Template:Chembox new Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA or icosapent or icosapentaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid. In physiological literature, it is given the name 20:5(n-3). It also has the trivial name timnodonic acid. In chemical structure, EPA is a carboxylic acid with a 20-carbon chain and five cis double bonds; the first double bond is located at the third carbon from the omega end.
- EPA and its metabolites act in the body largely by their interactions with the metabolites of arachidonic acid; see Essential fatty acid interactions for detail.
It is available from some non-animal sources—spirulina and microalgae. Microalgae are being deveolped as a commercial source. EPA is not usually found in higher plants, but it has been reported in trace amounts in purslane.
The US National Institute of Health's MedlinePlus lists a large number of conditions in which EPA (alone or in concert with other ω-3 sources) is known or thought to be effective. Most of these involve its ability to lower inflammation.
Eicosapentaenoic acid is thought to possess beneficial potential in mental conditions, such as schizophrenia. Several studies report an additional reduction in scores on symptom scales used to assess the severity of symptoms, when additional EPA is taken.
- Docosahexaenoic acid
- List of omega-3 fatty acids
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Snake oil
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