There is a lot of debate on the benefits of EPA vs DHA. The question that arises is whether EPA or DHA is better for inflammation.
EPA and DHA are both omega-3 fatty acids, which means they share some similarities. However, they also have some differences that make them unique.
EPA is often touted as the better anti-inflammatory agent whereas DHA is said to be not as potent in this regard as EPA. This means that if you are looking for a supplement to help with inflammation, then some people will recommend you to take an EPA supplement rather than a DHA supplement.
But is this really the case? Is EPA better than DHA for inflammation? Or is it the other way around? The answer may surprise you, read on as we delve into the evidence behind EPA and DHA for inflammation.
Brief Article Summary
It’s generally accepted in the health industry that EPA is better when it comes to reducing inflammation (including for arthritis and joint pain), while DHA is more effective at improving cognitive function and brain health. However, what studies now show us is that the combination of the two is actually the best option for reducing inflammation. In fact, EPA+DHA works better than taking either one alone in almost all health scenarios – including improving cognitive health, reducing pain & inflammation, and supporting cardiovascular health. The bottom line? Eat your fish, kids!
How Does EPA Affect Inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s response to infection, injury, or some other irritation. When inflammation occurs on the skin, it is called a rash. Inflammation of the joints can cause pain and swelling. Inflammation of the airways can cause difficulty breathing. Inflammation of the digestive tract can cause abdominal pain and vomiting.
EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid that can be found in fish oil and other foods. It has been shown to reduce inflammation by suppressing the production of inflammatory molecules and enzymes like prostaglandins that cause pain and swelling.
It has been found to have benefits for the heart, brain, and eyes. EPA can help lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation in the body. EPA also helps with depression, anxiety and ADHD symptoms as well as many other mental health issues.
EPA can also be used to treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, which are inflammatory autoimmune conditions in their own right.
How Does DHA Affect Inflammation?
The brain is composed of 60% fat, and the most abundant fatty acids in the brain are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA). DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that can be found in fish, eggs, and seafood.
DHA is incredibly important for cognitive development in infants and children. It has also been linked to improved mental health in adults. What’s more, DHA is associated with improved mood. It works by having an effect on the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with depression and other mood disorders.
DHA is not just the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain but also in your retina, which is why it’s so important for eye health. DHA can reduce inflammation by blocking pro-inflammatory molecules from entering cells and activating inflammatory genes. It also reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in fat cells, which can lead to lower body fat mass.
A deficiency of DHA can lead to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, dementia and schizophrenia. A diet low in omega-3 fatty acids has also been linked to increased rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
EPA vs DHA
The EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids that are important for human health. These two fatty acids have been studied extensively, and there is a lot of information about the benefits of each one individually.
EPA is more effective at lowering triglycerides, which is a type of fat found in the body. It also helps to reduce inflammation. EPA is also important to brain function and may help with depression or other mood disorders.
DHA supplements can be helpful in preventing heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. It can also help improve memory, learning ability, and attention span in children with ADHD or ADD.
The Combination of the Two is Ideal
There’s a reason why there is both EPA and DHA in foods like fish. While EPA and DHA each have their advantages, they work best when combined.
The two omega-3 fatty acids have different functions in the body. EPA is considered to be anti-inflammatory and may help with depression and other mood disorders. DHA is a building block for the brain and eye tissue.
DHA is important for cell membrane function, which controls what enters and leaves cells. EPA helps keep inflammation in check.
The bottom line is, the combination of the two is best as they provide a more complete set of benefits than either one alone.