DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid, omega-3) is a building block for the cell membranes that manage life processes. This vitamin-like nutrient and others metabolically derived from it are vital to mental performance, heart and blood vessel health, vision, immunity and wound healing, and all the organ functions. Best DHA 500 from Calamari is produced from sustainably harvested squid, and double molecularly distilled to ensure purity.
- Science-based nutrition
- Universal enhancer of cell, tissue and organ functions
- Supports memory and learning against age related decline
- Promotes cardiovascular and overall health at all life stages
Doctor's Best DHA 500 from Calamari supplies highly concentrated omega-3 DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid), prepared from sustainably harvested squid. DHA is the most clinically proven of all the omega-3 fatty acid nutrients. Human metabolic capacity to make DHA is very limited, so the bulk of our DHA must come from the diet. Experts agree that DHA is a nutrient essential for health.
DHA's fundamental importance for health comes mainly from being a building block for the cell membrane systems that drive life's most important processes. Simplistically, these are thin molecular sheets that house the majority of the proteins which power metabolism. DHA's presence has a fluidizing effect on the membranes, which "frees up" the proteins for their mobile, dynamic activities. The DHA in cell membranes also is metabolically transformed to a variety of highly potent "docosanoid" molecules (protectins, resolvins, maresins, and others), that have numerous regulatory actions. The docosanoids help manage healthy inflammatory responses, wound healing, and other immune related processes, and generally help protect the cells and tissues against damage.
EPA (EicosaPentaenoic Acid) coexists with DHA in fish oils. It is a simpler omega-3 fatty acid than DHA and far less abundant in cell membranes. But EPA can compete against DHA for space in cell membranes, potentially "crowding out" DHA and blocking its vital actions. DHA, in contrast, does not crowd EPA out of membranes and even can be readily converted to EPA as needed. The evidence therefore favors supplementing with DHA in great excess over EPA, to ensure that sufficient DHA will actually reach the membranes of cells in the brain, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, immune system, and other organs.
Human reliance on DHA begins soon after conception and continues for life. DHA levels in the blood or the membranes of the circulating red blood cells generally reflects its levels in the other tissues. By these measures, higher DHA status correlates with good health and lower status correlates with existing health problems and/or elevated risk for future problems.
Essential for Early Brain and Eye Development
DHA helps regulate genes that control the emergence of the fetal brain in the first trimester of pregnancy. By the third semester DHA is being rapidly concentrated in the retinal and brain cells, from which EPA is virtually absent. These cells especially need DHA since their membrane systems are the most fluid and the proteins typically operate at ultrafast speeds. Higher maternal DHA status during pregnancy is linked to more mature sleep patterns in newborns, along with better vision, better attention, faster processing speed, and higher cognitive function.
The brain's intensive DHA buildup continues until birth and for many years after birth. This helps explain why infants born preterm have low brain DHA compared to full term infants. For full term as well as preterm infants, inadequate DHA intake after birth correlates with poor vision and with long term risk for major cognitive, mood, and behavior control problems. The DHA content of breast milk varies directly with the mother's DHA intake, which is significantly below optimal in the U.S. Inadequate dietary intake of DHA threatens the health of the mother as well as the child.
DHA Deficiency Threatens Both Mother and Child
Following on the major transfer of DHA to the child for the previous three months, in the days after delivery a mother can have very low blood DHA, and this places her at very high risk for severe mood problems. Prior to birth, habitual alcohol consumption can deplete the mother's DHA, as can smoking in the household, raising both the mother's and the child's risk for subsequent mood, behavioral and cognitive deficits. Adequate DHA intakes before and during pregnancy and lactation is therefore crucial, not just for the child but for the mother as well.
Lifelong Importance for Memory and Other Cognitive Functions
DHA status remains closely linked with memory and other brain functions throughout life. Supplementation in childhood can improve mental performance. At middle age, individuals with relatively high blood DHA have significantly lower risk for severe memory loss than do those with relatively low levels. For middle aged and older individuals, higher blood DHA is also linked to better reaction time, sharpened attention, and performance on tests of memory, reasoning and vocabulary. EPA and other omega-3s show no such links to mental capacity at any life stage.
DHA remains essential for higher brain functions well into old age. In the classic Framingham study, subjects with the highest DHA levels were least likely to experience catastrophic memory decline over a subsequent 10-year period. In a landmark 2010 double blind trial conducted on more than 500 over-55 subjects with memory complaints, those taking DHA (900 mg/day for 6 months were significantly improved over those on placebo. Their learning and memory errors were reduced by half, likely equivalent to more than 3 years' worth of cognitive improvement.
Numerous Actions That Support Brain Health
The brain is highly enriched in DHA and contains only trace amounts of other omega-3 nutrients. Yet the brain apparently makes very little new DHA-the liver produces most of the body's DHA albeit at very slow pace. A study on aging subjects with memory difficulties found their liver DHA production was impaired, and the more severe was their DHA depletion the more severe their memory impairment. As with others, this study found no linkage between memory and status of EPA.
DHA supports the brain via a plethora of beneficial actions:
- Natural regulation of genes that manage brain development, maturation, and maintenance.
- Competes against ("crowds out") potentially harmful fatty acids from nerve cell membranes.
- Promotes nerve cell maturation and new nerve cell extensions.
- Source for docosanoids that promote healthy management of inflammation.
- Improves synaptic membrane fluidity, often in combination with PS (phosphatidylserine).
- Potentiates the beneficial activities of various brain growth factors.
- Increases brain production of the protective BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor).
- Upregulates glutathione peroxidase and other protective antioxidant enzymes.
- Improves glucose delivery and energy efficiency in aged brain (monkey).
- Improves cell activation mechanisms, as best documented in the retina.
- Reduces amyloid production, which can contribute to catastrophic memory loss.
- Limits enzymes that can promote formation of potentially harmful tau tangles.
Range of Benefits for the Heart and Circulation
As with the brain, DHA's benefits predominate over EPA in the heart and circulation. Its specific benefits encompass heart rate control, blood pressure, arterial microcirculatory tone, and cholesterol management.
The healthy heart is able to vary its beat rate on demand, and poor heart rate control is strongly linked to adverse cardiovascular events. In a double blind trial with overweight men, DHA and not EPA improved 24-hour ambulatory heart rate control. In another study with these subjects, DHA improved blood vessel tone while EPA did not.
In this double blind trial mentioned above, DHA also improved healthy ambulatory blood pressure management while EPA showed no benefit. Another double blind trial found that just 700 mg/day of DHA for 3 months gave significant healthy blood pressure support. Yet another double blind trial found that DHA improved several indicators of cardiovascular risk, including heart rate, healthy blood pressure, and healthy cholesterol management.
DHA also outperforms EPA for support of healthy cholesterol management. DHA and not EPA raised high-density (HDL) cholesterol levels and increased HDL particle size, thereby improving the potential for benefit. DHA and not EPA also can increase LDL particle size and thereby reduce its potential for harm.
How to Use This Supplement
Food sources of DHA are few, especially since plants don't make it. Early human cultures thrived on DHA from fish, but modern fish typically is contaminated with mercury and other toxins. Therefore dietary supplementation with potent and pure DHA concentrates is the best means to receive sufficient DHA for optimal health. To guarantee optimal DHA delivery such concentrates should have a great excess of DHA over EPA.
High EPA In Supplements May Endanger DHA Status
Without exception, our cell membranes contain 5-10 times more DHA than EPA.2 Considering that consuming more EPA than DHA tends to lower cell membrane DHA rather than elevate it, and that the body has great difficulty to convert EPA to DHA,3 it is unrealistic to expect that taking EPA will correct DHA deficiency. By contrast, taking DHA predictably increases both EPA and DHA in cell membranes. High-DHA supplements are the prudent means to maintain the high DHA status so fundamental to good health.
DHA's Paramount Importance Further Confirmed
EPA can be metabolized to eicosanoid messengers, including prostaglandins, leukotrienes and thromboxanes. However the docosanoids from DHA are far more potent homeostatic regulators of inflammation, wound healing, and overall cell and tissue protection than are the EPA eicosanoids. EPA and the eicosanoids may or may not have separate importance from DHA, but the clear finding from extensive research into omega-3s confirms DHA is by far the most important omega-3 fatty acid for human health.
Best DHA 500 from Calamari guarantees improved DHA status, since its omega-3 content is more than 90 percent DHA (500 mg per capsule). Its 9 percent EPA content (50 mg per capsule) contributes to the small amount of EPA normally present in our cell membranes.
About Doctor's Best
Doctor's Best produces products with the highest quality raw materials available on the market. They have direct control over and are an integral part of every aspect of product production, from formulation and raw material sourcing to finished product manufacturing. We directly purchase all active ingredients used in our products and use only the highest quality ingredients.
Every product is thoroughly researched and backed by the latest scientific studies conducted in the field. The formulations reflect the amounts of ingredients shown to be beneficial based on the results of scientific investigations. Doctor's Best uses patented, trademarked ingredients backed by scientific studies and clinical research. They never use insignificant quantities to enhance the label.
Doctor's Best directly purchases only the highest grade raw materials from proven and reputable suppliers to be put into product formulations. All raw material suppliers go through their stringent vendor qualification process, which includes a multi-step investigation including all aspects of the production and handling procedures, to insure the highest level of quality is reached.