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For more EPA, sprinkle flax seeds (the dark brown seeds above on salads and other vegetables; on cereal and yogurt; and look for foods with flaxseed, like this three-seed crispbread. Photo by Michael Aw | SXC.
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May 2011

Product Reviews / NutriNibbles

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Page 3: What Is It, Why Do You Need It?

 

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Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

What Is EPA?
EPA is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid important for human health. Unlike DHA, EPA is not stored in significant levels in the brain or retina, so must be eaten through EPA-rich foods or taken in supplemental capsules.

  • Flaxseeds, salmon* and walnuts are excellent sources of EPA.
  • Broccoli, cabbage, mustard seeds, oregano and sardines are very good sources.
  • Brussels sprouts, collards, green beans, kale, miso, romaine lettuce, soybeans, spinach, summer squash, tofu, turnip greens and winter squash are good vegetable sources.
  • Raspberries and strawberries are good fruit sources.
  • Cod, scallops, shrimp, snapper and tuna are good fish* sources.

*Expert bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, American Heart Association and many states have issued advisories on the consumption of certain fish due to the environmental pollutants and toxins found in them.

What Does EPA Do?

EPA assists with heart health and other key areas.

  • It plays a role in cardiovascular health. EPA is one of the long-chain omega-3 fats recommended by the American Heart Association and the USDA.
  • It has been shown to help reduce chronic inflammation by modifying the immune response.
  • It may help with certain mental disorders. Other studies are pending.


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