The role and importance of DHA?
What is DHA?
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an indispensable omega-3 fatty acid that is required by the body. Like most omega-3 fatty acids, it is associated with many health benefits. Since it is present in every cell in the body, DHA has an essential role in your brain and is extremely important during pregnancy and infancy. DHA is very essential for the skin, eyes, and brain.
Why DHA is important for our bodies?
The body cannot manufacture DHA in enough amounts, so you need to get it from the diet you consume. DHA is mostly found in seafood, such as fish, shellfish, fish oils and in some types of algae (vegetarian source). DHA makes up 25% of the total fat content of the brain and almost 90% of the omega-3 fatty acids in it. DHA is the most copious omega-3 in your brain and plays an important role in its development and function. DHA has a beneficial effect on diseases such as –
- adult-onset diabetes mellitus
- myocardial infarction
- some cancers.
How does a lack of DHA affect us?
DHA deficiency in young age is related to
- learning disabilities,
- aggressive hostility,
- several neurological disorders.
Low levels of DHA can interfere with brain functions and are connected to an increased risk of
- memory complaints,
- Alzheimer’s disease.
Are there any adverse effects of excess DHA?
DHA supplements are usually well-tolerated, even in large doses. There are very high levels of DHA present in the retina, hence algal oil helps to maintain good eye health. It reduces the risk of macular degeneration, an age-associated condition that leads to vision loss.
Is algal oil a good source of DHA?
Algal oil is vegetarian and is derived from algae. It contains DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid which is a primary structural component of the brain. Adequate intake of algal oil improves memory and overall cognitive function and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Algal oil –
- reduces blood pressure,
- controls high cholesterol level,
- decreases blood clot formation and
- lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes
- has anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat Osteoarthritis and joint pain.
Also Read: What makes a good Multivitamin supplement?
Some points to remember
- Algal Oil is not derived from fish and is a vegetarian source of Omega-3s and DHA.
- Walnuts improve cognitive function, have a beneficial effect on heart health and are a rich source of DHA.
- Curcumin also boosts DHA in the brain.
- Vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, and dark leafy greens complement DHA in helping improve memory.
- Dark berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and cherries are an abundant source of anthocyanins and flavonoids that complement DHA in helping improve the memory function.
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- Algal oil
- Grape Seed Extract
- Moringa Extract
- Spinach Extract
- Vitamin A (Beta Carotene)
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
- Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyrodoxine)
- Vitamin B8 (Inositol)
- Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D2
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K2