Today, I will let you in on the 5 Proven Benefits of high DHA Omega-3 fish oil and 1 BIG problem to watch out for if you plan to or already take Omega-3 supplements.
Docosahexanoic acid or DHA is one of the most important omega-3 fats. Older adults would benefit MORE from taking a high DHA rather than high EPA omega-3 fish oil.
DHA Supports Brain Development
Comprising about 90% of the omega-3's of the brain, DHA stimulates phospholipid production and neuronal growth. This is why pregnant and lactating women need supplemental DHA.1-7
DHA Also Improves Brain Function
DHA is concentrated within cell membranes, and functions by making membranes more fluid, resulting in better movement of nutrients, neurotransmitters, thus, improving communication and overall brain function.8,10-11
High DHA levels are associated with improved working memory, memory retention and reaction times, reduced aggression, anger and hostility, lower suicide risk, improved symptoms of depression, ADHD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder..
High DHA is also associated with slower age-related mental decline, improved memory, learning, verbal fluency, and reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease in older adults.9,12-20
In contrast, diets low in DHA decrease brain and cellular growth factors, and increase oxidative stress and neuronal death.
DHA May Protect Heart
In a recent meta-analysis, DHA reduced triglycerides, EPA did not. DHA increased HDL "good cholesterol", EPA did not. While DHA also slightly increased LDL "bad cholesterol", EPA did not significantly reduce it.21-23
DHA also may reduce blood viscosity and blood pressure.24
DHA Promotes Healthy Eyes
DHA activates a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the eyes send messages to the brain. In children, DHA deficiency can cause vision problems.
As for Arthritis
DHA could also reduce pain, inflammation and cartilage loss associated with rheumatoid arthritis, which EPA may not do.
The BIG problem is that...
Most fish oil extracts are in ethyl ester form because they are cheaper to produce and easier to work with. But, you see, fats are stored and used in the body in the natural triglyceride form.
When ethyl esters are consumed, they are first processed to release the fatty acid bound to the ethanol. However, this process is pretty inefficient. In fact, ethyl esters take 50 times longer to be metabolized, and only 20% of it is absorbed.25