What Is DHA Fish Oil And Why Is It So Important?
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found in high concentrations in the brain and other parts of the body. Although scientific research on the health benefits of supplementing with DHA fish oil is still ongoing, many healthcare professionals recommend making sure you are getting enough DHA in the diet.
DHA appears to have a number of health boosting effects, and people who do not get enough of it their diet sometimes experience serious health issues.
What Is DHA?
DHA is an acronym for decosahexanoic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid. It also makes up a big part of our brain matter is essential for brain health and function. DHA is also found in high concentration the retina and is therefore important for vision.
The body cannot make DHA in sufficient amounts and therefore it must be obtained by eating cold water fish (such as tuna, salmon and mackerel) regularly or to take a fish oil supplement. Taking a supplement is the quickest and easiest way of getting this important fatty acid.
The Health Boosting Effects of DHA
- The strongest health boosting effect of DHA is its ability to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Heart disease is a major killer, and in many nations is the leading cause of death. DHA lowers the risk of developing heart disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of clot development, and helping maintain healthy arteries.1
- DHA lowers the risk of developing postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is the scourge of pregnant women everywhere, and is a major health issue that often goes undetected. While it does not cure postpartum depression, pregnant woman should consider supplementing with DHA fish oil during pregnancy in order to reduce their risk of becoming clinically depressed after their pregnancy is over.2
- DHA appears to be positively related to some aspects of infant cognitive development. In a recent study, Infants that had plenty of DHA while in the womb outperformed infants that were deprived of DHA in the womb on some hand-eye coordination tasks. Because large portions of the brain are composed of DHA, it is likely that infants that receive high amounts of DHA develop better brains overall than those that do not.3
- Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers experience a decrease in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms when they take DHA. This is probably the case because the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis is related to excessive inflammation of the joints. Properly balancing DHA with other fatty acids enables the body to reduce excessive inflammation.4
The Unique Nature of Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil is certainly not a wonder cure, but it is unique among supplements for its ability to treat so many different diseases. Fish oil also has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive. Even people with a modest budget for dietary supplements can afford to add fish oil to their diet. The main difficulty associated with using fish oil is making sure that the fish oil you use is sufficiently pure.
There are some unscrupulous manufacturers that do not adequately purify their fish oil supplements. To make sure the fish oil you are using is free from contaminants, make sure that you only purchase fish oil from well-established companies with a reputation for providing high quality products
If you buy fish oil that is of high quality, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of consuming DHA and omega three fatty acids without the impurities and toxins. These impurities include mercury, dioxins and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) commonly found in cold water fish.
Even the Mayo Clinic now agrees that fish oil is a health supplement worth taking regularly. If you want to maintain and improve your health in the long run, dieting and exercise alone are not enough. You need DHA fish oil to achieve optimum health.5