DPA Background and Benefits
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is known chemically as all-cis-4,7,10,13,16-docosapentaenoic acid. It also has an omega-6 isomer, although this form is rare in mammals except for the testes. The structure of DPA is similar to that of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), except that DPA has two more carbon units in its chain.
The most abundant dietary source of DPA is oil from the bearded seal, which contains 5.6 grams of DPA per 100-gram serving, and some researchers feel that it may be a contributing factor to the overall good cardiovascular health of the Eskimos. Fatty fish such as menhaden and salmon also have high levels of DPA. Menhaden oil contains 4.9 grams of DPA per 100-gram serving, and salmon oil contains 3 grams of DPA per 100-gram serving. Small-fin tuna is also another good source of DPA.
Laboratory studies show that DPA and EPA are readily converted into each other in the liver, so DPA serves as a precursor for EPA. However, neither of these fatty acids appears to be metabolized into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is another nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acid. DPA is also present in many other tissues, especially the heart, kidneys and skeletal muscle. DPA serves many functions in the human body that primarily deal with blood health and cell proliferation.
Uses of DPA
The support of healthy clotting is one of the most common reasons for taking DPA. It is also commonly used to support healthy inflammation management and blood vessel function.
Healthy inflammation management
DPA may be able to support healthy inflammation management.
Blood vessel support
DPA may help support the healthy formation of blood vessels, known scientifically as angiogenesis.
Blood clotting support
DPA may help to maintain the proper degree of platelet aggregation in the blood, commonly known as thrombosis. Laboratory studies show that DPA inhibits thrombosis in women.
Signs You May Need DPA
The most significant signs that you may need DPA are conditions that restrict your dietary intake of DPA. This primarily includes strict vegetarians and bottle-fed infants. You may also benefit from DPA if your diet doesn’t include fish. The physical signs of a DPA deficiency include a high clotting rate and poor healing.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
DHA - DHA is primarily found in the brain, retina, skin, sperm and testicles. Its health benefits primarily deal with the nervous system and cardiovascular system.
EPA - EPA is also known as icosapentaenoic acid and timnodonic acid. The most significant dietary sources of EPA include oily fish and breast milk. Most of the health benefits of EPA deal with healthy inflammation management.