|Eicosapentaenoic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that acts as a precursor for prostaglandin-3 (makes blood platelets less sticky) and thromboxane-3 groups. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is an unsaturated, 20-carbon long, omega-3 fatty acid found in fish
and marine plants. EPA can be obtained by eating cold water fish such as wild salmon (not farm raised), mackerel, sardines, and herring. Most commercial fish oil preparations contain 18 percent EPA. The dietary intake of eicosapentaenoic acid has been associated with health benefits. EPA consumption has been associated with the prevention of atherosclerosis, the treatment of coronary heart disease, and the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases including malignancy.
Eicosapentaenoic acid plays an important role in the regulation of biological functions and prevention and treatment of a number of human diseases such as heart and inflammatory diseases. Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) improves the prognosis of chronic inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis. Eicosapentaenoic acid is efficacious in glomerular diseases where mesangial proliferation is a key event. EPA lowers elevated blood pressure through the effects of series 3 prostaglandins (PCs) made from it, which block the production of blood pressure-raising series 2 PGs made from w6 fatty acids. The presence of EPA helps prevent our cells from making too many PG2 clot-forming prostaglandins.
Eicosapentaenoic acid has received increasing attention as a therapy for the cancer anorexia/weight loss syndrome. Eicosapentaenoic acid induces apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. Cyclooxygenase (COX) converts EPA intracellularly into various inflammatory mediators that may affect the bioavailability of this fatty acid for inducing apoptosis in the cancer cells.
The administration of the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to a drug-naive patient with schizophrenia, untreated with conventional antipsychotic medication, led to a dramatic and sustained clinical improvement in both positive and negative symptoms. It is widely accepted that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) rich in fish oils protect against several types of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, or hypertension. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may be the active biological components of these effects.