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Did you know DHA is a fatty acid that is made by your brain? But fat is bad for you! Yeah, that’s probably what your mom said. Wait, did you know that your brain is 60% fat? We’ll come back to that later. Granted, saturated and trans fats are bad for you. They levitate the bad cholesterol that in turn elevates the potential of cardiac arrest.
If the body’s CPU, the brain, requires as much as 60% fat to run things, it follows that there must be some good in this fat. Yes, there are good polyunsaturated Omega 3 fatty acids or PUFAs, which make up 97% of the brain’s Omega 3 stores and also 93% of your retina.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is a PUFA and component of Omega 3 that is present in all of your body’s cells. Your brain generates it but not in copious supply. You must supplicate this deficit in food or supplements. It is sold as DHA Sigma-Aldrich.
What is Docosahexaenoic Acid?
DHA is very useful unsaturated PUFA located in cell membranes giving them plasticity when communicating with each other via electric pulses. It is also a catalyst in fetal and child brain and ocular growth. It can be streamed from mom to fetus or straight from a nursing mother’s milk.
Adequate amounts help to prime neuro connectivity while scarcity lags neuronal messaging and can cause worsening sight and retarded cerebral acumen. Auto models are invented to run on specific lubricants and parts. Switch these and you ruin the output. DHA is the custom oil for revving up our human engines.
What are DHA Benefits?
To the Brain
This is a super-important brain nutriment, from the zygote to infancy and beyond to adulthood. In the unborn, it is a key building block for brain formation and also a huge component of vision development
In our developed brains, it is resident in the frontal lobe and gray matter which are in charge of emotions and memory, problem-solving and alertness. Studies indicate that higher DHA reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Patients with these ailments have much lower DHA.
Age is precipitated by many markers such as slow metabolism, worn DNA, and a plummet in antioxidants. These are the same marks of low DHA. Thus jolting DHA overcomes these like an anti-aging cushion.
Omega 3 is different from trans fats from vegetable shortening, hydrogenated oils, and margarine because it blocks bad cholesterol. It also battles endothelial paralysis, decreases triglycerides, reduces blood clotting, which are big causes of stroke and heart failure.
Protection from premature births
Any live birth under 37 weeks of pregnancy is medically preterm. Studies assert that 600-800 mg daily by expectant mothers reduced early deliveries by 40%.
Anti-inflammation essences soothe and revive sore and puffy muscles from working out or physical stress. It can be an important addition in your gym regime.
Further benefits are the reduction of blood pressure, relieving arthritis, asthma, a reputation to prevent and fight cancer cells, male reproductive health booster, and addition in ADHD therapy. As a big part of your eyes, it sustains optical health.
What is DHA in fish? Erroneously thought to synthesize the fat naturally, fish actually eat it and become a factory. Some algae that grow in the sea naturally produce EPA and DHA. Most sea creatures that consume these algae store it and become rich sources for man. These include krill, salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel halibut and anchovies which are used to make foods rich in DHA.
Cod liver oil is another big source of Omega 3. It contains added vitamins A and D to make a complex supplement.
Vegan DHA sources include Algae oil which is available as a supplement and in foods. Eggs have small quantities but can be artificially fortified to reach up to 57mg per egg.
Omega 3 Dosage
The best routine is to add fatty fish to your diet. Take them twice a week. There are also many supplements available for the healthy and as composite therapy for various frailties.
There is no scientifically standardized dose. Experts give dissenting opinions but the least daily consumption for healthy grown-ups is 200 mg of EPA and DHA mix
This, however, changes when taking it for medical reasons. Depression patients register results from a maximum of 2200 mg daily. For heart problems as high as 4000 mg daily has been given.
For children with ADHD, and under seven, 500 mg is okay. Above seven, the dose can be doubled.
Whenever supplements are part of a collective treatment program, listen to your doctor.
It is interesting to note that Omega 3 intake is actually relative to Omega 6. These fats are metabolized by the same enzyme. The widely accepted ratio of former to latter is 1:2. In the normal American diet, however, the ratio is unfairly skewed to approximately 10:1. This is because of taking too much processed foods having Omega 6.
Alternatives to DHA Vitamins
Algae oil is the best alternative for DHA vitamins. It is the virgin source of the oil anyway and purer than fish oils. It is more costly. Flax seeds, chia seeds, and echium oil have a different Omega 3 fatty acid called ALA and thus are not good alternatives for DHA.
How much DHA during pregnancy?
Studies support DHA prenatal Vitamins, during gestation for both mother and child. 200 mg is adequate during pregnancy and lactation while 50 to 100 mg is recommended for kids. Most baby formulas come loaded with Omega 3.
“Too much of a good thing can be poisonous” the saying goes. The FDA and its European equal EFSA have warned that exceeding limits of 3000 mg and 5000 mg respectively can be dangerous. There is no record of additional gains from these excesses anyway.
Omega 3 can make your blood thin and lead to serious hemorrhage. Persons going for surgery or teeth extractions are advised to suspend use at least a week before the procedures.
If you are allergic to fish, you may want to consider veggie supplements.
Some types of cod liver oil have vitamin A which if taken in excess becomes a toxin.
DHA is a unique find a that helps you from conception, at birth, through your childhood and adulthood into old age. It not only nurtures wellness, but it also has palliative uses on its own and with other regimens. Incubating moms should check labels for prenatal vitamins with DHA to make sure it is part of the ingredients.
With great gains to your total wellbeing, optical and reproductive extras, DHA is a good daily companionship for all ages.
It is easy to find in tasty foods or palatable supplements with few side effects. This is one thing you want to get your system used to.