DHA and the Adult Brain

Apr 20th 2018

DHA and the Adult Brain

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plays a vital role in the ongoing structure and function of the adult brain. Structurally, DHA comprises 22 carbons and six double bonds, making it the most unsaturated fatty acid in cell membranes and an important ingredient in increasing the fluidity of cell membranes. 1

DHA not only turns on the growth of new brain cells, but offers protection for existing brain cells while it enhances the ability one brain cell to connect to the next, a process called neuroplasticity. 4

It has also been shown that a greater incorporation of DHA in cell membranes results in dramatically less susceptibility to lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in cells, especially neurons. 2

Our bodies naturally make very small amounts of DHA, but we must get the amounts we need from food or supplements. You might like to read “How Much DHA do you Need? Most people in the Western world do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids like DHA in their diet.

If you find it challenging to get the amount of DHA you need from diet alone, there are many DHA supplements available. Most are derived from fish. Interestingly, it’s the algae fish consume that makes them a rich source of DHA. Supplements like  Brain Armor bypass the fish and go directly to the algae source, avoiding any worry of ocean-borne contaminants.

There are many benefits to increasing your DHA intake including brain, eye and heart health. Reach more about DHA health benefits here. 3


Resources:

1. Zerouga M, Jenski LJ, Stillwell W. Comparison of phosphatidylcholines containing one or two docosahexaenoic acyl chains on properties of phospholipid monolayers and bilayers. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1995 Jun 14;1236(2):266-72.
2. Stillwell W, Shaikh SR, Zerouga M, Siddiqui R, Wassall SR. Docosahexaenoic acid affects cell signaling by altering lipid rafts. Reprod Nutr Dev. 2005 Sep;45(5):559-79. "Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)." University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.
3. "The Benefits of DHA." Eye, Heart & Brain Health Benefits of DHA. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.
4. "DHA Keeps Your Brain Healthy." David Perlmutter MD. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.

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