Here below are the 12 Health Benefit of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA).

Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is a type of omega-3 fatty acid. This charpter is to explore benefit of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Like the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid is found in fish and algae. Your body can only make a small amount of docosahexaenoic acid from other fatty acids (mostly alpha linolenic acid), so you need to consume it directly from diet or a supplement. Together, Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA may help reduce inflammation and your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease. On its own, Docosahexaenoic acid supports brain function and eye health.

Benefit of Docosahexaenoic Acid

Health Benefit of Docosahexaenoic Acid

Reduces Heart Disease Risk

Nowadays, the omega-3 fatty acids are commonly recommended for people heart health.
The studies that test Docosahexaenoic acid alone suggest that it may be more effective than Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) for improving several markers of heart health. In one study in 154 obese adults, daily doses of 2,700 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid for 10 weeks increased the omega-3 index – a blood marker of omega-3 levels that’s linked to a reduced risk of sudden heart-related death – by 5.6% .The same daily dose of EPA increased the omega-3 index of the same participants by only 3.3%. Docosahexaenoic acid also decreased blood triglycerides more than EPA – 13.3% versus 11.9% –  and increased “good” HDL cholesterol by 7.6% compared to a slight decrease for EPA. Notably, Docosahexaenoic acid tends to increase “bad” LDL cholesterol levels but mainly the number of large, fluffy LDL particles, which – unlike small, dense LDL particles – aren’t linked to increased heart disease risk .

Both Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA support heart health, Docosahexaenoic acid may be more effective at increasing your omega-3 index, decreasing triglycerides and improving your cholesterol profile.

DHA May Improve ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – characterized by impulsive behaviors and difficulty concentrating – generally starts in childhood but often continues into adulthood. As the main omega-3 fat in your brain,Docosahexaenoic acid helps increase blood flow during mental tasks. Research has shown the benefit of docosahexaenoic acid, states that children and adults with ADHD commonly have lower blood levels of Docosahexaenoic acid.

In a recent review, seven of nine studies that tested the effects of Docosahexaenoic acid supplements in children with ADHD showed some improvement  – such as with regard to attention or behavior. For example, in a large 16-week study in 362 children, those taking 600 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid daily had an 8% decrease in impulsive behaviors as rated by their parents – which was twice the decrease observed in the placebo group. In another 16-week study in 40 boys with ADHD, 650 mg each of Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA daily alongside the children’s usual ADHD medication resulted in a 15% decrease in attention problems, compared to a 15% increase in the placebo group. This shows the benefit of docosahexaenoic acid.

Children and adults with ADHD commonly have lower blood levels of Docosahexaenoic acid, which plays a key role in brain function. The majority of studies testing the effects of Docosahexaenoic acid supplements in children with ADHD have shown benefits to behavior or attention.

DHA Reduces the Risk of Early Preterm Births.

Delivering a baby before 34 weeks of pregnancy is considered an early preterm birth and increases the baby’s risk of health problems.

An analysis of two large studies found that women consuming 600-800 mg of Docosahexaenoic Acid daily, during pregnancy, reduced risk of early preterm birth by more than 40% & 64%, compared to those taking a placebo. Thus, it’s especially important to make sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of Docosahexaenoic acid when you’re pregnant – either through diet, supplements or both.

By knowing benefit of docosahexaenoic acid, taking 600-800 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid daily during pregnancy could significantly reduce your risk of early preterm birth.

Fights Inflammation

Omega-3 fatty acids such as Docosahexaenoic acid have anti-inflammatory effects. Increasing your Docosahexaenoic acid intake can help balance the excess of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Docosahexaenoic acid’s anti-inflammatory properties may reduce your risk of chronic diseases that are common with age, such as heart and gum disease, and improve autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint pain. For example, in a 10-week study in 38 people with rheumatoid arthritis, 2,100 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid daily decreased the number of swollen joints by 28%, compared to a placebo. Though previous studies had shown the supplements combining Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA helped improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, this study was the first to show the benefit of Docosahexaenoic acid by indicating that Docosahexaenoic acid alone could reduce inflammation and ease symptoms.

So, Increasing Docosahexaenoic acid intake may help reduce inflammation and balance the excess of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids in diets. So, Docosahexaenoic acid may help counteract symptoms of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.

DHA Supports Muscle Recovery After Exercise

As known, strenuous exercise can trigger muscle inflammation and soreness. As another benefit of Docosahexaenoic acid, Docosahexaenoic acid, alone or incombination with EPA, may help reduce muscle soreness and limitations in range of motion after exercise, partly due to its anti-inflammatory effects . In one study, 27 women taking 3,000 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid daily for a week had 23% less muscle soreness after doing bicep curls than the placebo group. Similarly, when 24 men supplemented with 260 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid and 600 mg of EPA daily for eight weeks, they had no decrease in their range of motion after an elbow-strengthening exercise, whereas men in the placebo group saw an 18% decrease.

Docosahexaenoic acid, alone or combined with EPA, may help reduce muscle soreness and limitations in range of motion after exercise, partly due to its anti-inflammatory effects.

DHA Helps Some Eye Conditions

It’s uncertain whether Docosahexaenoic acid and other omega-3 fats help age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as once thought, but they may improve dry eyes and diabetic eye disease (retinopathy). What’s more, two recent studies suggest that Docosahexaenoic acid may decrease contact lens discomfort and glaucoma risk. In one 12-week study in contact lens wearers, 600 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid and 900 mg of EPA daily improved eye discomfort by 42% – which was similar to improvements noticed with corticosteroid eye drops . Additionally, 500 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid and 1,000 mg of EPA daily for three months decreased eye pressure in healthy people by 8%. Elevated eye pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma, a disease that gradually erodes vision .

Another benefit of Docosahexaenoic acid is: Docosahexaenoic acid may improve certain eye conditions, including dry eyes and diabetic retinopathy. It may also decrease contact lens discomfort and reduce eye pressure, a risk factor for glaucoma.

May Reduce Your Risk of Certain Cancers

Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for cancer. Higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids such as Docosahexaenoic acid has been linked to a lower risk of several cancers, including colorectal, pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer. Docosahexaenoic acid may help reduce cancer risk through its anti-inflammatory effects. Cell studies also show that it may inhibit cancer cell growth . Additionally, a small number of studies suggest that Docosahexaenoic acid may improve chemotherapy benefits. However, these tests are experimental, and scientists are working to understand how Docosahexaenoic acid may help.  Studies indicate that Docosahexaenoic acid may improve the effectiveness of anticancer drugs and fight cancer cells, but further research is needed.

Higher intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids such as Docosahexaenoic acid has been linked to a lower risk of several cancers, including colorectal, breast and prostate cancer. Preliminary studies suggest that Docosahexaenoic acid may improve chemotherapy benefits, but more research is needed.

DHA May Help Prevent or Slow Alzheimer’s Disease

Docosahexaenoic acid is the main omega-3 fatty acid in your brain and essential for a functional nervous system, which includes your brain.Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of Docosahexaenoic acid in their brains than older adults with good brain function . Additionally, in a review of 20 observational studies, higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids was linked to a reduced risk of declining mental ability – a characteristic of different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease – in all but three studies . However, in 13 studies that tested the effects of omega-3 supplements in people with dementia, eight showed a benefit for mental ability while five didn’t. The evidence shows the benefit of docosahexaenoic acid and suggests that Docosahexaenoic acid and other omega-3 fatty acids may be most beneficial before brain function significantly declines and interferes with daily activities.

Docosahexaenoic acid is important for brain function, and higher omega-3 intake may reduce your risk of types of dementia like Alzheimer’s. It’s unclear whether Docosahexaenoic acid can slow Alzheimer’s progression, but success may be more likely if you begin supplementing early as possible.

DHA Lowers Blood Pressure and Supports Circulation

Docosahexaenoic acid supports good blood flow, or circulation, and may improve endothelial function – the ability of your blood vessels to dilate . A review of 20 studies found that Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA may also help lower blood pressure, though each specific fatty acid may affect different aspects. Docosahexaenoic acid reduces diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a reading) an average of 3.1 mmHg, while EPA reduced  systolic blood pressure (the top number of a reading) an average of 3.8 mmHg. Though elevated systolic blood pressure is a greater risk factor for heart disease than diastolic pressure for people over 50, elevated diastolic blood pressure also increases your risk of heart attack and stroke .

Docosahexaenoic acid may support the proper functioning of your arteries, improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. This benefit of docosahexaenoic acid may help reduce heart attack and stroke risk.

Aids Normal Brain and Eye Development in Babies

Docosahexaenoic acid is essential for brain and eye development in babies. These organs grow rapidly during a woman’s last trimester of pregnancy and the first few years of life . Therefore, it’s important for women to get enough docosahexaenoic acid during pregnancy and while breastfeeding . In a study in 82 babies, the mothers’ docosahexaenoic acid levels before childbirth accounted for 33% of the difference in the child’s problem-solving ability at age one, suggesting a link between higher docosahexaenoic acid levels in mothers and better problem-solving in their children. Notably, preterm babies have higher Docosahexaenoic acid needs since the majority of this fatty acid is attained during the third trimester . In a study in 31 preterm babies, daily doses of 55 mg per pound (120 mg per kg) of docosahexaenoic acid for one month after  birth prevented the drop in Docosahexaenoic acid typically seen after preterm birth, compared to a placebo.

Docosahexaenoic acid is important for a baby’s brain and eye development. A mom’s Docosahexaenoic acid is passed to her infant during pregnancy – especially during the third trimester – as well as through breast milk. Babies born preterm may benefit from supplemental docosahexaenoic acid, Moms should know the benefit of docosahexaenoic acid.

Supports Men’s Reproductive Health

Almost 50% of infertility cases are due to factors in men’s reproductive health, and dietary fattty acid intake has been shown to affect sperm health. In fact, low docosahexaenoic acid status is the most common cause of low-quality sperm and frequently found in men with subfertility or infertility problems . Getting adequate docosahexaenoic acid supports both the vitality percentage of live, healthy sperm (in semen) and motility of sperm, which impacts fertility .

as the benefit of docosahexaenoic acid, Without enough docosahexaenoic acid, sperm health and motility are compromised, which can reduce a man’s fertility.

May Help Protect Mental Health

As a benefit of docosahexaenoic acid, getting adequate amounts of docosahexaenoic acid and EPA is associated with a reduced risk of depression . In a study in about 22,000 adults in Norway, those who reported taking cod liver oil daily – which supplied 300-600 mg each of Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA – were 30% less likely to have symptoms of depression than those who didn’t. While this study does not prove cause and effect, other research suggests ways in which Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA may reduce depression risk. Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA aid serotonin, a nerve messenger which can help balance your mood. The anti-inflammatory effects of these omega-3 fatty acids on nerve cells may reduce depression risk as well.

Adequate Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA levels are linked to a reduced risk of depression. These fats support serotonin  – a nerve messenger that helps balance your mood. Plus, they have anti-inflammatory effects on nerve cells, which may reduce depression risk as well.

Please see: Wiki of DHA for more benefit of docosahexaenoic acid.

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