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DHA and Its Abilities in the Body

Aug 14, 2008
A lot of research has been preformed over the past twenty years which has concluded that fats and cholesterol play a huge role in the development of heart disease, which happens to be the number one killer in the United States. It has been found that certain types of cholesterol in our blood can eventually lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which restricts the blood supply to the heart and sets us up for a potential heart attack.

These researchers found it ironic when looking at the Greenland Eskimo, whose diet is rich in animal fat, but who is almost entirely free from coronary artery disease. Studies have proved that high levels of DHA and EPA that are found in the fish, seal, and whale diet of the Eskimo is what protects them from the heart disease that many people in the United States battle.

In order to improve cardiovascular health, DHA must performs many tasks. Increased DHA and EPA levels have been shown to lower total serum cholesterol. It has also been shown to selectively lower LDL cholesterol while elevating protective HDL cholesterol. Additionally, DHA and EPA supplementation lowers triglycerides. In terms of heart health, these omega-3s also reduce the tendency of platelets to clump and adhere to blood vessels and the blood vessels themselves to constrict.

Although diets that are high in fat content are believed to be potential risk factors for the development of certain types of cancer, especially breast cancer, the rates for some common cancers are relatively low among the Eskimos of Greenland and Alaska even though they have a high fat intake. Studies preformed to look into this fact concluded that the type of fat consumed may be important in determining cancer incidence, rather than just the overall fat intake.

DHA and EPA consumption suppresses the formation of a lot of leukotrienes, which are compounds that affect many different body systems. These leukotrienes stimulate bronchial contraction and are strongly associated with asthma, as they stimulate the production of mucus, affect cerebral circulation, and are powerful pro-inflammatory agents. To sum it up, leukotrienes can contribute too several severe health conditions, so consuming DHA and other fatty acids, have shown to reduce the production of leukotrienes by as much as seventy-five percent. Also, supplementation causes immune and inflammatory responses to be greatly diminished, which is especially important for immune response disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disorder.

Unless people are eating a good amount of fatty fish and other sea foods daily, it is likely that both adults and children are deficient in DHA. To ensure the proper amount of DHA in the most effective way, one should take DHA in supplement form. Research has shown that consuming DHA exclusively from fish oil may have some drawbacks, specifically the taste of fish.

Fish oils that contain both DHA and EPA are now available in capsule form, which allows one to avoid the issue of taste. For those who prefer to have their supplements from a plant source, microalgae, the food source of fish, is a great source of DHA. This source can be used by both vegetarians and individuals on low-fat diets, both of whom are extremely vulnerable to having a lower dietary DHA level.
About the Author
More information is available on DHA for health and wellness is available at VitaNet , LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/
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