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Why are EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids... - Equazen eye...

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October 9, 2012

Why are EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids important to our bodies and how
do they differ ?
Read an article by David McEvoy from dietivity.com about the research
performed on omega-3 fatty acids:
According to a study led by Lawrence Whalley, a mental health professor at
Aberdeen University, fish oil appears to help the brain to work faster, it
increases IQ scores and slows down the ageing process by reducing
inflammation.
The Durham trials led by Dr Madeleine Portwood have consistently shown that
fish oil with a high EPA content improves behaviour, concentration and
learning resulting in better grades at school. . Adelaide University, who also
used high EPA fish oil, claimed it to be an effective treatment for ADHD.
Research led by Dr Andrew Stoll looked at the effect of Omega 3 fatty acids on
Bipolar disorder and found that fish oil reduced the severity of the symptoms.
Hibbeln et al found a direct link between lower fish consumption and the risk
of developing postnatal depression and that research spanned 22 countries.
An Italian study by Fontani et al concluded that Omega 3 supplementation
improves complex cortical processing with improvements in mood and a
reduction in anger, anxiety and depression
These examples represent only a fraction of the studies conducted but they
demonstrate just how effective fish oil can be in positively influencing mood
and mental functioning.
But one of the biggest studies to date on the effect of Omega 3 fatty acids on
depression was conducted by Malcolm Peet at Sheffield University who found
that ethyl-EPA, a highly concentrated and purified form of the Omega 3 fatty
acid EPA, dramatically reduced depression. He, along with a growing number
of others, now believe that EPA is the fatty acid primarily responsible for the
profound effect on mood and brain functioning and not DHA as once was
thought.
EPA versus DHA
Although we need both EPA and DHA equally, as Ralph Holman, an expert on
fatty acids once said DHA is structure and EPA is function. We need DHA for
the proper development of the brain during pregnancy and through the first
few years of life, but the rest of the time we need EPA for the brain to function
efficiently. Some research has also indicated that the presence of DHA might
actually interfere with the beneficial properties of EPA making it somewhat
less effective than fish oil with a very high EPA content.
How EPA works
No one yet knows exactly how EPA works, but it is believed to reduce
inflammation, thin the blood, increase serotonin levels, and improve blood flow
to the brain leading to greater inter-connectivity in the neural networks. EPA

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11/3/2014 8:28 PM

Why are EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids... - Equazen eye...

https://www.facebook.com/Equazen/posts/274388739346517

and other fatty acids we consume compete with each other to be converted
into eicosanoids. These hormone-like compounds will either be
pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory depending on the type of fatty acid that
dominated at the time, for example, Omega 3 or Omega 6.
As EPA is constantly being used up, we need to replenish our supplies in order
to inhibit overproduction of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, which is known to
put us at greater risk of depression and other health problems.
In conclusion, fish oil may not be a panacea for mental health problems, but
there is little doubt that supplementing with fish oil high in EPA can improve
mental functioning and to make a profound difference to the symptoms
associated with mood related conditions like depression and ADHD.
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11/3/2014 8:28 PM