EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are often discussed together as two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids. They indeed have some things in common, such as that they are both long-chain fatty acids and that they can both be either produced in the body from ALA or consumed via foods such as fish and algae. However, EPA and DHA are both essential because of their differences, such as which parts of the body they benefit. For example, EPA supports the inflammatory response, immune system, and heart health, while DHA helps strengthen the central nervous system, eyes, and brain. Here, we’ll take a closer look at EPA, how it benefits your body, and where you can get it.
What is eicosapentaenoic acid?
EPA is found in the flesh of cold-water fish, such as tuna, salmon, halibut, herring, and mackerel. It is often used as a prescription medication designed to reduce triglyceride levels. EPA is also used as a supplement to help prevent heart disease or prevent complications after a heart attack. It is also useful for a host of other reasons, including depression and memory, and to ease the side effects of chemotherapy. EPA is believed to have the ability to help prevent the blood from clotting too quickly; it can also help reduce inflammation and the pain it causes. EPA should not be confused with fish oil or krill oil supplements, which contain both EPA and DHA or green-lipped mussel oil, which contains all of these as well as the elusive and highly beneficial ETA.
What are the Benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid?
There is a large amount of research that shows that EPA is not just beneficial but essential to the body. Some of the ways in which it has proven effective include:
- Lowering triglyceride levels. Taking EPA may help lower triglycerides significantly in people with high levels. It may also work in conjunction with statin drugs (medicines that lower cholesterol) to increase this benefit. People who take EPA supplements may also be less likely to have heart attacks and other heart-related problems.
- Lowering the risk of heart disease. EPA may lower the risk of heart disease in people with high levels of triglycerides or other risk factors. Furthermore, it may reduce the likelihood of death in people with coronary artery disease.
- Relief from the symptoms of menopause. EPA may reduce the severity of menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. Hot flashes can be extremely uncomfortable, but there’s good news: it appears that taking and EPA supplement regularly may offer some relief.
- Alleviating depression. Taking EPA may reduce the symptoms of depression or lower the likelihood of developing depression in the first place. If you are already taking a prescription antidepressant, then you can use EPA along with it for extra benefits.
What are Good Sources of eicosapentaenoic acid?
EPA (along with DHA) is found in a variety of foods and supplements, making it easy to add to your regular diet. Here are some of the best sources of these essential omega-3 fatty acids.
- Salmon. Salmon is one of the most nutritious and most popular types of fish on the market. Farmed salmon contains more omega-3s than wild salmon. This fatty fish also contains plenty of protein, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins.
- Mackerel. A small, fatty fish that provides a healthy dose of omega-3s, selenium, and vitamin B12, mackerel is often eaten smoked, especially for breakfast. Try it on toast, as part of a cheese plate, or cooked on the grill.
- Oysters. Oysters make great appetizers and snacks because of their small size. These shellfish are an excellent source of omega-3s because they contain three types of omega-3s: ALA, EPA, and DHA. They are also rich in vitamin B12 and zinc.
- Sardines. These small, oily fish typically come in cans and are often eaten as snacks. They’re a great source of EPA as well as vitamin D. Eat them on crackers or toast, in salads, added to pasta dishes, or straight out of the can.
These are a few examples of delicious ways to add more omega-3s to your diet. Supplements are another important way – especially green-lipped mussel oil.
What’s So Great About Green-Lipped Mussel Oil?
Even if you eat a healthy diet most of the time, a daily omega-3 supplement is still advised. Not just any supplement, though. If you’re going to take an omega-3 supplement, make it the best. GLX3 offers some key advantages over fish oil. Most notably, GLX3 contains not only EPA and DHA but also ETA, a unique omega-3 fatty acid that’s particularly good at reducing inflammation and joint pain. ETA is found exclusively in green-lipped mussel oil, so you can’t get it from traditional fish oil supplements. GLX3 is also more concentrated than fish oil supplements, so you can take a smaller dose and achieve better results. If you are experiencing joint inflammation or pain, want to help keep your joints healthy, or simply want to give yourself the best possible odds of optimal overall health, make GLX3 part of your regular daily diet.
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