While millions of people take omega-3 fatty acid supplements to support heart health, they may not be aware that certain supplements may be more effective based on their gender.
A new study from researchers at the University of Newcastle in Australia found that the different varieties of omega-3s — whether eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — may affect men and women differently.
To test their hypothesis, investigators gave different groups of men and women either EPA or DHA supplements. They found that EPA had a more significant impact on men’s heart health, while DHA provided more benefits for women.
Researchers wrote in their report that nutritional supplements vary in their levels of these two varieties of omega-3s, and that consumers should be aware of the types that will provide the greatest benefits for their health.
"We have shown that gender-specific responses exist in the 24 hours following dietary supplementation with a single oral dose of EPA or DHA rich oil capsules," they wrote.
The study concluded that the findings could change the way that people view the use of nutritional supplements.