DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID

Description: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a long-chain unsaturated fatty acid that is a member of the omega-3 family of fatty acids. DHA plays an important role in brain and retinal development in infants. It is also the most abundant unsaturated fatty acid found in the brain.  It can be found in the flesh of cold-water fish, including mackerel, tuna, halibut, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, and seal blubber.

Indications:

  • DHA is used as a supplement for premature babies and as an ingredient in baby formula during the first four months of life to promote better mental development.
  • DHA is used for treating type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), dementia, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Some people use DHA is for improving vision, preventing an eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), preventing and treating depression, and reducing aggressive behavior in people in stressful situations.
  • DHA is used in combination with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) for a variety of conditions, including the prevention and reversal of heart disease, stabilizing heart rhythm, asthma, cancer, painful menstrual periods, hayfever, lung diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and certain kidney diseases.
  • EPA and DHA are also used in combination for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, psoriasis, Raynaud’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, bipolar disorder, certain inflammations of the digestive system (ulcerative colitis) and preventing migraineheadaches in teenagers.
  • It is also used in combination with evening primrose oil, thyme oil, and vitamin E (Efalex) to improve movement disorders in children with a condition called dyspraxia.

Not available.

DHA can cause nausea, intestinal gas, bruising, and prolonged bleeding. Fish oils containing DHA can cause fishy taste, belching, nosebleeds, and loose stools. Taking DHA with meals can often decrease these side effects.

Precautions:

  • DHA is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts. When used in amounts greater than 3 grams per day, fish oils containing DHA can thin the blood and increase the risk for bleeding.
  • DHA is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in large amounts. When used in amounts greater than 3 grams per day, fish oils containing DHA can thin the blood and increase the risk for bleeding.
  • Aspirin-sensitivity: DHA might affect your breathing, if you are sensitive to aspirin.
  • Bleeding conditions: DHA alone does not seem to affect blood clotting. However, when taken with EPA as in fish oil, doses over 3 grams daily might increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Diabetes: DHA seems to increase blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • High blood pressure: DHA can lower blood pressure and could lower blood pressure too much in people who are also taking blood pressure medications. If you have high blood pressure, check with your healthcare provider before taking DHA.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: DHA is LIKELY SAFE when used appropriately during pregnancy and breast-feeding. DHA is commonly used during pregnancy and is an ingredient in some prenatal vitamins. DHA is a normal component of breast milk and is added as a supplement to some infant formulas.

Interactions:

  • Taking DHA along with medications for high blood pressure might cause you blood pressure to go too low. Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with DHA (DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID). DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is often combined with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). EPA might slow blood clotting. Taking DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
  • Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Overdose:

Experts recommend increasing your daily dietary intake of cold-water fish, including mackerel, herring, tuna, halibut, and salmon.

DHA is usually administered with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) as fish oil. A wide range of doses have been used. A typical dose is 5 grams of fish oil containing 169-563 mg of EPA and 72-312 mg of DHA.

Brands:

There are no brands containing this molecule.

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