Docosapentaenoic acid, or DPA, is a lesser known member of the omega-3 family.
Although DPA, EPA and DHA work together to ensure the proper functioning of the human body, scientific research has shown that each of these fatty acids have unique advantages.
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) is an n-3 fatty acid that is structurally similar to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) with the same number of double bonds, but two more carbon chain units.
The growth and development of the central nervous system is particularly dependent upon the presence of an adequate amount of the very long chain, highly unsaturated fatty acids, docosapentaenoic (DPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and failures in the development of the visual system in essential fatty acids deficiencies are two examples of this dependency.
Docosapentaenoic acid retro-converts to EPA. Predominantly found in skeletal muscle and heart and kidney tissue, Docosapentaenoic acid is a potent inhibitor of COX-1, an enzyme which induces platelet aggregation, especially in women. Moreover, this omega-3 has wound-healing abilities and helps with the formation of new blood vessels.
Docosapentaenoic acid is also involved in altering the gene expression – especially genes that reduce the synthesis of fat in the body. And Docosapentaenoic acid plays a part in reducing the expression of inflammatory genes too.
Inadequate dietary intake and low circulating blood levels of DPA may serve as a predictor and indicator of a broad range of cardiovascular, neurological and cognitive diseases.
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