Though the condition-specific platform, as it relates to either EPA or DHA dominance, is still a “work in progress,” we do see some areas that have emerged. One such area is EPA for inflammatory conditions. EPA has a unique mechanism of action.
How EPA works
Similar to many minor pain formulas, studies indicate that EPA not only displaces inflammatory substrates such as arachidonic acid (AA). Encouraging results in reducing inflammatory responses have been obtained by dietary supplementation with EPA, as in states of inflammation, EPA competes with AA for enzymatic metabolism, inducing the production of less inflammatory derivatives. One study in NEJM showed a 37% reduction in the release of AA, and a 48% reduction in related pro inflammatory substances. This may all be part of a bigger nutragenomic picture in that EPA is thought to possibly calm the inflammatory cascade via genetic signaling.
Thus, EPA-concentrated formulas are preferred over standard omega-3’s. Important to note though is that even with higher concentration, it takes time for cellular levels to reach their peak. So don’t expect to see an immediate effect on pain. With regular, concentrated supplementing of an EPA dominant formula, one can achieve the desired cell saturation, resulting in safe and long-lasting relief.