Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6 ω-3) is highly enriched in the brain and is required for proper brain development and function. Its deficiency has been shown to be linked with the emergence of neurological diseases. Dietary ω-3 fatty acid supplements including DHA have been suggested to improve neuronal development and enhance cognitive functions. However, mechanisms of DHA incorporation in the brain remain to be fully understood. Findings suggested that DHA is better incorporated when esterified within lysophospholipid rather than under its non-esterified form. Furthermore, DHA has the potential to be converted into diverse oxylipins with potential neuroprotective effects. Since DHA is poorly synthesized de novo, targeting the brain with specific carriers of DHA might provide novel therapeutic approaches to neurodegenerative diseases.
- Docosahexaenoic acid