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Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (Molecule of the Month for March 2006)

timnodonic acid, omega-3 essential fatty acid

Eicosapentaenoic acid is an omega-3 essential fatty acid that acts as a precursor for prostaglandin-3, which inhibits platelet aggregation. It is found in fish oils from cod liver, herring, mackerel, salmon and sardine. It is also found in human breast milk.

The US National Institute of Health notes a large number of conditions in which EPA alone or with other omega-3 sources is thought to be effective. Frequently this involves its ability to lower inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in oil from oily fish and vegetable sources such as the seeds of chia, perilla, flax, purslane, lingonberry and hemp. Omega-3 fatty acids are classified as essential fatty acids. Common omega-3 fatty acids in the human body are linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
(5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z,17Z)-icosa-5,8,11,14,17-pentaenoic acid




Picture of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 3D model

click on the picture of  Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) structure
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Picture of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)


Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for March 2006 )

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