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DHA

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By Jonathan Roseland  Connect    

One of the most essential ingredients in your recipe for grandeur, this omega-3 fatty acid is actually the main structural component of the human cerebral cortex.

In fact it is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain, approximately half of the weight of any given neuron's plasma membrane is comprised of DHA. Those seeking a Limitless mind and body should make fish a regular part of their diet in addition to supplementing DHA.

Mammals are unable to synthesis omega-3 acids in our bodies, it's an ability unique to cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, swordfish, herring, bluefish, caviar and sardines. Salmon cooked ordinarily contains about 500MG-1500MG of per 100 Grams. DHA is actually found in most cold water organisms but it is increasingly concentrated in animals that are higher up the food chain (How do you prefer your great white shark cooked sir?). It is recommended that healthy adults get at least 500MG of DHA+EPA daily. According to the DHA-EPA-Omega3 Institute, cooking fish does NOT create a measurable drop in DHA levels, in fact cooking fish actually increases the concentration of DHA since raw fish has a lot more water in it. Don't like fish? DHA is also found in eggs(in much lower quantities) and can be taken as an odorless, tasteless supplement.
Can you have to much DHA? The general sentiment is that the more DHA the better. The FDA has indicated that up to 3000MG of DHA daily from all sources safely. In Japan a daily DHA intake of up to 1200MG is quite normal.

A 900MG dose of DHA supplement is shown to absorb better in your system if taken with a meal. If you ate one serving of salmon everyday that would generally provide the standard daily DHA, but those seeking a Limitless mind are recommended to eat fish daily in addition to supplementing DHA.

Low levels of DHA is generally disastrous and has shown to be associated with Alzheimer's disease, depression, neural cell death and general cognitive decline. Increasing DHA also has a statistically-significant benefit to those dealing with bipolar disorder. Research on the effect of ADHD and DHA supplementation had produced inconclusive results. However a number of studies have suggested that children with ADHD have low levels of omega-3s and some top Nutritionist advise supplementing fish oils for those diagnosed with ADHD.

Not all DHA comes from fish though, it can also be synthetically manufactured in a lab using alpha-linolenic acid and a microalgae called Crypthecodinium cohnii. This was a discovery actually made by NASA in the 1980's. So DHA can be consumed by those who adhere to the strictest guidelines of the vegan lifestyle (vegans are allowed eat microalgae right?). The vegetarian and vegan diets contain little to no DHA normally so it is essential that vegetarians and vegans supplement DHA even more than normal.

Infants get the majority of their DHA from breastfeeding, so pregnant or nursing mothers should be extra vigilant about keeping their DHA levels high.

DHA is also good for your heart health as it reduces the level of blood triglycerides. DHA is also an essential cancer combatant in your body, as it inhibits growth of colon carcinoma cells. It was also shown that DHA would increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy done on prostate cancer.

DHA is also a primary structural component of the human testicles, sperm and retina.

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Side Effects:

DHA for practical purposes has almost no negative side effects. Since DHA is a fat some diabetics should consult their physician about their fish oil intake. Extremely high amounts of fish oil can have a decreases blood platelet ability to clot and scab but this is quite rare. Some eskimos have diets extremely high in DHA which can cause blood in the urine or frequent nose bleeds.

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