DHA is the most influential omega-3 fatty acid in the brain (approximately 30% to 40% of the cerebral cortical gray matter and photoreceptor cells on the retina). It is an important component of the nerve cell membrane, which can maintain fluidity and neural plasticity, and regulate genes. Performance and nerve conduction, and activate enzymes and ion channels.
Do you know the benefits of DHA supplements?
It was found in archaeological investigations that DHA plays an important role in the evolution of the human brain and is the key to improving the brain-to-body mass ratio, which represents improving cognitive ability, better concentration, planning, and resolution problem skills, more complex languages, social, emotional, and behavioral development.
Table of Contents
- What are the benefits recommended by DHA?
- Are there any side effects of DHA?
- Where can I buy the DHA recommended by most pregnant women?
What are the benefits recommended by DHA?
1. Beneficial fetal brain development (pregnancy supplement)
For fetuses and children to have a good development, they need a combination of nutrients, and DHA in Omega-3 fatty acids is often given special attention.
Animal and human studies have found that DHA is very important for the development of the central nervous system and is the key to determining the level of cognition, behavior, and execution ability.
A randomized clinical trial (7-year follow-up period, participants were 543 children), compared with the placebo group, pregnant women supplemented with DHA in the second half of pregnancy had no effect on children’s intelligence quotient (IQ) language, learning, and execution ability Significantly improve the effect (only the perceptual reasoning ability wins slightly).
In addition, the DHA group had more executive dysfunction (measured by Global Executive composite) and behavior problems (measured by Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) than the control group.
*Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ): It is mainly used to evaluate emotional symptoms, behavior problems, hyperactivity, inattention, peer relationships, and prosocial behavior.
*Global Executive composite: Mainly used to evaluate behavioral regulation and metacognition ability.
*Conclusion: Although DHA is theoretically helpful for brain development, the benefit of supplementation during pregnancy for improving the intelligence of young children is still unclear, and it needs to be confirmed by more studies in the future.
2. Reduce preterm birth rate and brain damage
Premature delivery is mainly defined as newborns born less than 37 weeks of gestation. It is estimated that approximately 12 million premature babies are born worldwide each year, accounting for 9.6% of the total newborn population.
With the improvement of the medical environment, although the survival rate of premature babies has greatly increased, the risks of related developmental disorders are still high (cerebral palsy, cognitive and language delays, emotional/behavior regulation problems), increasing the burden of relative care.
A phase III clinical double-blind controlled trial pointed out (the subject is 350 pregnant women, within 20 weeks of pregnancy), supplementation with DHA (600 mg daily) can increase the average fetal birth weight and pregnancy cycle.
In addition, the DHA group also had fewer preterm births (less than 34 weeks of pregnancy) and shorter hospital stays (reduced by about 32 days)
Another cohort study (60 preterm infants within 32 weeks) found that higher blood levels of DHA after birth can reduce neonatal intraventricular hemorrhage events and improve brain microstructure and related development results (such as Language and motor skills).
3. Cancer prevention and adjuvant treatment
Cancer is the most threatening of many human diseases and is comparable to cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that more than 14 million people are cut off from cancer worldwide each year. In the United States, nearly half of men and 7 Adult women have had cancer in their lifetime.
In a review, it was mentioned that in addition to the effect of inducing oxidative damage to the DNA of cancer cells and promoting apoptosis of cancer cells, DHA can also enhance the sensitivity of tumor tissues to anti-cancer drugs and improve the therapeutic effect.
4. Prevent age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is one of the main causes of blindness in western countries (the average incidence rate is about 8.01%). The early stage of the disease is mainly macular pigment abnormalities and drusen. When the disease progresses to the advanced stage, it will cause irreversible diseases depending on the condition of Progressive vision loss.
A large prospective study pointed out (Prospective cohort study, with a tracking period of up to 28 years and about 110,000 participants), ingesting more OMEGA-3 fatty acids (especially DHA), helps to reduce the range of 17% to 40% risk of early macular degeneration (but the effect of preventing advanced macular degeneration remains unclear).
The underlying mechanism may be related to the anti-inflammatory and angiogenic inhibitory properties of DHA.
5. Improve cognitive deterioration and prevent dementia
Cognitive decline is the main feature of aging, of which memory degradation is the most disturbing, second only to cardiovascular disease.
According to statistics, about 22.2% (more than 5 million) of the middle-aged and elderly population in the United States have cognitive dysfunction, and 12% of them develop dementia within one year.
A follow-up study found that (the follow-up period was 9.1 years, and the subject was elderly without dementia, with an average age of 76 years). The population with the highest DHA concentration in the blood can reduce the incidence of all-cause dementia by 47%.
Another double-blind controlled study found that (a period of 24 weeks, 485 healthy middle-aged and elderly people), for age-related cognitive decline, supplementation of DHA can help improve learning and memory function.
An inflammatory response is a series of complex mechanisms that the body responds to in response to cell damage caused by trauma or infection, to repair tissues and restore physiological balance.
If the tissue is not completely repaired or the cause of inflammation is not ruled out, chronic inflammation will form at this time, which is an important factor that causes Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer.
A randomized double-blind controlled study (10-week period, 154 subjects with abdominal obesity and low-grade inflammation) compared with EPA, DHA has an excellent anti-inflammatory effect (can reduce interleukin 18 and 16, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α)).
Are there any side effects of DHA?
For most people, it is very safe to use DHA products in moderation, but the side effects that have been reported are loose stools, stomach upset, hiccups, nausea, etc., and taking it with meals can reduce such conditions.
In addition, DHA products often contain EPA. EPA has the effect of reducing blood viscosity and blood-thinning. Excessive or long-term use may reduce coagulation function and increase the risk of bleeding.
DHA has the effect of lowering blood pressure or blood sugar. Please pay attention to patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, or taking related drugs, which may cause hypotension or hypoglycemia.
Do not use in patients with coagulopathy, taking anticoagulants, and those who want to operate (in the first 3 weeks) (may increase the risk of bleeding).
Where can I buy the DHA recommended by most pregnant women?
In recent years, food safety problems in various countries have exploded, and it is not healthy but black-hearted products that everyone spends on. Therefore, European and American products with relatively strict quality control have become popular products.
And iHerb.com is a large-scale medical cosmetics e-commerce company in the United States. It has a high satisfaction rate of 97% in the evaluation of Google customers. It provides global home delivery so that you can buy it without risking buying fakes through purchasing high-quality health products.