Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)


Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is an omega-3 fatty acid. 



It is polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that acts as a precursor for prostaglandin-3.



Prostaglandin-3 inhibits platelet aggregation, thromboxane-3, and leukotriene-5 eicosanoids. 



It is a precursor and the hydrolytic breakdown product of eicosapentaenoyl ethanolamide



Most studies of fish oil supplements, which contain both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and EPA, have failed to prevent heart attacks or strokes.



A study of Vascepa (ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid), a prescription drug containing only EPA, was shown to reduce heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death by 25% relative to a placebo in those with statin-resistant hypertriglyceridemia.



EPA is obtained in the human diet by eating oily fish or fish oil: cod liver, herring, mackerel, salmon, and sardine, and various types of edible algae. 



EPA is  found in human breast milk.



Fish can synthesize EPA from fatty acids precursors found in their alimentation or obtain it from the algae they consume.



The body converts a portion of absorbed alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to EPA. 



ALA is itself an essential fatty acid.



The conversion rate of ALA to EPA, is much lower than the absorption of EPA from foods 



EPA is also a precursor to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).



Diabetes or certain allergies may significantly limit the human body’s capacity for metabolization of EPA from ALA.



Salmon is a rich source of EPA.



EPA is involved with the ability to lower inflammation.



Intake of large doses (2.0 to 4.0 g/day) of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids as prescription drugs or dietary supplements are generally required to achieve significant lowering of triglycerides.



Both EPA and DHA lower triglycerides.



DHA appears to raise low-density lipoprotein, while EPA does not.



EPA and DHA ethyl esters may be absorbed less well, when taken on an empty stomach or with a low-fat meal.



Omega-3 fatty acid levels may be low in children with autism, but supplementation studies have shown no statistically significant improvement in symptoms.



Omega-3 fatty acids may be useful for treating depression.

Icosapent ethyl  is a highly purified and stable eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester and the security to placebo in preventing major adverse cardiovascular events in reducing triglyceride levels by almost 40 mg/dL.



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