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Teens + EFAs (essential fatty acids)

What is DHA?
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 essential fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids (along with omega-6s) are "essential" fatty acids because humans are unable to synthesize them de novo, meaning that they must be consumed via diet to meet the body's needs. DHA is found throughout the body, and the brain in particular is very rich in DHA, where it increases membrane fluidity, promotes neurite (axonal and dendritic) outgrowth, and has many other functions.

Protections Against Stress
One of the apparent benefits of DHA is to protect against the harmful effects of stress. Supplementation with DHA had been shown to reduce elevations in aggression and hostility in response to psychological stress, and may have contributed to a reduction in antisocial behaviors among prisoners given dietary supplements. In addition, DHA may help to protect against the increased risk of heart attack associated with stress and depression.

Learning and Cognition
Proper nutrition with omega-3s may also be important to learning ability. Dietary omega-3 deficiencies in rodents are reflected in the brain, and have been shown to impair learning ability. In humans, low levels of DHA in the body and low fish consumptions have been established as risk factors for age-associated cognitive impairments,

Alcohol's Damaging Effects
Another circumstance that increases the body's need for DHA is elevated consumption of alcohol. Although studies have not been conducted in humans, alcohol has been shown to reduce DHA levels in brain and retina, as well as liver, plasma, and red blood cells in animal models of alcoholism. Low essential fatty acid intake among alcoholics may thus contribute to to risk of developing liver disease and to dimished retinal function, suggesting that frequent alcholo consumers may have a high dietary requirement for omega-3s.

Why DHA?
Support for Brain, Nervous System & Visual Function

Portions of the above information is excerpted from the Nordic Naturals ProDHA Product News Fact Sheet. Copyright Nordic Naturals. All rights reserved.

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