DHA is vital for proper development of the infant brain, but it plays an essential part of the structure and function of the adult brain, too. Our adult brain is constantly forming millions of new nerve connections, as well as replacing and altering its biochemical makeup.
This changing biochemical makeup is especially true of membrane lipids. The constant turnover of brain lipids is connected to the phospholipase enzymes, which can release arachidonic acid and DHA from the cell membrane. Our brain function can also be slightly altered due to changes in our diet which cause changes in the brain lipids and the levels of DHA.
Therefore, the distribution of DHA in our brain changes as we age. For example, while we are infants, the highest levels of DHA are found in the striatum, which is associated with motor control. While the hypothalamus and hippocampus has the least amounts. But in the adult brain, the highest levels are in the cortex and the lowest are in the medulla.
It has been detected that the DHA component found in omega-3 oils affect cell signaling that is vital for an assortment of functions, like nervous system support and optimal memory function. DHA also maintains the activity of the cell membrane enzyme that controls the electrical impulses between cells. Therefore brain-derived growth factors are likely to be lowered when DHA levels are low. Lowered levels of DHA have also been linked to psychiatric disorders like depression, anger, suicidal behavior or hostility. Research shows that adequate DHA intake can assist with preventing age-related memory loss.
Maintain the optimal levels of DHA in your brain with DHA supplements like omega-3 fatty acids. These supplements are available for children and adults alike. To learn more about the essential fatty acids needed for DHA upkeep and maximum brain function and how often you should take them, contact your healthcare professional.