3 index and why is it important?

In this episode, fatty acid expert Dr. Bill Harris dives into each of these questions and clarifies what the current evidence tells us about the effect of these fatty acids on our health.


  • 04:02 - Fatty acid definitions/subtypes
  • 09:14 - Omega-3 status & the Omega-3 Index (O3I)
  • 20:03 - Omega-3 supplementation trials for CVD
  • 41:15 - DHA, brain health, cognition in later life, development, etc
  • 49:45 - Should we be concerned about omega-6 fatty acids?

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