«Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, and retina. In physiological literature, it is given the name 22:6(n-3). It can be synthesized from alpha-linolenic acid or obtained directly from maternal milk (breast milk), fish oil, or algae oil.
DHA's structure is a carboxylic acid (-oic acid) with a 22-carbon chain (docosa- derives from the Ancient Greek for 22) and six (hexa-) cisdouble bonds (-en-); with the first double bond located at the third carbon from the omega end. Its trivial name is cervonic acid, its systematic name is all-cis-docosa-4,7,10,13,16,19-hexa-enoic acid, and its shorthand name is 22:6(n−3) in the nomenclature of fatty acids.
Most of the DHA in fish and multi-cellular organisms with access to cold-water oceanic foods originates from photosynthetic and heterotrophic microalgae, and becomes increasingly concentrated in organisms the further they are up the food chain. DHA is also commercially manufactured from microalgae: Crypthecodinium cohnii and another of the genus Schizochytrium. DHA manufactured using microalgae is vegetarian.
In strict herbivores, DHA is manufactured internally from α-linolenic acid, a shorter omega-3 fatty acid manufactured by plants (and also occurring in animal products as obtained from plants), while omnivores and carnivores primarily obtain DHA from their diet. Limited amounts of eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acid are possible products of α-linolenic acid metabolism in young women and men. DHA in breast milk is important for the developing infant. Rates of DHA production in women are 15% higher than in men.
DHA is a major fatty acid in brain phospholipids and the retina. While the potential roles of DHA in the mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease are under active research, studies of fish oil supplements, which contain DHA, have failed to support claims of preventing cardiovascular diseases.» (wikipedia)
Modified: 10 months ago on Dec 30, 2018
1 year ago on Jul 26, 2018.