Brain health benefits of omega-3’s DHA fatty acid

More than 50% of the dry weight of the human brain is lipid, particularly structural lipid (i.e. phospholipids). DHA is the major structural lipid in brain tissue and the central nervous system and is especially present in the brain and retina. Approximately 18% of the lipids in the adult human brain’s grey matter is DHA, as shown in the figure below. Hence the brain health benefits of omega-3.

Approved EFSA claim


DHA contributes to brain health by maintaining normal brain function. This beneficial effect on brain health is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of DHA.

Background for ESA claim

The membrane lipids of the brain’s grey matter contain very high concentrations of DHA. Consequently, a deficiency of alpha linolenic acid, the parent fatty acid of the long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, including DHA, results in adverse clinical symptoms, including neurological abnormalities and poor growth.

The amount of DHA in the brain increases as the brain develops and grows and decreases as we age.

Omega-3 with documented effects!

It is well documented that omega-3 from cod liver or fish oils is good for the​ heart, brain and vision of healthy people. The European Food Safety Authority has thoroughly reviewed all research on omega-3 benefits and has approved health claims for the heart, brain and vision.​