Health benefits of DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid found in oily fish such as salmon and anchovies. Your body can only make a small amount of DHA itself from other fatty acids so it is essential that you get the remainder from your diet or supplementation.

There are many health benefits associated with DHA, here are 7 of the main benefits you could experience by taking a DHA supplement:

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease – Omega 3 fatty acids are often recommended for helping to improve heart health. A 2019 study showed a link between low levels of DHA and EPA and increased incidence of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease [1]. In one study of 154 obese adults, daily doses of 2,700 mg of DHA 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% [2].

  • Fights inflammation – Omega 3 fats are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. DHA’s anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases that are common with increasing age, such as heart and gum disease, and improve autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, a common cause of joint pain [3]. In a 10-week study in 38 people with rheumatoid arthritis, 2,100 mg of DHA daily decreased the number of swollen joints by 28%, compared to a placebo [4].

  • May improve ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by impulsive behaviours and difficulty concentrating. It often starts in childhood and can continue into adult life. As the main omega-3 fat in your brain, DHA helps increase blood flow during mental tasks. Research has shown that children and adults with ADHD commonly have lower levels of DHA in their blood [5]. In a recent review, seven out of nine studies that tested the effects of DHA supplements in children with ADHD showed some improvement in attention or behaviour [6].

  • Supports recovery after exercise – Heavy exercise can cause muscle soreness and inflammation. DHA may help reduce muscle soreness and muscle movement partially due to its anti-inflammatory effects [7]. In one study, 27 women taking 3,000 mg of DHA daily for a week had 23% less muscle soreness after doing bicep curls than the placebo group [7].

  • Improves pregnancy outcomes – Supplementation with DHA during the later weeks of pregnancy is also linked to a decreased risk of early preterm labour. In addition, supplemented pregnancies had lower rates of infants born at 34 weeks or earlier and shorter hospital stays for infants born preterm [8].

  • Helps some eye conditions – Studies suggest that taking a DHA supplement may improve dry eyes and diabetic eye disease (retinopathy). In a 12-week study in contact lens wearers, 600 mg of DHA and 900 mg of EPA daily improved eye discomfort by 42%, which was similar to improvements noticed with corticosteroid eye drops [9].

  • May help reduce symptoms of depression – DHA has been seen to help reduce symptoms of depression. A 2019 review of 26 studies on polyunsaturated fatty acid levels and supplementation in people with depression showed an overall beneficial effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on depression symptoms [10]. In another study of 22,000 adults in Norway, those who reported taking cod liver oil daily, which supplied 300–600 mg each of DHA and EPA, were 30% less likely to have symptoms of depression than those who didn’t [11].

Epigenetics DHA is a great vegan friendly supplement that gives you 200mg of DHA per capsule. Perfect for supplementing a healthy diet.  

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