DHA, which is found in fatty fish and other sources, is an omega-3 fatty acid. It is beneficial for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and it may also be useful for people with high cholesterol, heart disease, and other conditions. Since most people do not eat enough fish, DHA is available as a supplement. Potential side effects include bruising, gas, nausea, and prolonged bleeding.
What Is DHA?
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid. Most comes from marine sources (mainly fatty fish and certain algae and plankton). Because many people do not eat much fish (and since omega-3 fatty acids are recommended as part of a heart-healthy diet), DHA supplements have become popular in recent years.
Supplementation may be useful for people with high cholesterol, heart disease, and numerous other conditions. It may also be beneficial for pregnant and breastfeeding women and in infant formula.
(Click Benefits of DHA for more information on what this product is used for.)
How Does It Work?
DHA is an essential fatty acid, which means that humans must obtain it from the diet. This product is thought to work in a variety of different ways, such as:
- Inflammation -- DHA seems to decrease inflammation in the body by suppressing a specific enzyme (COX-2) and inflammatory chemicals, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
- Triglycerides -- DHA lowers triglyceride levels by several different mechanisms.
- Blood clotting -- DHA decreases blood viscosity (in common terms, it "thins" the blood) and has effects on red blood cells that may decrease the risk of blood clots.
- Fetal and infant development -- DHA is important for the development of the brain and neurons.
These are just a few of the ways that researchers think this product may work for a variety of conditions. As more studies are done, more information will become available.