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DHA is an abbreviation for docosahexaenoic acid which is an omega-3 fatty acid and an essential nutrient for health. Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA have been extensively studied for their health benefits but the best sources are fatty fish which most people don't consume frequently or in large amounts. DHA supplements ensure that adequate amounts of this crucial nutrient are available to the body at all times, regardless of diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA are important components of cell membranes and serve as precursors for hormonelike compounds that regulate bodily functions.1 Cellular health and proper cellular function both depend on the integrity of the cell membrane. DHA improves membrane properties such a fluidity, flexibility, permeability and the function of membrane-bound enzymes.2 DHA is especially important for eye health and vision, and DHA preferentially is incorporated into the retina.3 DHA is also incorporated into the membranes of brain and nerve cells nervous system function, suggesting it plays a major role in neurological heath as well.4
Use as directed by the product label or your health care practitioner. Taking a balance of EPA and DHA is suggested. Fish oil provides naturally balanced ratios of DHA and EPA.
None noted. May potentiate the effects of some blood-thinning medications or aspirin regimens, so check with your doctor or pharmacists if you have questions about using fish oil or DHA.
1. Chem Phys Lipids. 2003 Nov;126(1):1-27.
3. Trends Neurosci. 2006 May;29(5):263-71. Epub 2006 Apr 3.
4. Neurosci Res. 2006 Oct;56(2):159-64. Epub 2006 Aug 14.