Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

Docosahexanoic acid or DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is important for brain and eye development. Naturally, DHA is abundant in fish, such as tuna , salmon , mackerel or sardines . In addition, DHA can also be found in supplement products.

DHA supplements are believed to be able to overcome high cholesterol , help treat heart disease, and improve memory. DHA is also often added to milk formulations for pregnancy, infants, or children.

Although it is believed to have many uses, the effectiveness and safety of using DHA still needs further research.

DHA trademarks: Caloma Plus, Enfamil A+, Inavitamax, Nutribreast, Nutramigen, Nuzeel Omega Supra, Omega-3, Omega-E, Om3heart 600 Omega 3, Sustagen

What is DHA

class Free medicine
Category Supplement
Benefit Help meet the needs of DHA.
Consumed by Adults and children
DHA for pregnant and lactating women  Category N: Not yet categorized.

DHA supplements are safe for consumption by pregnant or breastfeeding women if the supplements are indeed for pregnant women, and consumed according to the information on the packaging or according to doctor's recommendations.

Drug form Capsules and milk

 Warning Before Consuming DHA

There are several things that you should pay attention to before taking DHA supplements, including:

  • Do not take DHA supplements if you are allergic to this drug. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to fish or shellfish.
  • Consult your doctor about using DHA supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you have diabetes .
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines and supplements.
  • Immediately see a doctor if an allergic reaction occurs after taking DHA supplements.

Dosage and Rules for Use of DHA

DHA along with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can be found in fish oil products. In general, the fish oil dosage is 5 grams, which consists of 169–563 mg of EPA and 72–312 mg of DHA.

If DHA is used to lower triglyceride levels, the dose is 800–4000 mg per day for 6–8 weeks.

For pregnant or breastfeeding women, it is best to take supplements that are specifically for pregnant or breastfeeding women, according to doctor's recommendations or the information printed on the product packaging.

DHA Nutrition Adequacy Figures

DHA does not yet have a fixed daily nutritional adequacy rate (RDA). However, DHA is one type of omega-3 fatty acid overall. The maximum dose of omega 3 fatty acids per day is as follows:


  • Men aged 19–80 years: 1.6 grams
  • Women ages 19–80: 1.1 grams
  • Pregnant women: 1.4 grams
  • Women who are breastfeeding: 1.3 grams

Children and youth:

  • Age ≤1 year: 0.5 gram
  • Ages 1–3 years: 0.7 grams
  • Ages 4–9 years: 0.9 grams
  • Ages 10–12 years: 1.2 grams
  • Ages 13–18 years: 1.6 grams

How to Consume DHA Properly

Before taking any supplements, always read the usage instructions listed on the product packaging. If you are unsure or have special health conditions, discuss with your doctor about the dosage, product choices, and how to use it according to your condition.

DHA in capsule form for pregnant women should be consumed with food. Do not chew or crush the capsules before taking them. Use plain water to swallow supplement products that contain DHA.

Keep in mind that vitamin and mineral supplements are consumed to supplement the body's need for these nutrients, especially when intake of vitamins and minerals from food cannot meet the body's needs.

Store DHA supplements in a place away from direct sunlight. Keep this supplement out of reach of children.

DHA Interactions with Other Drugs

The following are interaction effects that can occur if DHA supplements are taken together with certain drugs:

  • Increases the risk of bleeding if taken with blood-thinning drugs, such as aspirin
  • Increases the risk of low blood pressure (hypertension ) if taken with blood pressure-lowering drugs
  • Reduce the effectiveness of diabetes drugs to lower blood sugar

DHA Side Effects and Dangers

If consumed according to the recommended dosage, DHA supplements rarely cause side effects. However, DHA in the form of fish oil can sometimes cause bad breath, heartburn, or nausea .

Check with your doctor if the above complaints don't go away. Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic reaction which can be indicated by the appearance of certain symptoms, such as an itchy rash, swelling of the lips or eyelids, or difficulty breathing.

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