Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Brain Health
Studies of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease have shown that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) membranes might be a factor in brain disease. This slideshow, adapted from chapter 20 of CRC Press’ eBook “0mega-3 Fatty Acids and the DHA Principle,” will examine DHA membranes along with other factors linked to brain disease.
Low DHA Factor in Brain Disease
Various factors lead to brain diseases including oxidative stress, energy stress and toxic peptides. Combinations of these cause low DHA levels, leading to neuron death.
DHA As Risk Factor in Aging Neurons
DHA in the brain is prone to oxidation, which can be dangerous in the brain. Various mechanisms can protect membranes from oxidation, including repair and antioxidants.
Brain cells demand high-oxygen, however around DHA membranes, might sustain lower oxygen levels to protect membranes. Low DHA levels due to oxidation adds to the oxidative stress of neurons. Other molecules contributing to oxidative stress include exposure to pesticides, carbon monoxide poisoning and prion infection.
Low DHA Levels Related to Diseases
As neurons die, DHA levels fall, which is a sign of Alzheimer's Disease. As humans age, stress is imposed on neurons, and the HDA oxidation this causes facilitates the path to brain disease.
The brain consumes 20 percent of the body's energy, and years of fast-paced output by cells requires continuous repair, of DHA membranes especially. Neurons have evolved, however some may be so worn that any small amount of stress may kill the neuron even with no disease symptoms present.
Toxic peptides can be directly linked to fatal brain diseases, along with oxidative and energy stress. Studies show that toxic peptides have the greatest relation to Alzheimer’s, while oxidative and energy stress have the greatest relation to Parkinson’s.
Benefits of Dietary DHA in Alzheimer's
Three benefits of dietary DHA have been discovered including avoiding the depletion of neurons, slowing disease progression and potentially using cholesterol to aid dietary DHA.
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