Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) influences serotonin action by increasing membrane fluidity and thus serotonin receptor accessibility in postsynaptic neurons
DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain, making up30%of the fatty acid content Cell membrane fluidity depends on the amount of cholesterol, which decreases membrane fluidity, and the omega-3 fatty acids in the membrane phospholipids, which increases membrane fluidity. DHA composition in the lipid membrane is necessary for adequate membrane fluidity.
DHA’s role in membrane fluidity has also been shown to be important for synaptosomal membranes, which regulate neurotransmission.
Plasma DHA is significantly decreased in patients with bipolar disorder
Supplementation with several grams of EPA and DHA improved depression, suicidal thoughts, and behaviors.
Schizophrenics have significantly lower DHA levels in the orbitofrontal cortex region of the brain, where serotonin is concentrated, compared with normal individuals.
Reduced intake of EPA and DHA during neurodevelopment results in decreased serotonin synthesis, storage, release, and receptor function. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency also affects the structure and wiring of the developing brain as it is associated with a decrease in neurogenesis, dendritic arborization, synaptogenesis, selective pruning, and myelination
Supplementation with vitamin D, EPA, and DHA improves some behaviors associated with ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior by controlling serotonin production and function.