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Omega 3 Info

Eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA

Very simply put EPA is one of the most important omega 3 nutrients. It can be found in large quantities in certain fish, and in very high quantities in certain fish oil supplements .

Eicosapentaenoic acid: Is one of the principal omega 3 fatty acids. Abbreviated EPA. The body has a limited ability to manufacture EPA by converting the alpha-linolenic acid ( ALA) which is found in flaxseed oil, canola oil or walnuts. ALA is also an omega 3 essential fatty acid; it is the parent fatty acid to EPA.

Eicosapentaenoic (EPA)

Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, is a major component of fish oil. It is a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid of the n-3 or omega-3 type. EPA is an all cis polyunsaturated fatty acid containing 20 carbons and 5 double bonds. EPA is also known as EPA; C20: 5n-3 and cis-5, 8, 11, 14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid. The structural formula is as follows :


None known


There have been no reports of serious adverse events in those taking EPA supplements, even up to 15 grams daily, for prolonged periods of time


None known.

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Omega 3 Fish Oil Production

Omega 3 Fish oil is produced by a continuous and carefully controlled process, the main objective it to remove all impurities from the crude omega 3 fish oil ( free fatty acids, coloured components, protein residues, oxidation products etc ) in order to obtain a clear almost colourless oil with a low content of oxidation products and other contaminants. The processes involved are comparable to the ones used in the processing of all edible oils and fats, that is, deacidification, winterisation, bleaching and deodorization.

Omega 3 fish oils – Essential Fatty Acids

The term essential is deduced from Latin. Essential fatty acids are nutritional factors, discovered in 1929 at the University of Minnesota by George and Mildred Burr. Like vitamins, they are not synthesizable by the human body and therefore must be absorbed from food.A fantastic source of essential fatty acids is from omega 3 fish oils.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fish oils are so called because the omega fatty acids are named according to the position of the first double bond in their carbon chains. Thus, the first double bond in the omega 6,s begins at the sixth carbon from the end of the chain. The first double bond in the omega 3,s begins at the third carbon position from the end of the chain, once in the body both omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids are bio chemically converted and control the body initially in two ways. First, they become incorporated into the cell membranes and secondly keep the cell membrane optimally fluid. If there are not enough omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, these cell walls will incorporate saturated fatty acids and other lipids and become less fluid. In fact, essential fatty acids are the major building blocks of cellular membranes surrounding every cell in the body, know as lipid bilayers, because they are made up of two layers of fat, these fatty acid walls help to control the opening and closing of the cells channels that allow the passage of important messenger molecules into and out of the cell. In a second pathway, the omegas convert to hormone like substances called eicosanoids that influence metabolic activities, it is important the body has an adequate balance. The recommended ratio is 3-5: 1 of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids.

Linolenic acid Alpha-linolenic acid
Gamma-Linolenic acid C 18.4
Dihomogamma linolenic acid C 20.4
Arachidonic acid Eicosapentaenoic acid
C 22.4 C 22.5
C 22.5 Docosahexaenoic acid

ADHD fish oil

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a term used to describe a set of behaviour problems that include hyperactivity, acting impulsively and an inability to concentrate for any length of time.  It affects many more boys than girls and because of the difficulty a person with ADHD has in focusing on or carrying out specific tasks; it can interfere with their progress at school.

Fish oil contains the essential Omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) both of which are required for healthy brain development and function.  These are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself so it has to source them from diet. Omega 3’s can be found in high quantities in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and tuna.  Most of us are not getting enough of the Omega 3’s in our diet, and instead, we are consuming far too much of Omega 6 fatty acids, which can be found in plentiful supply in vegetable oils such as corn oil and sunflower oil, meat products and processed foods.

EPA helps the brain to function and increases the blood flow around the body, including blood flow to the brain. The brain is constructed mostly of DHA, which is vital for healthy brain development in the early years.  Both EPA and DHA are equally important but we can produce DHA if we are getting enough EPA.

If there is a lack of the right kind of fatty acids that the brain needs to develop and function properly, such as EPA, it will try to build replacement fatty acids with what it has to work with.  This is obviously not ideal if we are not getting the right kind of fats through diet. Some studies have shown high levels of these replacement fatty acids in children with ADHD and this would appear to be linked to a diet rich in Omega 6 fatty acids and deficient in Omega 3’s. Males also need more essential fatty acids than females, which could explain why ADHD is more common in boys.

The health benefits of taking fish oil supplements are now well documented and the UK government is currently considering giving fish oil to schoolchildren as part of a general initiative to improve nutrition. Several studies conducted in the UK showed that children taking high EPA fish oil had increased concentration levels, improved their exam results and demonstrated less hyperactive behaviour in the classroom. Research continues but there is a growing awareness of how high EPA fish oil can help to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD and other brain related disorders. One Australian study even suggested that fish oil could be just as effective as Ritalin in treating ADHD, and perhaps even more so.

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