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Eicosapentenoic acid (EPA)

Eicosapentenoic acid (EPA), is an Omega-3 fatty acid, and is found in large amounts in brain nerve and is also the main component used to manufacture hormone-like Series 3 eicosanoids (formerly called series 3 prostaglandins). These compounds are extremely important to correct immune system function and cannot be made if insufficient EPA is avaliable. 

Whilst the Omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in all sorts of vegetable oils and meats, the omega-3's (including EPA) are much harder to come by. They can be found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, trout) as well as some seeds and nuts, including walnuts, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. Unfortunately, however, most of us are not including enough of these items in our diet - if we are including any at all!

A recent study discovered that, in the USA, 25% of adults tested had so little Omega-3 fatty acid in their blood that it was undetectable, i.e. there was none present.

What is worse is that lack of these fatty acids in your blood strongly suggests that you are eating the wrong kind of fats, as well as ommitting the right ones.

What can you do about it?

Firstly, you can try to add into your diet the foods that contain EPA, listed above, to which can be added grass-fed beef (grain-fed beef has NO omega-3 content). In doing this, bear in mind that some Governments, such as the UK are now recommending that you eat no more than 200g of sea-fish a week, due to the levels of toxins such as dioxin and mercury in fish, especially fish livers, where toxins concentrate.

Secondly, and this goes for most people, you should add a high-quality EPA supplement to your diet. Be sure that the fish oil used to produce it is from sources that filter out all the toxins (we only know of one manufacturer that uses this expensive process, but charges no more for their oil than others), is PURE Omega-3 and is not diluted with other oils, e.g. vegetable oils.

Essential qualities of EPA Omega-3 Fatty acid

  • Make sure it is PURE Omega-3
  • Check it is undiluted
  • Ask if dioxin has been removed

Pregnancy warning.

By the time most mothers come to term, their bodies are completely exhausted of the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are the main building blocks of the baby's brain and nerves. For a healthy baby, and to help prevent premature birth you MUST include these supplements in your diet, taking note of the required qualities above.

If you have a query about EPA or other Essential fatty acids, please contact us

Back from EPA to fats

Further reading

Know Your Fats : The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol
by Mary G. Enig

The Cholesterol Myths : Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease
by Uffe Ravnskov

Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill: The Complete Guide to Fats, Oils, Cholesterol and Human Health
by Udo Erasmus

Choosing the Right Fats: For Vibrant Health, Weightloss, Energy, Vitality (Natural Health Guide)
by Udo Erasmus

The Omega-3 Connection: The Groundbreaking Antidepression Diet and Brain Program
by Andrew L. M.D. Stoll

Related Links

Public enemy number one. Or is it? Find out why cholesterol is not the baddie it has been made out to be and why you need it!

Saturated animal fat
Red meat, dairy products, lard dripping and suet - a recipe for disease or the means to prevent it?

Vegetable oils
All oils are not created equal. Find out why some vegetable oils are better than others.

Hydrogenated oils (unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fats)
Margarine, shortening and other "low-cholesterol" fats. Find out why these have caused more damage to health than any other type of oils or fats.

Other Nutrient groups:

Essential fatty acids
Plant extracts
Trace elements

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