EPA, Eicosapentaenoic Acid, an omega-3 type polyunsaturated fat, is an element of fish oil. EPA is involved in the reduction of triglyceride activity as well as immunomodulatory activities. EPA shows potential anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic ability. EPA is beneficial for the musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and immune systems. EPA is seen in connection to DHA for functions throughout the body, such as to help regulate various systems. EPA is more important in roles concerning eicosanoids, which could lead, in part to reduce clotting and decrease blood pressure. EPA and DHA are both found naturally in the form of tiacylglycerols, or TAG.
EPA when combined with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs and herbs may increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Etretinate, when used for treatment of psoriasis, may have additive effects when combined with EPA. Extensive bruising and nosebleeds have been seen (rarely) in some people when EPA is combined with aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
EPA, when used in the correct dosage (typically around 15 grams per day), has limited side effects. People have reported nausea, diarrhea, halitosis, eructation, fishy smelling breath and body odor. Due to the blood-thinning activity, easy bruising and nosebleeds have been experienced. When EPA and DHA are combined, side effects increase. High dosage of the fish oils may cause blood coagulation and increase the risk of bleeding.
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