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EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) Deficiency

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Macherel…EPA Rich!

What Is EPA?

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that is crucial for fetal brain and retina development and the child’s subsequent neurodevelopment among very many other activities in people of all ages.

Omega-3 fatty acids  are polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids which must be obtained from animal foods since they do not occur in plants.

In all ages, EPA is essential for normal brain function.

Q: Why is EPA essential to the way the brain works?

A: EPA helps nerve cells in the brain to communicate with each other.

In pregnancy, EPA may also play a role in determining the length of gestation and in preventing perinatal depression in the mother.1 and is essential for normal growth in children.

EPA is important building material for the eicosanoids, a large group of highly bioactive hormone-like substances including prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes that are involved in blood clotting, inflammation, and vasoconstriction. Its many important functions are described below.

What Is EPA Deficiency?


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  1. Coletta JM, Bell SJ, and Roman AS. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Pregnancy. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Fall; 3(4): 163–171 []