Numerous nutritional studies confirm that humans, pets and other animals, from infancy to adulthood to senior age, benefit from an adequate intake of DHA.
What is DHA and Why is it Important for Health?
DHA, or Docosahexaenoic acid, is a long chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid found throughout the body. It is a major structural component of brain tissue and the retina, a key component of the heart, is located in healthy joints and plays a significant role in the control of multiple cellular functions like the inflammation or immune response. DHA omega-3 is therefore essential for proper body functions and considered the most important nutritional lipid in our diet.
There is a growing amount of evidence that consumption of the omega 3 fatty acid known as DHA, helps support the following:
Not all omega-3’s are equal
It is important to consume the right form of omega 3. While long chain DHA omega 3 provides a broad range of health benefits, the well-known short chain omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is used as a cellular energy source. Although ALA can undergo conversion and elongation to DHA in the cells, it is an inefficient process due to the presence of the omega-6 fatty acids that are converted to their corresponding active products via the same enzyme systems. This competition for conversion means that supplementation of a preformed source of dietary DHA omega 3 is the preferred nutritional strategy.
Algae as a consistent source of DHA
There are many ingredients that contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Flax seed and some vegetable oils are sources of the short chain omega-3 ALA. They are not however direct sources of omega 3, DHA.
Fish oil is the most common source of long chain omega 3 DHA used in human and animal nutritional products. However, its DHA content can vary significantly and is dependent on fish species, geographical origin of the fish harvested and the way that they and their oils are processed and stabilized.
Fish do not however produce long chain omega 3 fatty acids, such as DHA themselves. The long chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA abundant in some fish species are actually produced by certain species of marine micro-algae naturally. These micro-algae are at the very start of the marine food chain. Algal omega 3’s therefore bioaccumulate through the food chain into ocean fish as shown below.
It therefore makes sense to go to the source of marine omega 3’s and it is at this point that modern biotechnology helps us. Cultivating marine sourced algae under controlled conditions provides a consistent alternative source of DHA omega-3 which is unaffected by seasonal fluctuations, the availability of direct marine (fish) sources, any geographic variability or unwanted shifts in quality.
Using micro-algae as an omega 3 source rather than fish therefore makes good sense. Carefully grown, natural dried micro-algae DHAgold™ is not only a nutritious ingredient it is more consistent, sustainable, and a safer source of omega 3’s than fish ingredients.
DHAgold™, the high-quality micro-algae helps address the health benefits that matter, promising a brighter and smarter future for pets.
DHAgold is a trademark of DSM.