EPA and DHA are directly or indirectly involved in many metabolic processes of the body. A deficiency can therefore affect a variety of bodily systems and functions. There is emerging scientific evidence for a number of beneficial health effects.
Under discussion are the beneficial effects of EPA and DHA on the prevention of atopic dermatitis, on insulin resistance, on strengthening the immune system and bone metabolism and for the prevention of certain types of cancer. Research results in some of these areas, however, have been to some degree contradictory.1
There is a need for further research on these new uses for EPA and DHA. Studies already in progress as well as future studies will assist in a better understanding the ways that EPA and DHA work.
1Norwegian Committee for Food Safety: Health effects of n-3 fatty acids as constituents of food supplements and fortified foods (2011)