Docosahexaenoic (DHA) is one of these omega-3 fatty acids most important.
Like most omega-3 fats, it has been linked to many health benefits.
It is part of every cell in the body, plays an important role in the brain and is extremely important during pregnancy and birth.
Because our bodies cannot produce enough DHA, we need to get from the diet.
This article explains everything you need to know about DHA.
DHA ( acid What is docosahexaenoic)?
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid.
It has 22 carbon, 6 double bonds and is mainly found in seafood such as fish, crustaceans, fish oil and some algae.
It is part of every cell in the body and is an important structural component of the skin, eyes and brain .
In fact, DHA accounts for more than 90% of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain and up to 25% of total fat .
Technically, it can be synthesized from another plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). However, this process is ineffective and only 0.1-0.5% of ALA is converted to DHA in the body .
Moreover, the conversion also depends on the degree of completeness of other vitamins and minerals as well intake of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet .
Because the body cannot produce DHA in significant amounts, we need to take it from diet or functional foods.
Conclude: DHA is an important omega-3 fatty acid for skin, eyes and brain. Our bodies cannot produce enough, so we need to take from the diet.
How does DHA work? ?
DHA is an unsaturated fatty acid with 6 double bonds. This means it is very flexible.
It is mainly located in the cell membrane, where it forms the membrane and fluid space between cells .
This makes it easy for nerve cells to send and receive electrical signals, which is their way of communicating .
Therefore, sufficient amounts of DHA seem to make neurons communicate more easily, faster and more efficiently.
Low levels of DHA in the brain or eyes may slow signals between cells, leading to poor vision or changes in brain function.
DHA also has many other functions in the body. Examples include anti-inflammatory and reducing triglycerides in the blood.
Conclude: DHA creates a membrane and a fluid-filled gap between nerve cells, making it easier for cells to communicate.
Food source contain a lot of DHA most
DHA is mainly found in seafood such as fish, crustaceans and algae.
Some types of fish and fish products are great source , provide up to several grams in each section .
Some fish oils, like cod liver oil, can provide up to 1 gram of DHA in a tablespoon (10-15 ml) .
Remember that some fish oils may also contain large amounts of vitamin A, with large amounts of this substance being harmful.
However, it is difficult to get enough DHA only from the diet. So if we don't regularly eat the food mentioned above, using functional foods can be a good idea.
Conclude: DHA is mainly found in fatty fish, shellfish, fish oil and algae. Herbivorous, dairy, and omega-3 rich meat can also contain small amounts.
Action up Brain the set
DHA is the most abundant type of omega-3 in the brain and plays an important role in brain development and function.
Concentrations of other omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA, usually 250-300 times lower .
It plays a role main in the development of the brain the set
DHA is very important for brain tissue growth and function, especially in the developmental and early childhood stages .
It needs to accumulate in the central nervous system for normal eye and brain development .
Eating DHA during the last three months of pregnancy determines the child's level, with the accumulation occurring most in the brain in the first months of life .
DHA is mainly found in the gray matter of the frontal brain and lobes particularly depending on it during development .
These parts of the brain are responsible for processing information, memories and emotions. they are also important to maintain attention, plan and solve problems, as well as develop social and emotional behavior .
In animals, a decrease in DHA in the developing brain leads to a decrease in the number of new neurons and a change in nerve function. It also weakens the ability to study and sight .
In humans, lack of DHA in early life is related to learning disabilities, ADHD, aggression and some other disorders .
Furthermore, studies have linked mothers with low levels of DHA with an increased risk of developing vision and neurological impairment in children .
Studies show that babies of mothers consuming 200 mg daily from the 24th week of pregnancy until birth have improved vision and problem-solving ability .
Conclude: DHA is very important in the development of the brain and eyes. Early life deficiencies are related to learning disabilities, ADHD and other disorders.
It may be beneficial for evidence old man brain chemistry
DHA is also important for brain aging .
There are many natural factors that occur with brain aging, such as oxidative imbalance, changes in energy metabolism and DNA damage .
The structure of the brain also changes, which reduces the size, weight and fat content of the brain .
Interestingly, many of these changes were also observed when DHA levels decreased.
This includes changing the properties of the membrane, reducing memory activity, changing enzyme activity and changing the function of neurons .
Using functional foods may help. DHA functional foods offer significant improvement in memory, learning and fluency in people with mild memory-related conditions .
Conclude: DHA deficiency can disrupt brain function. Functional foods can improve memory, study and speak fluently in certain people.
Low levels are related to brain disease
Alzheimer's disease is the most common disease of dementia in the elderly.
It affects about 4.4% of people over 65 and affects brain function, mood and behavior .
Temporary memory changes are one of the earliest manifestations of brain changes in the elderly. This involves the difficulty of remembering events that occurred at a specific time and place .
Interestingly, Alzheimer's patients have reduced levels of DHA in the brain and liver, while EPA levels and high again .
Studies show that high levels of DHA in blood are associated with a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease .
Conclude: Low levels of DHA are associated with an increased risk of developing memory-related diseases, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Effects on eyes and eyesight
DHA is an important constituent membrane in the eye. It helps activate protein called a protein membrane inside the rod cells of the eye.
Rhodopsin helps your brain receive images from the eye by changing the permeability of the membrane, fluid, thickness and other properties within the eye .
Lack of DHA can cause vision problems, especially in children .
Therefore, infant formula is now supplemented with this substance, which helps prevent vision loss in children .
Conclude: DHA is very important for sight and other functions within the eye. Deficiencies can cause vision problems in children.
Impacts on cardiovascular health
Omega-3 fatty acids are generally associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Low levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death, some (but not all) of additional studies suggest that omega-3 helps reduce risk .
This is especially true for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish and fish oils, such as EPA and DHA.
Their absorption may improve many risk factors for heart disease, including:
- Triglycerides in blood: Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids can reduce blood triglycerides by up to 30% .
- Blood pressure: Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and fatty fish can lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure .
- Cholesterol content: Fish oil and omega-3 can lower total cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels .
- Function Endothelial layer : DHA can resist one of the causes of heart disease .
Conclude: DHA can reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing triglycerides in blood and blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels and protecting from endothelial dysfunction.
Other health benefits
DHA can also protect against the development of other diseases, including:
- Arthritis: It reduces inflammation in the body and is able to relieve pain and arthritis in people with arthritis .
- Cancer: It can make cancer cells difficult to survive. It can also cause them to die as programmed .
- Asthma: May reduce symptoms of asthma, by preventing the secretion of mucus and reducing blood pressure .
Conclude: DHA can also help conditions like arthritis and asthma as well as preventing the development of cancer cells.
DHA is especially important during pregnancy, breastfeeding and childhood
DHA is very important in the last months of pregnancy and the early life of a child.
Since babies are two years old, children have greater DHA needs than older children and adults .
Their brains grow rapidly and need large amounts of DHA to form an important cell membrane structure in the brain and eyes .
Therefore, DHA absorption greatly affects the development of the brain .
Animal studies show that DHA-deficient diets during pregnancy, lactation and weaning limit the supply of young offspring to about 20% of normal levels .
Deficiencies are related to changes in brain function, including learning disabilities, changes in gene expression and visual impairment .
Conclude: During pregnancy and early life, DHA is important for the formation of brain and eye structures.
How much DHA do we need?
Most instructions for healthy adults recommend at least 250-500 mg EPA and DHA combined daily .
Studies show that the average DHA amount is nearly 100 mg daily .
Children up to two years of age may need 4.5-5.5 mg / lb (10-12 mg / kg) of body weight, while older children may need up to 250 mg per day .
Pregnant or nursing mothers are advised to receive at least 200 mg of DHA, equivalent to 300-900 mg EPA and DHA combined daily .
People with mild memory-related or cognitive impairments, 500-1700 mg of DHA daily may help improve brain function .
Vegetarians and vegans often lack DHA and should consider using microalgae functional foods containing DHA .
DHA functional foods are usually safe. However, drinking more than 2 grams per day has no extra benefit and is not recommended .
Interestingly, curcumin - the active compound in turmeric - can increase DHA absorption in the body. It involves many health benefits and animal studies suggesting that it may increase levels of DHA in the brain .
Therefore, curcumin may be useful when supplemented with DHA.
Conclude: Adults should take 250-500 mg of EPA and DHA daily, while children should have 4.5-55 mg / lb (10-12 mg / kg) of body weight.
Considerations and harmful effects
DHA functional foods are usually well loaded, even in large doses.
However, omega-3 is generally anti-inflammatory and can thin the blood .
Therefore, too much omega-3 can cause blood to dilute or bleed too much.
If you are planning surgery, you should stop taking omega-3 fatty acids a week or two earlier.
Also remember to consult your doctor before taking omega-3 if you have a coagulopathy or take blood thinners.
Conclude: Like other omega-3 fatty acids, DHA can thin the blood. You should avoid taking omega-3 supplements 1 to 2 weeks before your surgery.
DHA is an important part of every cell in our body, especially brain and eye cells.
It is also an essential part of brain development and function. Moreover, it can affect the speed and quality of communication between nerve cells.
In addition, DHA is very important to the eye and it can reduce many risk factors for developing heart disease.
If you suspect you are not getting enough in your diet, consider using Omega-3 functional foods . This is one of the few functional foods worth the money.