1. Facilitate brain development in children
DHA accounts for 11% weight of the human brain. As it cannot be produced by our body, the intake of DHA for the healthy development of brain during pregnancy and the neonatal period is exceptionally important. In addition, DHA enhances study attention, memory and eye health in child growth.
- The British Nutrition Foundation suggested that the intake of DHA will enhance the development of the fetal brain and mental ability. Experts also advise that intake of 0.5-1.8g of EPA/DHA per day is of absolute importance during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
- The DHA content in the brain would affect its functions like concentration, memory and comprehension. Thus, students, adults and the elderly should be aware of the merits of the DHA intake.
- Supplementation of DHA to formula mild fed to infants for four months produced a significant increase in measurable blood levels of DHA and also a significant increase in measurable blood levels of DHA and also a significant improvement of cognitive function at 18 months.
(Birch et al, Dev. Med. Child Neurol., 2000)
- Supplementation of DHA to breast feeding mothers for four months following birth improved parameters of cognitive function such as vocabulary and comprehension in the infants.
(Clin. Nutr., 2002)
2. Soothe allergic symptoms and boost immunity
Clinical researches have pointed out that the unsaturated fatty acids in fish oil helps strengthening the immunity of our body. An allergy is indeed an inflammatory reaction to a specific substance; researches have revealed EPA and DHA in fish oil are anti-inflammatory. Therefore, taking a fish oil supplement can soothe allergic symptoms caused by inflammation.
- Low levels of EPA/DHA in human breast milk correlate with raised levels of eczema and infant food allergy in children at 18 months.
(Duchen et al, Pediatric Allergy & Immunol., 2000)
3. Maintain mental health, cognitive function and mood
EPA and DHA, have recently been found to be heavily involved in the regulation of mood and behavior. This is logical given that these fatty acids are the building blocks of brain and nerve cells, and their relative concentration in our neural cells is highly likely to affect both our mood and behavior.
Studies have shown that:
- Individual suffering from depression have significantly lower levels DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids.
- Populations with higher consumption of fish have lower rates of depression.
- Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly is more common in people with low blood levels of DHA.
- Elderly patients receiving DHA supplementation experienced a significant reduction in apathy and social withdrawal compared to those without DHA supplementation.
(Cenacchi et al, Aging Clin. Exp. Res., 1993)
- A large study of 815 people aged between 65 and 94 found that, after 4 years, those that ate fish once per week or more had a 60% lower incidence of Alzheimer’s onset than those who ate fish either rarely or
(Clare Morris e al, Archives of Neurology, 2003)
4. Enhance joint mobility and body functions
Fish oils have traditionally been used to improve mobility of joints and provide relief to stiff and achy joints. Moreover, many trials have shown that increased intake of fish oil reduces the occurrence of inflammation and related symptoms, and thus the body functions better.
- In a double blind trial of rheumatoid arthritis patients, administration of 1.8g of EPA and 0.9g of DHA for 12 weeks resulted in a significant reduction of joint stiffness.
(Kremer et al, The Lancet, 1985)
- In a trial of Crohn’s disease patients, intake of 2.7g of EPA/DHA per day improved incidence of remission at 1 year by more than 100%.
(Belluzzi et al, N. Eng. J. Med, 1996)
5. Anti-aging and keeps heart at healthy state
The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil is an effective anti-oxidizing agent, helps preventing cellular damage. It facilitates tissue regeneration and keeps a youthful body and skin. An intake of 0.5-1.8g of EPA/DHA per day is also beneficial to heart health, it helps to maintain a healthy level of good blood cholesterol.
- In a study of 11,324 coronary heart disease sufferers, who were already taking standard therapies for heart disease, the consumption of 1.0g per day of EPA/DHA reduced risk of sudden cardiac death by 45% and overall mortality by 20%.
(The GISSI Trial, The Lancet, 1999)
- In two studies of 70,839 women and 43,671 men, who were without cardiovascular disease at the start of the trials, the increased consumption of fish significantly reduced the incidence of stroke by up to 40% in women and 30% in men.
(Iso et al, JAMA, 2001; Hu et al, JAMA, 2002)