There is no doubt that fish oils are beneficial to human health, but many fish oil supplements miss the mark when it comes to formulation. Furthermore, some fish oil products that claim to benefit the gut microbiome are actually formulated more for brain health than gut health based on their omega-3 ratios. Fish oil is indispensable, but it has been severely underutilized for digestive and intestinal health.
A recent experimental study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports found that omega-3 supplementation increases microbial diversity, specifically Bifidobacterium, Akkermansia muciniphila, and Lactobacillus, and supports the production of intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) which balances gut microbiota.
The primary omega-3 fatty acids include eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), docosahexanoic acid (DHA), and docosapentanoic acid (DPA) – each with unique health benefits to the host.
EPA is a powerful omega-3 for supporting gut health and well-documented for its ability to support intestinal mucosa. A recent experimental study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports found that EPA supplementation supported intestinal mucosa production and goblet cell differentiation.
DHA is most known for its beneficial impact on brain health. One of DHA’s most important roles is the modulation of an important part of phospholipid membranes, known as phosphatidylserine (PS). This substance supports healthy signal conduction and neurons in the brain and the GI tract.
DPA, also known as the “forgotten fatty acid”, is receiving more attention in the omega-3 family due to its unique ability to support EPA and DHA tissue status, but it also supports a healthy gut. Supplementation with DPA can also support healthy cells and tissues.