A vegetarian source of omega-3 - Algal DHA
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key family of polyunsaturated fats that are important for normal cell function and protective against inflammation-related health conditions. In particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long chain omega-3 that is an integral component of cell membranes and is required for normal cell functionality.
DHA plays a critical role in all stages of life. From the last trimester of pregnancy to early childhood, it is essential in brain development. For adults, it helps improve cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of other metabolic diseases. In seniors, studies have shown that having a higher DHA status or DHA supplementation may prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of progression to dementia.
Benefits of DHA
- DHA supplementation is critical during the first 1,000 days of life.
- DHA is recommended to prevent early pre-term birth. The Early Nutrition Academy recommends an additional 200mg DHA/day during pregnancy.
- DHA is essential for the development of the retina, brain, and the neural system.
- DHA helps to reduce the risk of respiratory infections and allergies in early childhood.
- DHA contributes to heart health, mood balance and helps to maintain normal brain function.
- DHA helps to prevent mild cognitive decline and dementia.
- Supplementation has been strongly advised by authorities and scientists including the American Heart Association as well as the European Food Safety Authority.
However, for a long time, marine or fish sources were considered the only source of DHA and thus unsuitable for vegetarians. The solution can be found in algal DHA. Derived from algae instead of fish, algal DHA is well perceived to be a pure, premium source of DHA that can effectively ensure vegetarians get the vast health benefits with a higher DHA status.
BASF introduces new algae-based Dry n-3® DHA 11A powder for use in infant nutrition and food for all age groups. The micro-encapsulation technology used in this beadlet powder ensures extended shelf life and better freshness. Algal DHA is sustainable, pure, safe and the way forward in omega-3 supplementation.