Gold Circle Farms & Your Health
DHA is present in every cell in the body, so a diet rich in DHA is important to overall health. Especially vital to cardiovascular, eye, and brain health, DHA is also important for expectant mothers and infants. While we have highlighted some of the benefits of DHA here, there is always new information as more and more studies are done on the benefits of DHA. Please check back as we learn more about this essential nutrient.
Studies have shown that DHA contributes to a healthier heart by influencing a number of the parts of the cardiovascular system.
DHA can help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Studies conducted on both healthy people and those at-risk for cardiovascular disease have shown that DHA supplementation resulted in a dramatic change in cholesterol levels. In addition to lowering LDL levels, DHA can also help lower triglyceride levels in the blood. Triglycerides are the extra calories that are stored in fat cells when their energy is not used by the body
Another important part of cardiovascular health is blood pressure and DHA has shown to have a lowering effect on blood pressure. High blood pressure along with high levels of triglycerides and LDL increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, but DHA fights each of these dangerous elements to contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system.
DHA is a major component of our eyes, so it is a necessary nutrient for their development and function.
Because DHA makes up a good part of the eyes, research shows that high intake levels of DHA can lead to healthier eyes and low levels of DHA can lead to vision problems, including increased severity of pre-existing conditions. Therefore, DHA consumption can be used to prevent eye problems. For instance, those who consume a lot of DHA can decrease the risk of many visual problems, including age-related blindness. Furthermore, research from Harvard Medical School and the National Eye Institute showed that DHA can prevent a disease common in infants and diabetics where abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye leads to blindness.
Brain and Mental Health
DHA is also a major component in the brain. Therefore, DHA is integral to many of the brain’s functions—from memory to mood.
DHA plays a significant role in sustaining everyday neurological function and aids the part of the brain that manages complex thinking skills. It also has positive effects on Alzheimer’s symptoms and memory. One study showed that low levels of DHA have negative effects on memory, linking low levels with the onset of mental decline in the elderly.
Other parts of the brain are affected by DHA consumption as well. Low levels of DHA have been linked to low levels of serotonin in the brain, which contribute to ADHD and depression.
For Moms & Babies
DHA is a building block of every one of the body’s cells, so it is especially important for expectant mothers and growing infants to get adequate amounts of DHA.
A baby’s health begins prenatally. During the third trimester of pregnancy, the baby’s brain develops at a rapid rate. At this time the growing baby accumulates and stores DHA in the eyes and brain. About 97% of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain 93% of omega-3 fatty acids in the eyes are DHA. Because the baby’s DHA needs are quickly increasing during this growth spurt, the mother needs to consume more DHA to be able to fulfill her own nutritional needs as well as pass on adequate amounts to her baby.
After a baby is born, mothers pass DHA through their breast milk. There is a link between the amount of DHA in a mother’s breast milk and the cognitive function of her newborn according to a study published in Journal of Pediatric Psychiatry. Studies show that babies that are consume breast milk (with naturally occurring DHA) or infant formula supplemented with DHA have higher IQs than babies that do not receive DHA enhanced infant formula. Other studies have demonstrated similar results with vision and developmental tests.