What is Vegepa?

Vegepa is a patented formula of long-chain fatty acids, combining the health-enhancing properties of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) from marine fish oil and 100 mg organic virgin evening primrose oil (EPO).

Each capsule provides 280 mg ultra-pure clinical-grade EPA and 100 mg EPO. Vegepa is manufactured under pharmaceutical control and is GMP approved.

What are THE Vegepa capsule shells made from?

The fish gelatine used for the manufacture of Vegepa capsule shells is made from fish skins coming from, Tilapia, Pengasius and Catfish.

Tilapia is a hardy, prolific, fast-growing tropical fish native to Israel, where it has been farmed for about 2,500 years. It requires water temperatures from 76 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently, tilapia are produced in outdoor ponds and indoor systems.  Pengasius is a Vietnamese tropical fish aka iridescent shark and shark catfish.

I’m aware that there are potential concerns about Vitamin A and Vitamin D in fish oils. Does Vegepa contain Vitamin A or Vitamin D?

No, Vegepa does not contain either Vitamin A or D. Unlike many ordinary fish oil preparations, Vegepa contains EPA which is molecularly distilled. Only the EPA is extracted; all other substances are discarded as waste. It is therefore safe to take higher amounts of ultra-pure EPA than less purified oils which often contain high amounts of these Vitamins.

Why does Vegepa contain Vitamin E and how much is in each capsule?

Vegepa contains a small amount of Vitamin E as an anti-oxidant to prevent the oils degrading. Each capsule contains 1 mg of  Vitamin  E which is lower than 10% of the RDA.

Why is the evening primrose oil in Vegepa referred to as “virgin evening primrose oil”?

It’s virgin because it is cold-pressed and non-raffinated i.e. unprocessed and unrefined. Therefore the all-important triterpenes remain intact within the oil.

In “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A Natural Way to Treat ME”, Professor Puri writes:  “virgin (cold-pressed, non-raffinated) evening primrose oil is rich in a group of compounds known as triterpenes. In contrast commercial samples of (non-virgin) evening primrose oil only contained traces of triterpenes.“Triterpenes are naturally occurring compounds that help the body mop up dangerous ‘free radicals’, that enable our white blood cells to function better, and that help reduce the pain or arthritic joints.”

What dose is correct for me?


Should I take my Vegepa with food?

Yes. It is preferable (but not essential) to take Vegepa with or after food BUT with a cold drink (otherwise a hot drink may dissolve the shell and then you get a “fishy burp” all morning!

I can’t swallow capsules

The capsules can be opened and the contents poured onto food. However, due to the possible health concerns about the oxidation of fish oils in liquid form, Igennus fish oils are produced in a special small capsule.  This avoids having to add large amounts of anti-oxidants and additives to stabilise the oils.

How long will my Vegepa take to work?

This depends on the individual. Some people have reported noticing a change within a couple of weeks, for others, and more often than not, it can take three months for the effects of Vegepa to become apparent.  Vegepa isn’t a drug, it’s purely natural and concentrated so don’t expect an overnight miracle!

What’s the best temperature at which to store Vegepa?

Vegepa is best stored in a cool and dry place, out of direct sunlight at a temperature between 5°C and 21°C

Can I take Vegepa during pregnancy?

Women should not take any supplement while pregnant before seeking professional medical advice.

Should I lower my dosage of fish oils before I have an operation?

Yes, due to the blood-thinning properties of EPA, one month prior to undergoing an operation it is advisable to stop taking fish oils completely. You can then resume them straight after.

What are fatty acids?

Fatty acids are fat molecules (or lipids) which make up the phospholipid layer of cell membranes. Long-chain fatty acids are essential for the proper functioning of every living cell in the body.

The notion that all fats are bad and the trend towards ‘low fat’ diets in fact pose a threat to health – certain fats, particularly polyunsaturates and monounsaturates are an important part of a balanced diet and actually contribute to improved health.

The most important fatty acids are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Why fatty acids?

Fatty acids are crucial for the proper functioning of every living cell in the body.  The human brain comprises 60% fat, of which roughly 20% are long-chain fatty acids. Crucial for cellular messaging these fats play an important role in brain function.

Sadly the body hasn’t evolved to distinguish between ‘good’ fats (such as EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid – or GLA) and ‘bad’ fats (hydrogenated fats found in margarines and pastries, for example). Gradually these bad fats replace the good fats in the brain, resulting in the hardening of cell membranes and deterioration of cell signalling. This can adversely affect the production of neurotransmitters in the brain.

All individuals wanting to maintain their health should be consuming fatty acids regularly, whether purely through diet or taking Vegepa.

Are fatty acids beneficial if I do not have a healthy and balanced diet?

By supplementing diet with long-chain fatty  acids (as contained in Vegepa) the “diet blocks’ presented by our modern lifestyle and suspect farming methods (egs. mercury and sewage in the sea) are effectively bypassed. This means that the fatty acids can and will be absorbed by the body.

A healthy diet helps to boost the utilisation of fatty acids, however. As well as being converted into succeeding fatty acids, EPA and EPO are both converted into eicosanoids – substances such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes which are vital for the regulation of inflammation, pain, fluid balance and blood clotting.

Fatty acids are beneficial despite not having a perfectly balanced diet, although benefits will be optimised with sufficient intake of co-factor vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Zinc, Folic acid and so on.

Can omega-3s be obtained as part of the diet?

Yes, it is possible to obtain omega-3s through diet. Short-chain omega-3s can be obtained from flaxseed, rapeseed (canola) and walnut oils. The conversion of short-chain fatty acids into long-chain fatty acids is very inefficient, however, so in order to obtain the more important long-chain fatty acids in significant amounts it is slightly more difficult, particularly for vegetarians.

EPA (the key omega-3 fatty acid) is found in rich supply in oily species of fish. Eating at least 2 oily portions of fish each week will provide a sufficient amount of omega-3 for maintaining cardiovascular health.

The polluted state of our seas makes it dangerous, however, to attempt to obtain large amounts of omega-3 through eating fish. To obtain the amount of EPA necessary for a sustained benefit to both mental and physical health, it is safer to take a purified and concentrated fish oil supplement derived from the flesh of the fish, whereby toxins and heavy metals are removed from the oil.

Vegepa provides a safe way of obtaining the necessary amounts of EPA in the diet.

How is Vegepa different from standard cod liver oils?

Vegepa is a clinical grade, patented formulation which is ultra pure and highly concentrated.

Concentrated fish oils are a far purer form of fish oil than ordinary preparations which derive from the excretory organ of fish (liver oils). By taking EPA which is extracted from fish oil, you are obtaining a higher concentration of omega-3 and consuming far less unnecessary fat.

Attempting to obtain high amounts of omega-3 by consuming cod liver oils, you also risk consuming too high an amount of Vitamin A, increasing the risk of Vitamin A toxicity.

Will taking Vegan omega-3s give the same benefits as fish oils?

Vegetarian omega-3s are short-chain fatty acids. Although beneficial to health, these fats do not have the same significant health-enhancing properties as the long-chain fats which are so crucial for neurological function, for example.

It is the long-chain fatty acids which are important both structurally and functionally in the brain. While in theory the body has the capability to convert short-chain omega fatty acids into the succeeding long-chain fats this conversion is, in reality, very inefficient. With each conversion, certain enzymes must be present in order for the body to metabolise the fatty acids effectively.

The average modern diet creates ‘blocks’ whereby these enzymes are not produced in sufficient amounts to enable short-chain fats to be converted into long-chain fats such as EPA and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).  If you are Vegan or Vegetarian, or allergic to fish, you should take Echiomega – see PRODUCTS.

Why doesn’t Igennus produce a fish oil supplement in liquid form?

While we know that it would be easier for some of our customers to take a liquid form of our products, we are concerned about the high rate of oxidation of liquid fish oils which are constantly exposed to the air.

Consuming  oxidised oil is potentially extremely hazardous to health given the link with free radicals and cell damage.

Encapsulation of the fish oils minimises this harmful process and avoids the need to add large quantities of anti-oxidants and additives which degrade the oil.

Is it okay to take Vegepa with linseed oil (another omega-3 oil)?

Linseed oil only offers fatty acids at the essential fatty acid (EFA) level – i.e. short-chain fatty acids (LA and ALA).

There is no real advantage in taking linseed oil at the same time as EPA and EPO. If there is a block at the delta-6 desaturase level, then it is exceedingly difficult for the body to produce EPA from ALA or to produce DGLA and AA from LA. Even if there is no block at this enzyme level, there is only a small trickle of ALA that ends up being converted into EPA (and thence DHA, if needed)

What are the neurological benefits of fatty acids?

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are crucial for maintaining the correct structure of the membrane of every cell in the body, forming part of the phospholipid layer.

Phospholipids are responsible for the smooth messaging signals between neurons in the brain – deficiencies of fatty acids can therefore lead to problems with cell signalling and hence brain function. Given that the brain controls every function in the body via a network of complex electrical circuitry, the efficacy of messaging between cells is vital to health. Impairment of brain activity may occur as a result of a deficiency of fatty acids in the phospholipid layer.

What research is there regarding ME?

Intake of EPA-rich supplements in relation to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME has been undertaken in studies carried out by Professor Behan and colleagues at Glasgow University as well as many other researchers around the world.

Prof. Basant Puri      A Natural Way to Treat ME

Thousands of Vegepa Club Members take the ultra pure supplement regularly and swear that it improves the worst of their  symptoms.

For up to date research projects and recent findings, I recommend that you go to the ME Association and ME Research UK websites.

What research is there regarding Depression?

There is evidence that shows that sufferers of depression can benefit a great deal from taking EPA.

A study carried out in Israel, which focussed on 20 patients with major depression, found that 2gms of EPA daily resulted in “highly significant benefits” compared with a placebo (a capsule containing no active ingredients) by the third week.  Vegepa contains ultra-pure EPA.

What research is there regarding Alzheimer’s / ADHD / Dyslexia / Dyspraxia/ Parkinson’s?

In a paper published in 2003, entitled Fatty Acids in Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, and the Autistic Spectrum, Dr Richardson explains that:

“Scientific evidence suggests that imbalances or deficiencies of certain highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) may contribute to a range of behavioural and learning difficulties including Alzheimer’s, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and autistic spectrum disorders. This could help to explain the strong familial associations between these conditions and their common overlap within the same individuals.

“Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids are more likely to help than omega-6 (although both are important for optimal brain function). Of the omega-3 fatty acids, the latest evidence indicates that it is EPA – not DHA – that is likely to be most beneficial for these purposes.”   Vegepa contains ultra-pure EPA.

What about joints?

In “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A Natural Way to Treat ME”, Professor Puri writes:

Osteoarthritis and some cases of other types of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) are helped by taking a combination of EPA and virgin evening primrose oil. The EPA helps restore the functioning of the synovial fluid of the joints, while a particularly important helpful component of virgin evening primrose oil is the family of triterpenes (which help relieve the pain associated with arthritis).

“A suitable starting dose for arthritis would be eg. 4 Vegepa and 4 OmegaFlex or Omegaflex DUO capsules daily, depending on the severity of the joint or bone problems.”

Vegepa contains ultra-pure EPA.

I want to sleep better

In “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A Natural Way to Treat ME”, Professor Puri writes:

“EPA is converted into natural sleep mediators. After a few days to a few weeks of taking pure EPA (without DHA), even people who do not suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome find that they experience sleep that is much deeper and much more refreshing than they might be used to.”   Vegepa contains pure EPA (with no DHA).

I want to improve my concentration

In Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A Natural Way to Treat ME, Professor Puri writes:

“Whether or not a person is suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome to begin with, they are likely to find that their concentration and general thinking ability is much improved within weeks of starting a supplement containing pure EPA (without DHA) and virgin evening primrose oil.”

Vegepa contains pure EPA (with no DHA) and virgin evening primrose oil.

Lynne’s Vegepa v. Igennus’?

Igennus’ Public Relations Manager states “Let me reassure you that the capsules people are getting via Lynne’s Club are absolutely of equal benefit to those being supplied by Igennus because they are one and the same product.”

“Exactly the same Vegepa is supplied to Lynne directly from Igennus. And I should point out that the only reason Lynne has secured the cheaper rate is because she approached Igennus with an excellent proposal i.e. of supporting ME research and the ME Community at large and she passionately pursued it until it was set up.”

Who is Lynne?

In 2006 I set up and run the unique Vegepa Club in conjunction with the manufacturer Igennus after nagging them relentlessly for many months! (and ever since!)

The Club enables often impoverished sufferers to buy their Vegepa at a remarkably reduced price with the added benefit that each Vegepa product sold donates desperately needed funding for ME BIOMEDICAL research.

The Club has over 5000 satisfied and regular Members throughout Europe and as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

On a Personal Note

About Us


I don’t live in the UK; can Vegepa still be delivered to me?

Yes, we have Members across the globe!

Are there any side effects caused by taking fish oils?

Fish oils have many health-enhancing properties, but like any natural foodstuff it is important not to consume ridiculously excessive amounts – taking purified fish oils will not result in any serious side effects, however.

While EPA is generally extremely beneficial for the cardiovascular system, due to its blood-thinning properties, individuals taking blood-thinning medication such as Warfarin or Heparin injections should not take high strength fish oils.

Please note: the above information relates only to Igennus’ products. Consuming high doses of ordinary fish oils is not advisable given potential concerns about the levels of heavy metals, PCBs, DHA and Vitamin A in less purified products.

Can I take Vegepa if I am a Vegan?

Igennus have formulated Echiomega which is a certified Vegan formulation of omega fatty acids, which delivers superior benefits over the commonly available vegetarian oil preparations. Containing the omega-3 fatty acid stearidonic acid (SDA) from the plant Echium Plantagineum, it is naturally converted to the important long-chain omega-3 fatty acid EPA in the body, but up to five times more than other botanical omega-3 oils.

GMO-free, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Yeast-free, Cholesterol-free, Source of SDA, Source of GLA, Vegetarian precursor to EPA, No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives – Echium oil is the ideal nutritional supplement for those who are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to fish, to help boost the levels of the important omega fats in the diet.

Is it safe to take EPA while also taking anti-depressants?

The omega-3 polyunsaturate EPA is a natural component of food and is safe to be taken in conjunction with anti-depressant medication. Some leading doctors, such as Professor B.K. Puri, use EPA in combination with low level anti-depressants to increase the speed of recovery and to promote easy and refreshing sleep.

Nevertheless we would advise that you always consult your GP about taking any supplements alongside anti-depressants. It is important not to stop taking any medication suddenly.

Does Vegepa make you put on weight?

Vegepa contains 4.5 calories per capsule, therefore it is extremely unlikely that any individual would gain any weight as a result of taking Vegepa daily!  Even if you take the higher doses of 10 – 16.

The many benefits of taking a purified fatty acid supplement (which enhance the functioning of all living cells and will in fact regulate body mass) should outweigh any concerns about weight gain. Some studies suggest that taking a fish oil supplement in conjunction with regular exercise actually speeds up weight loss over exercise alone.

In “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A Natural Way to Treat ME”, Professor Puri writes:

“You need not worry that taking a supplement such as Vegepa may cause an increase in your body weight. In fact, if anything, if you are overweight to begin with, you may well notice that you start to become slimmer”