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Omega Protein continues to push DPA story with presentations at biology conference

By Hank Schultz , 24-Apr-2014

Omega-3 supplier Omega Protein Corporation continues to be at the forefront of the developing story on docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) in research to be presented in an upcoming conference in California. The presentation of these two new studies joins news that the company will sponsor an entire symposium on DPA in Sweden in July.

Omega Protein will present its latest research, which has yet to be published, at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego, to be held April 26-30. The two studies looked at serum lipid profiles and arterial plaque buildup and the anti-inflammatory potential of DPA. Both studies were conducted at Texas Tech University.

Hidden player 

The way labels on fish oils specify ingredients can give an overly simplified view of the complexting of these ingredients. DPA’s omega-3 brethren, EPA and DHA, are among the most intensively-researched nutraceutical ingredients, and strong evidence exists for their benefits in cardiovascular health, in regulating inflammatory processes and in other indications, such as cognitive health and mood support.  The evidence is seen as strong enough to establish a recommended intake of these essential fatty acids, and their amounts are called out on labels.

 

DPA, on the other hand, is relegated to the “other fatty acids” portion of food and supplement labels, and as such flies under the radar.  But while the evidence for any health benefits that can be attributed to DPA specifically are at present paltry, more data is coming to the fore on DPA’s role in the mechanism of action of the more well-researched omega-3s. 

“Science focused specifically on DPA is on the rise and the scientific community is increasingly recognizing DPA’s therapeutic potential to work with EPA and DHA, and as a stand-alone fatty acid,” said Dr. Mark E. Griffin, senior vice president of R&D at Omega Protein. “These two studies reveal DPA’s important role in health and both will be published in peer-reviewed journals in the immediate future.”

Part of the metabolic pathway

Dr Edward A Dennis, PhD, of the University of California San Diego, is the chair of the conference in Sweden. In his research done with well-characterized cell lines, he has shown how omega-3 fatty acids are elongated as part of the chemicals’ interaction with cells.  So DPA is part of that story, even if it might not be the starting point.

Nobody is selling a pure omega-3. They are all a mixture of some sort. One needs to understand what each fatty acid is doing,” he said. “People are aware that they have a lot of DPA in their oil and they don’t talk about it but maybe they should.”

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