Omega-3 Acid EPA Reduces inflammation and Atherosclerosis In Animals and Humans

The hormone, called adiponectin (adi-po-nectin), is secreted from adipose (fat) tissue into the bloodstream, and is important in suppressing a number of metabolic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, artherosclerosis (artery disease) and some forms of liver disease.

Since EPA increases adiponectin and since adiponectin lowers triglycerides and enhances liver and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, EPA is a crucial fatty acid, particularly for obese individuals in whom levels of adiponectin have been found to be reduced.

The Research Study

Mice - The researchers used both genetically obese mice and mice in which obesity was induced by a high fat diet. After four weeks of a diet consisting of 5 percent EPA, there was an increase in serum adiponectin compared with mice that received a control diet. In the genetically obese mice that received EPA, white adipose tissue weight was decreased in several locations, although body weight gain did not differ. In fat cells cultured with macrophages (cells that digest debris), EPA was shown to reverse the decrease in adiponectin secretion. The study’s authors suggest that EPA reversed the decrease at least in part through the reduction of inflammatory changes.

Humans - In obese humans who received 1.8 grams of EPA for three months, plasma triglycerides decreased and adiponectin increased while remaining relatively unchanged in the group that did not receive the fatty acid. Multivariate analysis of the data confirmed that EPA was the only independent determinant of adiponectin levels.

Study Conclusion

“This study demonstrates that EPA increases adiponectin secretion in rodent models of obesity and human obese subjects, possibly through the improvement of the inflammatory changes in obese adipose tissue. Because EPA has reduced the risk of major coronary events in a large-scale, prospective, randomized clinical trial, this study provides important insight into its therapeutic implication in obesity-related metabolic sequelae,” the authors conclude.


EPA does not just increase adiponectin; it is also linked to prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help regulate cardiovascular function, brain and nervous system functions, fat metabolism, skin health, joint flexibility and inflammatory response.

What This Means to You: The Importance of Essential Fatty Acids

We have known for quite some time that essential fatty acids (EFAs) are very important for health. This recent study just further supports that knowledge. EFAs are the “good fats” (polyunsaturated fats). They are essential nutrients just like other amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Research with EFA supplementation has also shown promise in these areas: rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, high blood cholesterol, coronary heart disease, diabetic neuropathy, high blood pressure, high blood triglycerides, and cancer. Essential fatty acids are important components of cell membranes, where they maintain proper fluidity and flexibility of the cell structure. They are the building blocks for prostaglandins, which are hormonal messengers that regulate cardiovascular function, brain and nervous system functions, fat metabolism, skin health, joint flexibility and inflammatory response.

But here’s the tricky part: The term “essential” in essential fatty acids can be confusing. Most people think that “essential” means they are essential for health – and they are. But in this case, they are called essential fatty acids because the body does not produce them on its on… so it is therefore essential that we get them through external sources, such as the foods we eat or through supplements.

It is very difficult to get enough and the right kinds of essential fatty acids – Omega-3 and Omega-6 are both critical for the body’s healthy functioning – through diet alone, so most people turn to supplements to ensure they have sufficient amounts of EFAs.

Evening Primrose Oil (E.P.O.) and Flaxseed Oil (FSO) are two important sources of essential fatty acids. Evening Primrose Oil has proven to be the best source of gamma-linoleic Acid (GLA) for the body. Flaxseed Oil is nature’s richest plant source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). E.P.O Select is an excellent source of these critical fatty acids that our bodies cannot make on their own, so they must be taken in from an external source.

E.P.O Select is pure evening primrose oil. The active ingredient in evening primrose oil is the essential fatty acid (Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Evening primrose oil has proven to be the best source of Gamma-Linoleic Acid (GLA) for the body.