[ EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid, timnodonic acid ]
A polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) of the omega-3 class. In humans is considered essential.
EPA is essential to the anti-inflammatory series of eicosanoids. EPA deficiency has been implicated in a host of disorders including chronic inflammation, allergies, immunodeficiency, atherosclerosis, hypertension and cancer. Both DHA and EPA are being studied for their roles in improving cognitive function and the reduction of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.
The primary dietary source of EPA (along with DHA) is arctic marine animals, including wild fish, krill and seals. However, there are environmental concerns over the sustainability of these sources. Cultured microalgae holds promise as an environmentally sustainable source of EPA which is also suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets.