EPA and DHA are fundamentally very different. We are going to keep it very simple detailing what EPA is, who can benefit and why, for this critical essential fatty acid.
Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA is the smaller of the two essential fatty acids. EPA is made up of 20 carbon bonds and is considered a long-chain fatty acid. EPA's primary objective is to reduce inflammation in the body. It does this in two ways.
1) EPA acts as an inhibitor of the enzyme delta-5-desaturase (D5D) that produces Arachidonic Acid (AA) primarily from Omega-6. So the more EPA you have in your diet, the less AA your body can produce. This substantially cuts off the supply of AA required to produce proinflammatory eicosanoids, also referred to as "bad eicosanoids".
2) EPA has a similar function to corticosteroids and competes with phospholipase A2, which is necessary for the release of AA from the membrane where it is stored.
EPA is essential to everyone. The standard North American diet is so highly concentrated in pro-inflammatory omega-6 that as a society, we are putting ourselves in a state of cellular inflammation. It has been reported that we are now consuming omega-6 to omega-3s at a 20:1 ratio. This completely unbalanced ratio is propelling us into pleather of health issues.
Most chronic health issues can be traced back directly to inflammation.
EPA is the critical component of Omega-3s that is essential in reducing inflammation in the body. When considering your health, we should view inflammation as the foundation. If your goal is to have excellent stable health, then you need to start with a healthy foundation. When taking high EPA Omega-3s, you can drastically correct the imbalance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 and significantly reduce inflammation to improve all areas of health.
EPA has been shown to improve: