DPA: Another Important Omega-3

There's something new on our fish oil labels – in the supplement facts panel. Along with the amount of EPA and DHA, DPA is also listed. DPA is the beneficial omega-3 docosapentaenoic acid. Fish and some fish oil supplements naturally contain DPA, and so does human breast milk. Why is DPA so important, and what does it do for us?
 
Omega-3s play an important role in our overall wellbeing, from supporting heart and vascular health, to promoting brain development and cognitive health. They support cell membrane structure, gene transcription, and balanced inflammation. When it comes to the heart, omega-3s support a healthy heart rate and blood vessel health, and they help support healthy triglyceride levels already within the normal range. DPA has always been part of healthy nutrition, since infants obtain almost as much DPA as DHA from human breast milk. 
 
In studies looking to explain the benefits of fish-derived omega-3s, DPA hasn't received the same amount of attention as EPA and DHA, but that's changing as more health benefits continue to be discovered. DPA supports a healthy cardiovascular system, cognitive function, and mental well-being. Like EPA and DHA, DPA is also an ingredient our body uses to product specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs). They're also called resolvins and protectins. They protect the cells where they are formed. 
 
Omega-3s are one of the most well-researched dietary supplement ingredients available and have the most evidence for supporting cardiovascular health. If you're looking to include DPA in your total omega-3 intake, look for supplements that provide 50 to 300 mg of DPA per serving.