At my first visit to the doctors for our prenatal checkup she asked what vitamins/supplements I was currently taking. I was happy to tell her I had been taken a prenatal vitamin for some time. Then she asked if I was taking a DHA supplement. I had never heard of it. She highly recommended it for me and the growing baby.
DHA is short for a VERY long word, docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is the most prevalent fatty acid located in our brain. It’s primary purpose is that it helps to grow and develop the brain and eyes of babies. It also helps with normal brain function in adults. DHA may also help to prevent certain cancers and heart disease.
DHA is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega 3’s Fats have long been touted to be an essential part of the American diet. There are two main types of Omega 3 Fatty acids:
1. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are long chain and found mostly in fatty fishes.
2. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is a short chain and widely found in flaxseed. These aren’t as beneficial as EPA and DHA.
It is recommended that we get 200 mg of DHA per day. However, most of us usually only get around 100 mg. The National Institute of Health recommends that pregnant or nursing women get 300 mg per day. DHA is mostly found in oily fish such as anchovies, herring, and trout. Being a vegetarian I was on the look out for a different way to take the supplement or for animal friendly foods. In my research I found that algae is a natural source of DHA. Makes sense since all the fish I mentioned are actually getting their DHA from the algae they eat!
I am happily taking a DHA Algae Supplement everyday and recommend you talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you!
What supplements do you take and why?