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DHA shown to reduce proteins involved in liver fibrosis; good news for the obese

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 by: Antonia
Tags: DHA, liver fibrosis, obesity

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(NaturalNews) A four year study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, supported by the National Institutes of Health and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and co-authored by graduate students Christopher M. Depner and Kenneth A. Philbrick of the Nutrition Graduate Program at OSU, have shown the effects of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA to be of particular significance in reduction of scarring and damage to the liver.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, The American Liver Foundation estimates, affects "25 percent of the nation's population, and 75 percent of those who are obese."

Incidence of liver damage and fatty liver disease is on the rise in the U.S., and while diet and exercise can still reign supreme, these findings could create awareness of the types of foods that people may consider consuming more regularly.

Liver issues in obese individuals can sometimes turn fatal, leading to more advanced cases such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can then lead to cirrhosis, potentially resulting in liver cancer. An estimated 30-40 percent of individuals with fatty liver disease progress to NASH.

Does DHA support other health functions?

DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid is "a building block of the brain and is important for its development and function throughout life," said Edward B. Nelson, director of Martek BioSciences.

This important Omega-3 fatty acid has also been shown to support eye health and development through all stages of life.

DHA is used for treating Type II diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), dementia, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Food sources of DHA

Natural sources of DHA are found in the livers and meat of fish. Salmon is a common food people consume for "healthy fats." However, with evidence of mercury contamination in many fish species, people are considering alternatives. Some algae that the fish consume contain DHA, and vegan DHA supplements containing this algae exist on the market.

There has been evidence; however, that ALA, another fatty acid, can be converted to DHA inside the body. Great vegan sources of healthy fats include chia seeds, avocados, hemp and flax.

Sources for this article include:


About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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