September 1, 2009

Scientists find ‘right’ omega-3 DHA dose

A team of French scientists say they have found the right dose of docosahexaenoic acid in omega-3 fish body oils to protect the heart of healthy men.

The study, published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, found a 200 mg dose of DHA per day is enough to affect biochemical markers that reliably predict cardiovascular problems, such as those related to aging, atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Study co-author Michel Lagarde of the University of Lyon in France and colleagues examined the effects of increasing doses of DHA on 12 healthy male volunteers between ages of 53-65.

The men consumed daily doses of DHA at 200, 400, 800, and 1,600 mg per day for two weeks, with DHA being the only omega-3 fatty acid in their diet. Blood and urine samples were collected before and after each dose and at eight weeks after DHA supplementation stopped.

The researchers looked for biochemical markers indicating the effects of each dose on the volunteers.

This study shows that regularly consuming small amounts of DHA is likely to improve the health status of people, especially in regards to cardiovascular function, Lagarde said in a statement.