5) Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): An Ancient Nutrient for the Modern Human Brain

Joanne Bradbury; Nutrients 2011, 3, 529-554

“Unlike the photosynthetic cells in algae and higher plants, mammalian cells lack the specific enzymes required for the de novo synthesis of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the precursor for all omega-3 fatty acid syntheses. Endogenous synthesis of DHA from ALA in humans is much lower and more limited than previously assumed”

“Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular, in an integral role in the evolution of human intelligence.
“An important metabolic role for Docosahexaenoic acid DHA has recently been identified as the precursor for resolvins and Protectins.” Known anti-inflammatory mechanisms for the resolvins include the down-regulation of NF-κB and the removal of neutrophils from inflammatory site. DHA is a potent regulator of NF-κB via multiple mechanisms .DHA itself was shown to directly inhibit NF-κB activation”

“DHA has recently been discovered as the precursor for a newly identified docosanoid called protectin, or neuroprotection when it is found in the central nervous system. Protectins is synthesized by peripheral blood mononuclear cells and CD4 cells in response to oxidative stress and has been found in neurons, astrocytes, peripheral blood and lung tissue”.“DHA is effective in the prevention of age-related cognitive decline”

Supplementation of 200 mg Docosahexaenoic acid DHA per day for 3 months was shown to increase serum phospholipids by 50% in vegetarians. It would thus appear that only supplementation with preformed DHA reliably increases tissue DHA”