Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is the predominant fatty acid in sea vegetables such nori and dulse, the red algaes. It has an impressive bioavailability of 50-100% in algae oils and extracts. Much more is known about the mechanisms of DHA than EPA in the body, although both play great roles in modulation of many biological functions. All omega 3 fatty acids are known to act as anti-inflammatories. Presence of EPA in the blood has been shown to be a stronger preventative tool for cardiovascular health than DHA.
The body is able to convert very small amounts of ALA in the diet to bioavailable EPA. It is not able to perform this conversion with ALA into DHA. EPA naturally occurs in much smaller amounts than DHA, with 5-10 times as much DHA than EPA found in the membranes of heart tissue. It is more realistic to obtain EPA via plant foods, but research solidly shows that the body requires a much higher amount of DHA than EPA for optimum functioning.
EPA improves functioning of the ining the inside of the heart (epithelium). Improved endothelial function regulates the contracting and relaxing of blood vessels, increases immunity, blood platelet functioning, and coagulation. Low levels of this fatty acid in the blood is one of the largest risk factors for ischemic stroke, or sudden blockage of arteries that supply the brain. EPA has also been shown to be more effective than DHA in the treatment of mental disorders such as depression, though clinical research on EPA as a whole is still very early.
EPA is found in Cymbotika's The Omega. While sea vegetables can be consumed via diet, our Omega blend provides the same amount as eating around 5 1-oz. 100% bioavailable servings of these in just one dose. Our EPA is sourced via a similar process as our DHA, which you can read more about here. Research across the board suggests these two fatty acids work best in synergy together, which is why we felt it crucial to include both in our Omega formula. This vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids, extracted in readily absorbable form, is a revolutionary product for all regardless of quality of diet but especially for those looking to attain optimum cardiovascular protection.
Human studies published in the last 10 years
Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding
(n-3) Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Health: Are Effects of EPA and DHA Shared or Complementary?
Meta-analysis: Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid in Clinical Trials in Depression
Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid on the Levels of Inflammatory Markers, Cardiac Function and Long-Term Prognosis in Chronic Heart Failure Patients with Dyslipidemia
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) Reduces Cardiovascular Events: Relationship with the EPA/Arachidonic Acid Ratio
Comparison of eicosapentaenoic acid concentrations in plasma between patients with ischemic stroke and control subjects