DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for human health. It is found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and in fish oil supplements. DHA is also found in algal oil and in certain food products that have been enriched with DHA, such as eggs and milk.
DHA is important for the development and function of the brain, eyes, and heart. It plays a role in brain development during pregnancy and infancy, and it continues to be important for brain health throughout life. DHA is also necessary for the maintenance of normal vision and for the health of the retina (the back part of the eye). In addition, DHA is required for proper heart function.
DHA is available in supplement form, including as a stand-alone supplement and as an ingredient in some multivitamins and other products. It can also be found in certain foods that have been enriched with DHA, such as eggs and milk.
The health benefits of DHA include:
Brain health: DHA is important for brain development and function. It plays a role in brain development during pregnancy and infancy, and it continues to be important for brain health throughout life.
Eye health: DHA is necessary for the maintenance of normal vision and for the health of the retina (the back part of the eye).
Heart health: DHA is required for proper heart function.
Cognitive function: Some research suggests that DHA may improve cognitive function in older adults.
Depression: Some research suggests that DHA may help to treat or prevent depression.
Inflammation: DHA has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Arthritis: DHA may help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Cancer: Some research suggests that DHA may help to protect against certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.
What is the best source of DHA?
There are many sources of DHA, but the best source is fish oil. Fish oil contains high levels of DHA, which is essential for brain health. DHA is also found in other seafood, such as shrimp, lobster, and crab.
Who should take DHA supplements?
DHA supplements are a type of omega-3 fatty acid, and they’re most commonly found in fish oil supplements. DHA is an important building block for the brain and the retina of the eye, and it’s essential for cognitive health and development.
DHA supplements are generally safe, but there are a few things to keep in mind before taking them. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should speak to your doctor before taking DHA supplements. And if you have any underlying medical conditions, it’s always best to check with your doctor first.
Most people can get the DHA they need from eating a healthy diet that includes fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. But if you don’t eat fish or you don’t eat enough of it, then taking a DHA supplement may be a good option for you.
If you’re considering taking a DHA supplement, look for one that’s been purified and is free of mercury and other contaminants. And be sure to read the label carefully to make sure you’re taking the right dose.