Why Omega-3 DHA?
  • What is Omega-3 DHA?

    Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats which you must get from your diet.  A number of different Omega-3s exist, but the majority of scientific research focuses on three: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

    Of these, Omega-3 DHA specifically is proven to support heart, brain and vision health.  It also plays a key role in inflammation.

    It is important throughout our entire life course from growth in utero, through infancy and childhood, to adulthood and especially during older age.

  • Why is Omega-3 DHA essential?

    Omega-3 DHA is actively concentrated in the cell membranes of excitable cells, including brain neuronal, ocular retinal, heart muscle, blood vessel and inflammatory cells.

    The accumulation of DHA in the brain and retinal cells, in utero, during infancy and childhood, is considered particularly important for the optimal development of cognition, socioemotional functions and vision. DHA in the heart, blood vessels and inflammatory cells stabilises the heart rhythm, reduces blood pressure, and protects against excessive inflammatory reactions, respectively.

    Hence it is no surprise that elevated blood levels of EPA and Omega-3 DHA are associated with higher school achievement scores, better lifelong mental health, and a reduced incidence of heart attacks, arrhythmias, strokes, depression, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

  • How do we get Omega-3 DHA?

    We get Omega-3 DHA from our diet.  Humans can convert the ALA fatty acid to Omega-3 DHA.  However, the conversion rate is very small – less than 9% in women, and even lower in men.  It is therefore necessary to get Omega-3 DHA from our diet.

    Omega-3 DHA, to-date, has only been available naturally from oily fish.  In fact the 250 mg per person per day recommended minimum intake of EPA+DHA is specifically identified as coming from oily fish.  Unfortunately, over the past 10 years, the EPA+DHA content of oily fish has decreased by almost half because the diet of the fish has changed.  So today you must eat twice as much oily fish, as compared with 10 years ago, to achieve the recommended intake.  More fundamentally many people do not consume oily fish.

    Supplements are available, however the stability (quality) and bioavailability of the Omega-3 DHA contained in over the counter supplements is up to five-fold less than the bioavailability of the Omega-3 DHA contained naturally in food. Research has also shown that, over time, supplement consumption can wane. It’s clear that consumers require alternative sources and that is where our solution can help.

  • What is the global status of Omega-3?

    Despite its importance, 80% of the world’s population is deficient in Omega-3 DHA.  The map below highlights the Omega-3 status per country.  Our mission at Humanativ is to turn the map green as a result of Omega-3 DHA foods becoming the natural standard in the global food industry.

    K.D. Stark et al. / Progress in Lipid Research 63 (2016) 132 -152


Omega-3 DHA is essential for all life.

Enriching your product, enriches the food chain.
It’s good for our heart, brain and vision and development of our children.




Immune system and inflammation

The brain has a unique fatty acid composition, and DHA is quantitatively the most important omega-3 fatty acid in the brain.  The DHA fatty acid has consistently been shown to have unique and indispensable roles in the brain.

Nutrition plays an important role in brain development and cognitive function.  Intake of EPA and DHA is considered particularly important for neuronal development during early infancy where a substantial amount of DHA is accumulated in the brain.  This accumulation of DHA continues throughout childhood and beyond.

Numerous studies have also shown the potential protective effect of omega-3 DHA and EPA fatty acids on the incidence of dementia and Alzheimers disease, as well as reduced prevalence of depression.

The heart health benefits of omega-3 DHA have been well documented for over 70 years.

The cardiovascular benefits of diets rich in omega 3 fatty acids were first observed in studies in Greenland Eskimo, where low rates of coronary heart disease and low mortality from ischaemic heart disease were observed.  Fish, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, was an important component of the diet.

The Lancet’s Global Burden of Disease Study indicated that mortality risk decreases by 10-30% with each 100 mg increment in dietary EPA and DHA intake.  The recently completed Framingham study showed that each 1% increment in the omega-3 index (EPA+DHA as % of total fatty acids in red blood cell membrane) was associated with a 15% reduction in cardiovascular events and a 10% reduction in total mortality.

These improvements in health are from a range of factors including:

The eyes are highly enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, which accumulate in these tissues during late fetal and early neonatal life.  Very high levels of omega-3 DHA are present in the retina, and specific parts of the retina.

Research also suggests that dietary omega 3 fatty acid supply plays an important role in early human visual development and wider eye health.

The omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA support an effective immune system and optimal immune function, including by helping to resolve inflammation and the inflammatory response, and therefore reduce the risk and consequences of infections.

An adequate intake of EPA and DHA supports the resolution of inflammation via the production of anti-inflammatory metabolites of these fatty acids, including in the respiratory tract.  An intake of 250 mg EPA + DHA per day is recommended.