EPA - Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is a omega-3 fatty acid that is used in cellular processes within the body. Unfortunately, most people's diets today do not include substantial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. The main dietary sources of EPA are cold water fish such as salmon. Consequently, fish oil supplements are a good source of EPA.

Medical Indications and Benefits

  • Cardiovascular Health - Clinical studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids may help to improve cardiovascular health.

  • Growth and Development - Nutrition experts have issued recommendations for appropriate intake of each type of omega-3 fatty acid in infant formulas and diets. According to these recommendations, intake of EPA for infants on formula diets should be less than 0.1.


EPA is typically available in fish oil in combination with DHA. The usual ratio of EPA to DHA in these preparations is about 1.5. Fish oil preparations are available with higher ratios up to about 3. There is an ethyl ester form of EPA. The adequate daily intake of EPA for adults should be at least 220 mg/day. Fish oil supplements: 3,000 to 4,000 mg standardized fish oils per day. This amount corresponds to 2 to 3 servings of fatty fish per week.