1. Support healthy pregnancy
The omega fatty acid DHA is essential for healthy brain development during pregnancy. Studies have shown that when pregnant women take omega-3 fatty acids, it improves the development of their children. The demand for Omega-3 increases during pregnancy to help the brain grow, especially during the second half of pregnancy.
Researchers used various tests to assess the neurodevelopment of infants whose mothers were supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids and those who did not receive omega-3 fatty acids. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrimage Medical Center in 2004 found (1) that an increase in mother's DHA intake during pregnancy leads to higher infant visual recognition memory and higher verbal intelligence scores.
Animal studies also show (2) that during pregnancy, the deficiency of algae omega-3 fatty acids is related to visual and behavioral defects, and this defect cannot be reversed by supplementation after birth. This is why it is recommended that pregnant women consume at least 200 mg of DHA per day.
2. Promote eye health
In the early stages of fetal development and newborn life, omega-3 fatty acids accumulate in large amounts in tissues such as the brain and eyes. A scientific review conducted by the United States Health Care Research and Quality Agency (3) indicated that “clinical studies partially recognize that omega-3 fatty acids may be effective as a primary or secondary preventive effect on eye health”.
It is known that there are very high levels of DHA in the retina, and the effect of DHA may be related to its biological effect on cell membranes. It is believed that DHA can regulate the activity of membrane-bound enzymes, which are responsible for maintaining cell function. It can also regulate the receptors and kinetics of the membrane transport system.
Macular degeneration is a condition in which macular damage leads to decreased vision. This may be due to aging, indigestion, smoking, high blood pressure, exposure to ultraviolet radiation and low-vegetable diets. The natural remedy for macular degeneration is to consume omega-3 fatty acid capsules containing DHA because it helps relieve intraocular pressure.
3. Support cardiovascular health
Algae oil helps regulate heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce blood clot formation, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Algae oil also helps reduce triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
A study published in the "Journal of Nutrition" in 2012 identified 44 randomized controlled trials with healthy participants and assessed the relationship between algal oil DHA supplements and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The results show that in people without coronary heart disease, supplementing DHA from algae oil can lower serum triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol (4).
4. Help cognitive function and development
Omega-3 foods are important for cognitive development and function. The brain is mainly composed of fat. It is especially suitable for high levels of DHA, which helps the brain reduce inflammation and slow down aging.
DHA is also necessary for the development of infant brain function and the maintenance of normal brain function for adults. Including abundant DHA in the diet can improve learning ability, and lack of DHA is related to learning deficits.
Another interesting benefit of algae oil and other DHA foods is that they can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. A study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience (5) showed that oil containing omega-3 fatty acids reversed all anxiety- and depression-induced behaviors in rats. This is an interesting and enlightening study because it reveals the importance of supplementing nutrients rich in omega-3 fatty acids and DHA during the "critical period of brain development"!
5. Improve memory
Studies have shown that intake of more omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, and algae oil can also improve the quality of life and memory of those affected by dementia.
Alzheimer's disease is a brain disease that gradually leads to memory loss, dementia, and early death. Plaque formation in the brain can cause memory loss.
A study published in the "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease" in 2012 found that in experiments on mice, supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids can improve cognitive function; Supplementing fatty acids also reduced neuronal damage, especially in female mice (6).
6. Reduce inflammation
Preliminary research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and joint pain. Inflammatory bowel disease can also be alleviated by supplementing omega-3. Inflammation is the root cause of most diseases.
An inflammatory disease is osteoarthritis, when the cartilage between the joints wears down, inflammation and pain occur. This type of arthritis usually occurs in the most commonly used joints, such as knees, spine, etc. By reducing inflammation in the joints, algae oil can be used as a natural arthritis treatment and can significantly reduce swelling and pain.
Another condition that is naturally treated with algae oil is inflammatory bowel disease, which usually causes severe symptoms such as diarrhea and peptic ulcers. This disease is usually associated with many other health conditions, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and leaky bowel syndrome. Algae oil can reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and is used as a food treatment for IBS.
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