One question I get asked all the time by members of my community is what are essential nutrients for men’s health. The first nutrient I always answer with is omega-3 fatty acids. While omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for everyone, the omega-3 benefits for men make this essential fatty acid one of their most vital nutrients. Here’s why.
Men, at some point you realize you’re getting older. You may notice that you are slower than you were when you were younger, having a harder time keeping up playing with your kids, and unable to remember simple tasks or forgetting to do something. It’s just a natural part of life. However, it could mean you are omega-3 deficient.
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are widely publicized.1 Omega-3s promote a healthy inflammatory response, support heart health, and could reduce the risk of chronic disease. Moreover, omega 3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and facilitates memory, cognition, and behavior. The omega 3 benefits for men go even further. I will tell you if omega 3s are good for men, the omega 3 benefits for men, and how to ensure your getting optimal amounts of this essential fatty acid.
What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Because our modern diet tends to contain more saturated fats than healthy fats found in fatty fish, many Americans are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, meaning your body doesn’t produce them on its own, and the only way to get them is through your diet. I’ll tell you more about foods containing omega-3s later.
The three fatty acids that makeup omega-3s include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is in most plant oils, such as flaxseed, soy, and canola, and DHA and EPA are in fish and other seafood. Let’s discuss the three types of fatty acids that make up omega-3s.
The 3 Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are critical components of the membranes surrounding each cell in your body. DHA levels are exceptionally high in the retina of your eye), brain, and men’s sperm cells. DHA is crucial for a man’s sexual health. Omega-3s also provide your body with energy and support many functions in your heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system, including thyroid health. Here are the three fatty acids that makeup omega-3s.
Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an essential fatty acid found in food or supplements. To avoid confusion, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is not the same as alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant sometimes abbreviated as ALA.
Your body converts some alpha-linolenic acid into EPA and DHA. However, it’s in small amounts. Research suggests your body converts only 1% of ALA into EPA and DHA, and the remaining ALA is stored or used as an energy source. Evidence suggests that ALA supports heart health and may even help lower the risk of blood clots.2
This essential fatty acid is found in plants such as flaxseed and canola, walnut, perilla, and soybean oils. Some people have problems with soy, and I don’t consider it a good alternative to meat. I recommend an elimination diet to find out if you are sensitive to soy.
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is made from ALA and is in fatty fish such as salmon, shrimp, mackerel, and herring. Additionally, EPA and DHA are in most fish oil supplements. EPA has many health benefits including supporting heart health, promoting healthy cholesterol levels, and facilitating an inflammatory response.3
Since your body only converts a tiny amount of ALA on its own, it’s crucial to get adequate amounts of EPA through food or supplements. I’ll tell you how you can get optimal amounts of all three omega-3 fatty acids later.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is also made from ALA and is in fatty fish such as salmon, seaweed, and fish oil supplements. As with EPA, your body only converts a small amount of ALA into DHA from food and supplements. This means it is essential to incorporate plenty of DHA- and EPA-rich foods into your diet or take a high-quality fish oil supplement daily to reap all the benefits. DHA supports brain health, eye health, and the nervous system. It’s also essential for men’s sexual health and forms in a man’s testicles.
I’ve mentioned a few of the benefits of each omega-3 fatty acid, let’s look at the omega-3 benefits for men.
What are the Benefits of Omega 3s for Men?
A recent study has shown that EPA and DHA, two of the fatty acids found in omega-3s, promote healthy metabolism by producing metabolic by-products called resolvins. Resolvins support a healthy inflammatory response and, in some cases, reduce it. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the omega-3 benefits for men. Let’s go a little deeper into the omega-3 benefits for men.
Omega-3s Support Brain Health
The human brain is 60% fat. I mentioned that DHA is found abundantly in the brain. Believe it or not, 50% of the fat in the brain is composed of DHA. This omega-3 fatty acid is vital for your brain throughout life, yet it also supports memory and concentration.
Certain cold-water oily fish, including salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, and tuna, are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA. Four 4-oz servings of fatty fish per week should provide optimal levels of DHA for your brain, yet even replacing one protein a week with Omega-3-rich fatty fish promotes cognitive health is an omega-3 benefit for men.4
Omega-3s Promote Men’s Sexual Health
A man’s semen contains an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. DHA, produced in a man’s testicles, gives a man’s sperm the ability to move. In fact, DHA is essential for binding the building blocks of the acrosome at the tip of a sperm cell together. This is what allows the sperm to break down the walls of a woman’s egg. Several studies suggest that low levels of DHA are one of the causes of infertility in men.5
What’s more, omega-3 fatty acids also promote testosterone production. One of modern medicine’s most overlooked health topics is low testosterone in men, and low testosterone is linked to men’s mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression.
Not only that, testosterone plays an essential role in men’s physical health. Testosterone promotes a healthy sex drive, facilitates fat distribution, supports the growth of lean muscle mass, facilitates the production of red blood cells, and supports sperm production.
Omega-3s are Good for Your Heart
Men are more at risk of heart disease than women. In fact, Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, killing 382,776 men in 2020—about 1 in every four male deaths. The good news is that men can reduce their risk of heart disease by making diet and lifestyle changes and recognizing the modifiable risk factors for heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids support heart health by reducing triglycerides, a fat that contributes to the hardening of the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease. Omega-3s also promote a regular heart rhythm and facilitate healthy blood flow.
How to Get More Omega-3s?
The omega-3 benefits for men are pretty amazing. There are lots of ways to get optimal amounts of omega-3s. However, there is no official recommended daily allowance for omega-3 fatty acids. Most health organizations recommend 200-500 milligrams of combined EPA and DHA for healthy adults. That is not enough. To reap all the omega-3 benefits for men, I recommend 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 grams for women of total omega-3 fatty acids, including 600mg of EPA and 400mg of DHA, for optimal health.
Eating organic fatty fish is one way to ensure you get an optimal amount of omega-3s. However, you could eat fish for every meal and still not get optimal omega-3s. Wild-caught salmon has very high omega-3 levels, and one 3 oz cooked filet of salmon contains 1,168 mg of omega-3s. Unfortunately, a lot of seafood contains heavy metal toxins, including mercury.
Eat fish lower in mercury, such as cold water fatty fish, including salmon, anchovies, herring, shad, sardines, Pacific oysters, trout, and Atlantic and Pacific mackerel. Less fatty fish, such as bass, tilapia, and cod, contain Omega-3s at lower levels.
Studies show most Americans do not get the recommended levels of Omega-3 fats in their diet. As much as I encourage you to eat a healthy diet, in the case of omega-3s, it’s crucial to take a supplement, too. In fact, it’s one of the four supplements I recommend everyone to take. However, not all omega-3 supplements are created equal.
The Problem with Most Fish Oil Supplements
Most fish oil supplements are made from non-organic, farm-raised fish and contain high levels of mercury. You may be surprised to find out that even in our “clean” and modern world, mercury overload is still a more prominent issue than you may believe. In fact, mercury overload is a common root cause of several chronic illnesses including Hashimoto’s, Graves’, and autoimmune disease. The source of omega-3s is vital, and most fish oil supplements do not source their fatty acids from organic, wild-caught fish. As a medical doctor, I knew there had to be a better way.
A Better Alternative Omega-3s
I recommend a top-quality fish oil supplement to anyone looking to tackle myriad health challenges. The omega-3 benefits for men include supporting sexual health, heart health, and cognitive function. Omega-3s also support everything from luxurious hair, to a healthy mood, and joint health. Just as a high-quality multivitamin is crucial for optimal health, a top-quality fish oil should be at the core of everyone’s supplement regimen.
Complete Omega-3 Softgels is a physician-formulated, mercury-free supplement that includes optimal amounts of total omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA. I ensured that Complete Omega-3 Softgels were sourced from the most wild-caught bioavailable fish in the world for optimal absorption.
Complete Omega-3 Softgels feature superior re-esterified natural triglycerides from fish oil. This fish oil is 170% more bioavailable than leading fish oil supplements because it is in the same form as fish oil naturally found in fish. And, to ensure the world’s highest standards for purity, potency, and freshness, I made sure that Complete Omega-3 Softgels far exceeded all international standards for purity and potency.
With 1000mg of actual EPA and DHA in each softgel, this is one of the most potent fish oils on the market today.
The Final Word
The omega-3 benefits for men are too amazing to ignore. Complete Omega-3 Softgels are perfect for everyone, especially men. Even if you consume fish regularly, you are likely not getting optimal omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s play a pivotal role in men’s health, so don’t overlook the omega-3 benefits for men.
- 17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Freydis Hjalmarsdottir, MS. Healthline. 2018.
- Alpha-linolenic acid and cardiovascular diseases. D Lanzmann-Petithory. Journal for Nutritional Health & Aging. 2001.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA: Health Benefits Throughout Life1. Danielle Swanson, Robert Block, and Shaker A. Mousa. Advances in Nutrition. 2012.
- Considering sex and gender in Alzheimer disease and other dementias. Jessica L. Podcasy, MS. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 2016.
- Want to Improve Sperm Health? Let’s Talk About Diet . Anne-Marie Chalmers, MD . Omega 3 Innovations. 2021.