Home / Diet and Nutrition / What is Fish Oil EPA and DHA?

What is Fish Oil EPA and DHA?

fish oil epa dha


The level of triglycerides becomes higher when people consume a lot of wrong food; but some products are known to lower triglyceride levels. Fish or fish oil is one of those products. Let’s see why fish oil helps to reduce the level of triglycerides.

Fish possesses omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proved to be helpful for people with heart problems. In particular, fish is rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These essential fatty acids play an important role in lowering the level of triglycerides in the blood, as the National Institutes of Health state. 


SEE ALSO: Fish Oil and Weight Loss



Eicosapentaenoic acid EPA is the omega-3 fatty acid. It is found in large amounts in cold-water fatty fish. EPA is a carboxylic acid; its molecule consists of 20 atoms and 5 double bonds. It is given the name of 20:5(n-3).

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports the results of their researches. They show that fish oil EPA not only lowers triglycerides level, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it beneficial for our cardiovascular system, for healthy joints and for arthritis treatment.

Studies have also shown that fish oil EPA is responsible for the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids connected with depression reduction. Healthy brain and good heart condition need adequate quantity of EPA. Attention deficit disorder is cured with fish oil EPA supplements. Such anti-inflammatory hormones as eicosenoids are taken from fish oil EPA.  



Docosahexaenoic acid DHA is another omega-3 fatty acid. DHA is of vital importance for newborn children’s visual system and nervous system development. It plays a key role for the proper functioning of adults’ brain. DHA makes up 40 percent of fatty acids in brain cells membranes. Some researchers connect DHA lack and violent behavior of people. Doctors use fish oil DHA to treat addictions to alcohol and drugs.  Human body produces very small amounts of DHA that is not enough. We should receive it from our nutrition. As well as EPA, DHA is found in cold-water fatty fish; seaweed contains it as well. Strict vegetarians and people who are allergic to fish may get DHA from the same algae that fish eat.


SEE ALSO: Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil 



You can receive EPA and DHA from fish. Healthy sources are salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and tuna. Shrimp and clams contain omega-3 fatty acids as well.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, when choosing fish oil supplements, you should pay attention to the EPA and DHA concentrations in fish oil  and not to the amount of fish oil. Taking 3 g of omega-3 oil supplements per day is considered to be enough to reduce the level of triglycerides by 25 percent for people with high triglyceride level. When you consume fish oil triglyceride levels become optimal, less than 100 mg/dL. However, you should consume large amounts of fish oil EPA and fish oil DHA only under your doctor’s supervision.