Different effects of EPA versus DHA

A comparison of the proposed differential effects of consuming the long-chain fatty acids EPA versus DHA is shown in the table below:

Comparison between eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)



• Greater reduction in hs-CRP

• Longer hydrocarbon length, promoting conformational changes in the membrane of vascular smooth muscle cells and macrophages

• Inhibits oxidation of ApoB-containing particles

• Increases LDL-C levels

• Greater induction of nitric oxide release

• Does not decrease ApoB levels

• Greater lowering of linoleic and arachidonic acid plasma levels

• Favors reduction of platelet aggregation in females

• Induces endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and enhances endothelial function

• Greater anti-thrombotic effect

• Favours reduction of platelet aggregation in males

• Greater increase in adiponectin levels [unclear relevance]


ApoB: apolipoprotein B; hs-CRP: high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; LDL-C: LDL cholesterol


Quispe et al.: Controversies in the Use of Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Prevent Atherosclerosis. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2022 Jul;24(7):571-581. doi: 10.1007/s11883-022-01031-9. Epub 2022 Apr 30.

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