How Do EPA and DHA Work Together To Fight Chronic Inflammation?

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A recent study by Tufts University highlights the different roles omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA play in fighting chronic inflammation in the human body. The study was conducted over 34 weeks and involved a group of older adults who were by affected obesity and chronic low-grade inflammation. The study participants received either EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) or DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) supplements twice a day.

EPA and DHA, which are plentiful in fish and in shellfish like the New Zealand Greenlipped Mussel, are recommended for helping to lower the risk of heart disease, and it is believed that they work by reducing inflammation which is one of the causes of heart diseases. The Tufts study found that EPA and DHA work in different ways to fight inflammation.

  • DHA lowered the genetic expression of four types of pro-inflammatory proteins
  • DHA lowered white blood cell secretion of three types of pro-inflammatory proteins
  • DHA reduced levels of an anti-inflammatory protein
  • EPA lowered the genetic expression of one type of pro-inflammatory protein
  • EPA lowered white blood cell secretion of one type of pro-inflammatory protein
  • EPA did not reduce the anti-inflammatory protein that DHA did
  • EPA helped regulate immune function 

So, the bottom line is that the study shows while DHA has a more powerful anti-inflammatory effect in the body, EPA is important too because it is better at balancing pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins. Previous research shows that this balance is crucial in preventing cardiovascular disease.[i] 

Omega-3’s like DHA and EPA have been shown to reduce inflammation and may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis. They are also thought to be important for brain health and development, as well as for normal growth and development. There is good evidence that fish oil containing EPA and DHA may help treat heart disease, prevent heart attack and stroke, and improve blood pressure.[ii] DHA is also known for maintaining normal brain function in adults and for improving learning ability.

To get sufficient levels of inflammation-fighting omega-3’s, eating at least two servings of seafood a week is ideal, but when that’s not possible, taking omega-3 supplements is also recommended. New Zealand Greenlipped Mussel is great option because it is naturally rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids including DHA and EPA, along with ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), and ETA (eicosatetraenoic acid), which is only found in New Zealand Greenlipped Mussel and not in any other fish or shellfish.

ALA has been shown to help reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and fatal heart attacks, and may also improve lung function in people with asthma.[iii] ETA is known for inhibiting the COX and LOX-2 inflammation pathways in the body, thus reducing joint inflammation, pain, and discomfort without causing harm to the digestive system and kidneys like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can. 

MOBICOSA® Premium Supplement, sold in the U.S. by New Zealand’s Best, is made from 100% New Zealand Greenlipped Mussel with no additives, preservatives, or fillers. MOBICOSA® is an excellent all-natural source of omega-3’s and is a smart option if you are looking for a high-quality anti-inflammatory dietary supplement.  



[i] Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. “Fish oil omega-3s EPA and DHA work differently on chronic inflammation: Small randomized trial in older adults compares benefits of the two in supplements.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2020.



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