What are EPA and DHA?

There are tons and tons of abbreviations and acronyms within the realm of health and nutrition. If you experience pain in your joints and increased stiffness in muscles, you may have stumbled across these nutrients in your research for ways to reduce inflammation.

Chances are your doctor has mentioned them by their more common name…omega-3 fatty acids!

It can get a little confusing and time-consuming to learn and remember even a fraction of them, but EPA and DHA are two that you’ll want to know for sure!

Why use the terms “EPA and DHA”?

In the overwhelming majority of research on inflammation and krill oil, EPA and DHA are the two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids that are studied by scientists.

In other words, when you read an article, label, or study talking about omega-3’s in conjunction with bone and joint health, EPA and DHA are most likely the omega-3’s involved.


Do you need to know the differences between them?

Due to the many comprehensive studies on EPA and DHA by scientists, probably not.

As we’ve stated above, researchers have demonstrated repeating evidence that omega-3’s result in beneficial changes and processes within the human body.

Check out some of our past articles to learn more about the effects of these undercover omega-3’s:

More quick facts on EPA and DHA

DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid. It is an abundant fatty acid found in the brain and retina.

EPA is short for eicosapentaenoic acid. This type of omega-3 fatty acid is a precursor for metabolites (also known as eicosanoids) that tend to result in beneficial anti-inflammatory effects and immune functioning. Interestingly, it can potentially be converted into DHA…but this process demands a lot of energy and thus doesn’t occur very often nor yield much.

Both are found in fish and other sea creatures, like krill.

Both are used within the body when oxidative stress or injury occurs.

Ever wonder why omega-3’s are more popular than omega-6’s?

Let’s piggy-back off the topic of EPA and DPA and dive into the differences between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.  Check it out here in our post about The Omega Ratio so you can make the most informed decisions about your diet.


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