What is DHA? 

DHA - the right kind of Omega 3

DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is one of the Omega 3 fatty acids. 

It is one of the body's most important structural components and serves an important role in the structure and function of all our cell membranes.7 

DHA is also a building block of the eye and supports good eyesight and sight development according to clinical studies.2 

Why take DHA?

The human body makes DHA but only in small amounts. In order to stay healthy we need to get additional DHA from our diet, and we need it every day.

Which DHA source is the best?

You can get DHA from many different food sources. People have traditionally gotten much of their DHA from fish. The fish, however, get their DHA from algae, the original producers of DHA.

The downside of this approach is that you need to consume a lot of fish to get sufficient amounts of DHA. Adding to that, the world's fish stocks are polluted by ocean contaminants, including heavy metals such as mercury, which is a real concern regarding human health.8

You can bypass the fish source by getting DHA straight from the algae through DHA supplements like AlvoGenius.

 


Studies on DHA

Higher levels of DHA during pregnancy are consistent with better infant health in many ways.7

  1. Studies have shown that children who receive a lot of DHA in the womb have better vision, both in terms of visual acuity and color processing.2

  2. High DHA levels are also associated with longer gestation (less likely to be born prematurely).3 

  3. Motor performance has been found to be positively affected by DHA intake during pregnancy.11

  4. Attention span is another factor that DHA can improve. A study found that 5 year old children who had gotten DHA through breast milk performed better on attention tests than those who did not.2

  5. One study measured blood pressure in children at six years and showed that those who had received DHA supplements had lower blood pressure later on.12

Should you take DHA or EPA?

Getting your DHA from a fish source also means that you will get a lot of EPA along with the DHA.

EPA is another type of Omega 3 fatty acid. It's considered very helpful for those who want to protect themselves against heart disease. High doses of EPA are, however, not recommended for pregnant women, and some doctors advise against giving EPA supplements to young children for reasons having to do with early brain development9

DHA and EPA bind to the same cell membrane receptors, meaning that they compete with each other. If EPA levels are high, it means DHA levels in cell membranes will be lower.10

Low DHA levels are known to have implications during pregnancy and onward throughout life. Since DHA is very important for cell membrane structure and plays a key role in brain and eye development it may be wise to give children higher levels of DHA than of EPA.10

With supplements like AlvoGenius you can now easily get all the DHA you need while keeping EPA levels low.10 

 

 

1Innis, S. (2005). Essential fatty acid transfer and fetal development. Placenta, S70-S75.
2Jensen, C. V. (2010). Effects of early maternal docosahexaenoic acid intake on neuropsychological status and visual acuity. The Journal of Pediatrics, 157, 900-905.
3Smuts, C. H. (2003, March). A randomized trial of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 101(3), 469-479.
4Brenna, J. L. (2009). Background paper on fat and fatty acid requirements during pregnancy and lactation. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 55, 97-122.
5Simopoulos, A. (2002). The importance of the ratio of omega6-omega3 essential fatty acids. Biomedicine and pharmacotherapy, 56, 365-379.
6Simopoulos, A. (2006). Evolutionary aspects of diet, the omega 6- omega3 ratio and genetic variation- nutritional implications for chronic diseases. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 60, 502-507.
7Innis, S. (2007). Dietary (n-3) fatty acids and brain development. The Journal of Nutrition, 855-859.
8Hughes, T. B. (2005). New paradigms for supporting the resilience of marine ecosystems. Trends in ecology and evolution, 380-386.
9Ramón, R. B. (2009). Fish consumption during pregnancy, prenatal mercury exposure, and anthropometric measures at birth in a prospective mother-infant cohort study in Spain. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90, 1047-1055.
10Arterburn, L. H. (2006). Distribution, interconversion, and dose-response of n-3 fatty acids in humans. Am J Clin Nutr, 1467S-1476S

11Jacobson, J. J.-E. (2008). Beneficial effects of a polyunsaturated fatty acid on infant development: Evidence from the Inuit of Arctic Quebec. J Pediatr, 152, 356-64.
12Forsyth, J. W. (2003). Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in infant formula and blood pressure in later childhood: follow up of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 326, 953-955.
13Bossart, G. (2006). Marine mammals as sentinel species for oceans and human health. Oceanography, 19(2), 134-137.
14Charuku, S. M.-D.-K. (2003). Higher maternal plasma docosahexaenoic acid during pregnancy is associcated with more mature neonatal sleep-state patterning. Am J Clin Nutr, 608-613.
15Hanson, L. K. (2002). The role of breastfeeding in prevention of neonatal infection. Semin Neonatol, 275-281.
16Wagner, C. G. (2008). Prevention of rickets and vitamin D deficiency in infants, children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 1142-1152.
17Prayer, D. K. (2005). MRI of normal fetal brain development. European Journal of radiology, 199-216.
18Paolicelli, R. C. (2011). Synaptic pruning by microglia is necessary for normal brain development. Science, 1456-1458.
19Hepper, P. S. (1994). Development of fetal hearing. Archives of disease in childhood., 71, F81-F87.
20Hoffman, D. T. (2004). Maturation of visual acuity is accelerated in breast-fed term infants fed baby food containing DHA-enriched egg yolk. The Journal of Nutrition, 134(9), 2307-2313.