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Posts tagged ‘DHA’

Omega-3 May Protect Healthy Men From Chest Pain

Increased Intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA, DPA, and DHA May Protect Men Against Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)…

The heart health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids are well documented, being first reported in the early 1970s in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements, and improved vascular function.

A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, reported that increased intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may reduce the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), an all-inclusive term for a range of symptoms including unstable angina and chest pains.

The Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort study involved 57,053 men and women. During an average follow-up time of almost eight years, 1,150 people developed ACS. Men who consumed more than 0.39 grams of PUFAs per day had an associated risk of ACS 27 per cent lower than men who consumed less than 0.39 grams per day.

“We found borderline significant negative associations between the intake of marine omega-3 PUFA and ACS among healthy men,” they concluded.

Omega-3 Needed For Heart Benefits…

Earlier this year, a review concluded that the science behind the cardiovascular health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids supports recommended daily levels of 500 mg or more.

Compelling evidence from studies involving almost 40,000 participants supports daily EPA plus DHA intakes of at least 500 mg per day for healthy individuals, while people with known heart disease or heart failure should aim for up to 1,000 mg daily, according to a review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The recommendations for healthy people are double the recommended levels determined by the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).

Source: British Journal of Nutrition Published online : “Dietary intake of total marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid and the risk of acute coronary syndrome – a cohort study”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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Omega 3 Fatty Acid (DHA) Is Crucial For Male Fertility Health

Male fertility depends on sperm-cell architecture. A University of Illinois study reports that the specific omega-3 fatty acid (DHA) is necessary to construct the immature sperm cell into a properly-formed “pointy-headed super swimmer” with an extra long tail for effective motility.

“Normal sperm cells contain an arc-like structure called the acrosome that is critical in fertilization because it houses, organizes, and concentrates a variety of enzymes that sperm use to penetrate an egg,” explained Manabu Nakamura, a University of Illinois associate professor of biochemical and molecular nutrition.

The study shows for the first time that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential in fusing the building blocks of the acrosome together. “Without DHA, this vital structure doesn’t form and sperm cells don’t work,” said co-researchers conducting the study.

Men concerned about their fertility may want to increase their intake of foods containing DHA. Most often recommended are omega 3-rich fish, such as salmon, mackeral, trout or tuna, known as excellent sources of this omega-3 fatty acid.

The scientists became intrigued with DHAs role in creating healthy sperm when they experimented with laboratory subjects that lack a gene essential to its synthesis. “We looked at sperm count, shape, and motility, and tested the breeding success rate. The male mice that lacked DHA were basically infertile,” they said.

But when DHA was introduced into the subject’s diet, fertility was completely restored. “It was very striking. When we fed theDHA, all these abnormalities were prevented,” they added.

The scientists then used confocal laser scanning (3D) microscopy to look at thin slices of  tissue in progressive stages of a sperm cell’s development. By labeling enzymes with fluorescence, they could track their location in a cell.

“We could see that the acrosome is constructed when small vesicles containing enzymes fuse together in an arc. But that fusion doesn’t happen without DHA,” they emphasized. In the absence of DHA, the vesicles are formed but they don’t come together to make the arch that is so important in sperm cell structure.

The role this omega-3 fatty acid plays in membrane fusion is particularly exciting, according to the researchers. Because DHA is abundant in specific tissues, including the brain and the retina as well as the testes, the scientists believe their research findings could also impact research relating to brain function and vision.

“It’s logical to hypothesize that DHA is involved in vesicle fusion elsewhere in the body, and because the brain contains so much of it, we wonder if deficiencies could play a role, for example, in the development of dementia. Any communication between neurons in the brain involves vesicle fusion,” they noted.

The Illinois research scientists will continue to study sperm; other laboratories are now studying DHA function in the brain and the retina.

Story Source:  University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Journal Reference: “Deficiency in the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Pathway Results in Failure of Acrosome Biogenesis in Mice”  Biology of Reproduction, 2011;

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; Consult your doctor or  healthcare professional.

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