DHA during healthy adulthood

 
 
 

The expression “cognitive functions” refers to the intellectual processes by which we become aware of perceive and comprehend. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering. DHA seems to influence many structures and functions related to the development, maintenance, and aging of the central nervous system, which will ultimately have consequences in our entire lifetime.

It is very important to maintain an adequate supply of DHA, since many studies suggest a correlation between blood levels of DHA and cognition in healthy adults: higher DHA levels have been associated with better non-verbal reasoning, mental flexibility, episodic and working memory, vocabulary, and verbal learning. It has also been shown that omega-3 supplementation may improve episodic memory in adults with mild memory complaints and that a high level of DHA counteracts the negative effect of low physical activity on working memory; and growing evidence highlights omega-3 efficacy in preventing the loss of both gray and white matter volume and integrity, all them essential factors for a healthy aging.

Dietary DHA intake amount accounts for around 66% of the blood concentrations of DHA. But in populations fully adapted to Westernized food habits (from North America, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa) very low blood levels (≤ 4%) of omega-3 fatty acids have been observed . For those who don’t obtain sufficient amounts of DHA through diet, supplements of DHA may be a good option.

 

 

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