The omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is known for its
importance for healthy brain function and cardioprotection. Ongoing
research continues to substantiate these claims and find additional
benefits of DHA supplementation.
Just this past year, scientists attributed the following benefits to
Proper response to sensory stimuli: A new study published in the
journal Behavioral Neuroscience examined the relationship between
omega-3 fatty acid intake and the nervous system's ability to handle
sensory input – a function called sensorimotor gating (Fedorova). Mice
were fed diets containing either ALA only or ALA + EPA + DHA. The mice
were evaluated on their responses to a loud noise following a soft tone
– in normal sensorimotor gating, the soft tone acts as a warning so that
the animal is not startled by the loud noise. The mice fed ALA + EPA +
DHA had a 12% increase in brain DHA content and displayed improved
sensorimotor gating – they responded more calmly to the loud noise.1
Inadequate sensorimotor gating is central to human disorders like
schizophrenia and ADHD - children with ADHD have reduced DHA levels2,
and DHA has been shown to improve the symptoms of ADHD.3
Cognitive development in infants: DHA makes up 90% of the omega-3
fatty acid content of the brain, and is a major component of brain cell
membranes. Since DHA is crucial during development of the brain,
adequate DHA intake is important for pregnant and nursing women.
Previous studies documenting improved cognitive skills in breastfed
infants have attributed this to the DHA content of breast milk. A new
study has confirmed these observations. Infants were fed formula with or
without supplemental DHA – when they reached 9 months of age, the babies
given DHA scored higher on a problem solving test.4
Keeping arteries clear: The oxidized form of LDL cholesterol
contributes to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. DHA
supplementation in healthy, middle-aged men had antioxidant effects on
Reducing inflammation: Men who took DHA supplements for 6-12
weeks decreased the concentrations of several inflammatory markers in
their blood by approximately 20%.6-7
Cancer protection: DHA and EPA induced programmed cell death in
colon cancer cells8 and prostate cancer cells9, and DHA supplementation
reduced tumor size in a mouse model of cancer.10
Slowing the aging process: It had already been shown that heart
disease patients with higher intakes of DHA and EPA survived longer. A
new study has found that higher intake of these omega-3 fatty acids was
associated with slower rate of telomere shortening, which is a DNA-level
sign of aging.11
Why take algae-based DHA instead of fish oil?
All over the earth, the major fisheries are in crisis. Yet, claims
about fish and heart health have increased the demand for both fish and
fish oils - this demand cannot be met by the world's current supply. In
2003, it was estimated that large predatory fish populations had
declined 90% since the 1950s.12 Plus, most farmed fish are fed a diet of
smaller, wild fish, driving wild fish stocks down further.13 Algae-based
DHA is a more sustainable option, and it is free of the environmental
pollutants that accumulate in the fatty tissue of fish, like mercury,
PCBs, and dioxin.
Fuhrman's DHA Purity
Dr. Fuhrman's DHA Purity is unique. This vegetable-derived formula
was developed to maximize purity and freshness and is entirely vegan. We
buy the highest quality most concentrated form of DHA, package them in
dark glass (not plastic) and then keep the bottles refrigerated so that
the oil does not become rancid or oxidized. You will certainly taste the
freshness DHA Purity when it hits your tongue. You simply can't get a
better tasting, fresher DHA anywhere!
1.American Psychological Association (2009, December 19). New study
links DHA type of omega-3 to better nervous-system function. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091216130718.htm
Fedorova I et al. Deficit in prepulse inhibition in mice caused by
dietary n-3 fatty acid deficiency. Behav Neurosci. 2009
2. Colter AL et al. Fatty acid status and behavioural symptoms of
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents: a case-control
study. Nutr J. 2008 Feb 14;7:8.
3. Richardson AJ, Puri BK. A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled
study of the effects of supplementation with highly unsaturated fatty
acids on ADHD-related symptoms in children with specific learning
difficulties. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry
4. Society for Research in Child Development (2009, September 17).
Supplementing Babies' Formula With DHA Boosts Cognitive Development,
Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915100945.htm
5. Calzada C et al. Subgram daily supplementation with docosahexaenoic
acid protects low-density lipoproteins from oxidation in healthy men.
Atherosclerosis. 2009 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print]
6. Kelley DS et al. DHA supplementation decreases serum C-reactive
protein and other markers of inflammation in hypertriglyceridemic men. J
Nutr. 2009 Mar;139(3):495-501. Epub 2009 Jan 21.
7. Bloomer RJ et al. Effect of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid
on resting and exercise-induced inflammatory and oxidative stress
biomarkers: a randomized, placebo controlled, cross-over study. Lipids
in Health and Disease 2009, 8:36
8. Giros A et al. Regulation of colorectal cancer cell apoptosis by the
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids Docosahexaenoic and Eicosapentaenoic.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Aug;2(8):732-42. Epub 2009 Jul 28.
9. Anderson BM et al. Are all n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids created
equal? Lipids in Health and Disease 2009
10. El-Mesery M et al. Chemopreventive and renal protective effects for
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): implications of CRP and lipid peroxides.
Cell Div. 2009 Apr 2;4:6.
11. Farzaneh-Far R et al. Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients With Coronary Heart DiseaseJAMA.
12. Myers RA Worm B. Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish
communities. Nature 423, 280-283 (15 May 2003)
13. Jenkins D et al. Are dietary recommendations for the use of fish
oils sustainable? CMAJ 180 (6): 633. (2009)