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Docosahexaenoic Acid

Veterinarian Reviewed on January 10, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an Omega 3 fatty acid which may be found in both animal and plant sources. The human body produces small amounts of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) but is often insufficient and must be obtained from other sources before it can be utilized by the body. It is abundant in the brain and the retinas of the eyes.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is found in cold ocean fatty fish and fish oil supplements. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may also be obtained from seaweed.

History and Origin

The discovery of the essential fatty acids for the body has led to grouping of these EFAs and also the discovery of their uses and sources. In the ancient times, people had a rather high regard for the health properties of fish and other sea food. They thought that eating fatty fish and fish oils was healthy for the heart and the brain. Many tribes of the Pacific would opt to eat fish fresh and other fresh sea food as well. They insisted on eating fish raw so as not to waste the heath giving nutrients that it provided.
When Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was discovered as an Omega 3 fatty acid, many scientists have concluded that our ancestors may have been right in saying that fish caught in the deep cold oceans have many health benefits for the body especially for the nervous system and the heart.

Ancient Uses

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was not known during ancient times. The main source of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), cold water fish, sea food and seaweed, were food that was savored by our ancestors. They were considered very healthy and beneficial to promote good health, a healthy brain and an overall feeling of goodness since you consume fresh food from the sea. Fishing is one of the oldest ways to find food and most people who lived near the oceans and seas agree that fish is the number one source of nutrients that is needed to develop the best of health.

Modern Uses

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is needed for a child’s brain to develop and this fatty acid must be taken in regular doses to prevent attention deficit disorders in children. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may also be used as a treatment for mild depression. Fish oil is a known food for the treatment of certain heart disease and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can significantly lower your risk of having a heart attack since it improves the health of the circulatory system and can possibly be involved in lowering the amount of arterial plaque.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is also needed by infants for the overall growth and development of the central nervous system. It is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual pain and may also be able to cure joint pain in lupus.

Side Effects

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may have adverse interactions with cardiac medications and anticoagulants. It can also lower blood pressure and must be cautioned for patients with diabetes as well. It can also increase bleeding time when used with aspirin.
Talk to your doctor about the possibility of increasing your diet of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) if you have a diabetes, heart conditions and bleeding problems. He can advice a better alternative so you can reap the benefits of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) even with your illness or ailment.

Suggested Products

DHA – Essential Fatty Acids
Omega 3-6-9

Read also: Green Tea

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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