Somehow, somewhere along the way, an idea has surfaced that DHA and DHEA have common attributes and in turn provide the same benefits, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The DHA vs. DHEA battle is a myth as both do have benefits but for very different things.
So, let’s start off with Docosahexaenoic Acid, which is commonly referred to as DHA. DHA is a member of the Omega-3 fatty acid family and our body produces minimal amounts. DHA is believed to be the main fatty acid in our brains and is linked to cognitive development as well as cognitive decline when there isn’t enough of it in the diet.
The body’s level of DHA is especially important for pregnant women due to its link with cognitive development for the fetus. Additionally, it is believed that low DHA levels in pregnant women can lead to postpartum depression. Algae and heart-healthy fatty fish like salmon and anchovies are your primary source for DHA, and the consumption of these items has been linked to a reduction in heart disease.
Now, over to the other D. Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone that is produced by your body and is linked to the production of estrogen and testosterone. Studies have shown that as the human body begins its ascent into the 30s, DHEA production takes a nosedive. The decrease in DHEA, especially in later years, has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease as well as osteoporosis.
Nature has not provided us with foods that trigger production of DHEA so most people resort to using synthetic drugs. It is believed these supplements have helped women who are trying to conceive as it can provide follicle stimulation and in turn trigger the production of declining sexual hormones. Medical professionals have warned that long-term usage can lead to liver damage so consulting with a doctor before and during usage is very important.
One very important thing to remember is that DHEA should not be taken during pregnancy while, on the other hand, DHA is very much recommended.