DHA (as Docosahexenoic Acid from Algae)

COMMON NAME

DHA

TOP BENEFITS OF DHA

  • Supports brain health *
  • Supports healthy vision *

WHAT IS DHA?

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is one of the three main omega-3 fatty acids (or n−3 fatty acids), along with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, with high concentrations in gray matter and the cerebral cortex, where it is a main structural component of the neuronal cell membrane and supports cell signaling functions [1]. DHA is also found in high concentrations in the retina, where it supports healthy vision. Although DHA can be produced in the body via conversion from its precursor α-linolenic acid (ALA), this occurs only to a limited extent, with diet being the major source of DHA. Cold-water fish are one of the best food sources of DHA (as well as EPA). Most of the DHA in fish originates from the microalgae they consume. DHA from algae, in essence, takes the middleman out of the equation, and is a vegan and vegetarian friendly way of increasing dietary intake of DHA without having to consume fish or other animal products. 

NEUROHACKER’S DHA SOURCING

DHA (as Docosahexaenoic Acid from Algae) is produced from algae oil and is a vegan alternative to fish oil-derived DHA.

DHA (as Docosahexaenoic Acid from Algae) is gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan. 

DHA DOSING PRINCIPLES AND RATIONALE

While there is no established recommended dietary intake for DHA, a number of health organizations have suggested ~250 mg of DHA plus EPA a day as a target. Relatively few adults meet this target—one study found only about 1 of 8 adults consumed at least 125 mg (i.e., met half this intake level) [2]. Vegetarian diets typically contain limited amounts of DHA, and vegan diets contain almost no DHA [3], so persons following those diets would be even less likely to meet the target amount. DHA has been used in clinical studies at a wide range of daily doses, from a few hundred milligrams to a few grams. The higher doses used in clinical trials are substantially higher than what the body gets from the diet and makes daily, whereas a lower dose study would be more consistent with dietary intake targets. Since there is such a wide range of dosing, the dose chosen for a formulation would depend on why DHA is included. In general, a lower dose would be used to augment the dietary intake and support the functional benefits of DHA. 

DHA KEY MECHANISMS 

Neuronal structure

  • DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found in cell membrane phospholipids [1]
  • DHA is the main structural component of the neuronal cell membrane [1]
  • Supports synaptic neuronal membrane fluidity [4]
  • Supports neuronal (dendritic) structure [5]

Brain function and cognition

  • Supports brain phospholipid levels [6]
  • Supports dopamine signaling [7]
  • Supports serotonin signaling [7]
  • Supports the HPA axis [7]
  • Supports neuronal choline uptake via the high-affinity choline uptake system [8]
  • Supports memory and learning [9–12]
  • Supports working memory [13]
  • Supports reaction time [13]
  • Supports cognitive health [9,11,12]
  • Supports neuroprotective functions [4,11,12,14]
  • Supports brain antioxidant defenses [11,12]

Mood

  • Supports a calm mood and healthy stress responses [15–18]
  • Supports positive affective responses [7]

Heart health

  • Supports healthy blood triglyceride levels [19,20]
  • Supports healthy blood cholesterol levels [19,20]

Longevity

  • Supports AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) activity [21,22]
  • Supports SIRT-1 activity [21]
  • Influences mTOR activity [22]
  • Supports autophagy [22]

Complementary ingredients

  • Uridine in supporting memory, dendritic spine density, synaptic protein levels, and phospholipids in the brain [6,23–26]
  • Phosphatidylserine in supporting memory and cognitive health [27,28]

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