The roles of EPA in health – Part II


As we promised in “The roles of EPA in health – Part I”, we are going to talk about the main beneficial roles of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in our health: EPA prevents cartilage degradation related with chronic inflammatory joint diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids intake decreases the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, dysmenorrhea, inflammatory bowel disease and neuropathy and allows to reduce the intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

EPA is also a promising treatment for prevention of major coronary events (adverse events caused by diseases affecting the coronary arteries), and especially non-fatal coronary events, in people with high cholesterol.

Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people and those at high risk of (or who have) cardiovascular disease, decreasing the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) and reducing triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridemia is associated with increased cardiovascular risk), slowing the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque and lowering blood pressure. EPA treatment may improve the cardiac function and long-term prognosis of congestive heart failure patients (the heart does not pump as well as it should to meet the body’s oxygen demands) with high cholesterol. And, in obese people with high cholesterol, EPA improves the arterial stiffness and decreases the inflammation.

Furthermore, increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids could have skin cancer preventive effects. And EPA has potential as an anti-skin-aging agent: skin aging can be attributed to repeated exposure to ultraviolet irradiation (photoaging) and to the passage of time (aging). Topical application of EPA prevents the photoaging process in human skin, inhibits UV-induced epidermal thickening and also the UV-induced decrease of procollagen, both considered to be cause of wrinkles.

Moreover, data support the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids for hot flashes in women during the menopausal transition: supplementation with EPA reduces hot flashes frequency.

As you see, we can consider EPA a great ally of our health.




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