Inflammation is increased by ecosanoids derived from arachidonic acid, however, inflammation can be reduced by the sythesis of eicosanoids derived from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA). DGLA is synthesized from gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is in evening primlrose oil, while EPA is in fish oils. Cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases can act on DGLA, EPA and/or arachidonic acid. DGLA and EPA competitively inhibit synthesis of inflammatory eicosanoids from arachidonic acid,
To stop inflammation in bipolar disorder supplmentation with GLA and EPA could be of assistance. GLA and and EPA are synthesized from linolenic acid and alpha-linoleic acid respectively. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid while alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid both of which are essential fatty acids. Eicosanoid homeostasis is upset when GLA and EPA are not available more or less second by second. Both GLA and EPA must be supplemented as the difficulty in eicosanoid homeostasis arises from difficulties in absorbing essential fatty acids due to defiencies in taurine.