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DHA (fatty acid, or docosahexaenoic acid) - Is one of the omega-3 fatty acids that bring so many touted health benefits. Fish oil and cod liver oil are two good sources of DHA fatty acid. DHA fatty acid is essential to your health, as it's necessary for many of your body's functions, including brain and heart function. But your body doesn't produce DHA fatty acid, so you need to get an adequate amount of it in your diet.
DHA fatty acid is a key constituent of your nervous system. In fact, your brain is literally made up of fatty acids; DHA accounts for about 40% of the fatty acids in your brain. The retinas of your eyes are 60% DHA fatty acid, and the plasma membranes that encase your neurons are 50% DHA.
DHA is also believed to contribute to heart health, and can help prevent and treat heart disease. Pregnant women and infants need large amounts of DHA, because it's essential for cognitive development. DHA may also help prevent Alzheimer's disease and some cancers. DHA deficiency is known to lead to cognitive impairment.
DHA fatty acids are essential to cognitive development, so infants less than two years of age and pregnant women need large amounts of DHA in their diets. DHA is also present in breast milk, which may explain why babies who breast feed often have higher IQs than babies who don't.
DHA is essential for optimum brain function. It helps improve memory and it's good for your eyesight. DHA fatty acids have also been associated with positive moods and feelings of well being. The presence of DHA in the brain, retinas and neural pathways help to conduct the electrical messages that your brain sends throughout your body; without it, your brain and nervous system simply can't function.
DHA fatty acid is one of the essential fatty acids that help your liver and kidneys make L-carnitine, which your body needs in order to produce energy from food. Nearly all the cells of your body contain L-carnitine, but the skeletal and cardiac muscles contain the highest concentrations. For the reason, DHA can improve your heart health and overall muscular function.
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