What would be your reaction if you heard someone state that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is more important than DNA itself?
This is exactly what Michael Crawford, the Director of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at Imperial College in London, states.
Michael has won numerous awards and is a great example of a multi-disciplinarian with extensive knowledge in health, wellness, genetics, quantum biology and more.
He won the International Award for Modern Nutrition for work on unsaturated fatty acids in early human brain development and health, and in 2012 published a shockwave paper titled, “A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signaling throughout evolution.”
Most molecules in nature have change over the course of a very long “time”, perhaps millions or billions of years to adapt its ability to function in the most energy-efficient and optimal way.
The omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA is actually one of only a few that have been maintained because of its efficiency.
Stated otherwise, DHA has remained unchanged because it has played its role so well and so efficiently within the brain, nervous system and eyes.
Pulling directly from the Abstract in Crawford’s landmark paper, we find fascinating statements made:
“While amino acids could be synthesized over 4 billion years ago, only oxidative metabolism allows for the synthesis of highly unsaturated fatty acids, thus producing novel lipid molecular species for specialized cell membranes. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) provided the core for the development of the photoreceptor, and conversion of photons into electricity stimulated the evolution of the nervous system and brain.
Since then, DHA has been conserved as the principal acyl component of photoreceptor synaptic and neuronal signaling membranes in the cephalopods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and humans. This extreme conservation in electrical signaling membranes despite great genomic change suggests it was DHA dictating to DNA rather than the generally accepted other way around.
We offer a theoretical explanation based on the quantum mechanical properties of DHA for such extreme conservation. The unique molecular structure of DHA allows for quantum transfer and communication of pi-electrons, which explains the precise depolarisation of retinal membranes and the cohesive, organized neural signaling which characterizes higher intelligence.”
We will get to the juicy part of this compelling information a bit further down, but first, we need to understand the basics of what DHA is and what it does.
DHA, Fish Oil and Algae Oil
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain health, heart health, eye health, a healthy inflammatory response and brain development during pregnancy and early childhood, and much more.
This long-chain omega-3 fatty acid needs to be consumed and it functions in cell membranes throughout the body to help transmit messages between the nervous system.
DHA is also readily oxidized, so the body uses it and then needs a continual fresh supply to function optimally.
Most people automatically equate omega-3’s to fish oil, but did you know that it is the Algae that contains the DHA? The fish eat the algae, and are thus, an intermediary source.
But the “fish in the middle” isn’t absolutely necessary.
We can go straight to the source and get nature’s true, pure and original DHA source.
In nature, fish don’t make omega-3s. The organism that captures sunlight to create DHA is this golden algae. It is nature’s solar panel. More information on this quantum mechanical effect will be discussed below.
However, this isn’t to say one should or shouldn’t stop consuming fish. As always, dietary decisions is each person’s right to choice.
Consuming a couple servings of salmon per week will give some amounts of DHA and will be nutritionally-relevant, but won’t reach therapeutic intake levels, especially if a person is looking to support brain health and neurogenesis.
1,000 mg to 2,000 mg of DHA per day over a period of 3 months has been shown to increase DHA levels and help people reach peak Omega-3 levels, which will be elaborated upon in more detail a bit further down.
As an example, an average serving of salmon (3 ounces) provides around 1,240 mg of DHA.
If someone wants to reach these therapeutic levels of DHA intake to support brain health and neurogenesis, this would mean a person would need at least 5.6 to 11.2 servings per week.
While there are certainly salmon and other seafood enthusiasts who will reach these levels, this isn’t a level of DHA most people in the general population reach .
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA), the USDA Dietary Guidelines (which by the way is often woefully misaligned in their suggestions for human nutrient consumption and health optimization), suggest adults should consume about 8 ounces per week, which would only give a little over 3,300 mg of DHA per week.
As of 2019, which was NOAA’s latest update on these numbers, the average American is only reaching a little over 2,400 mg of DHA per week.
Additionally, there are various factors that determine how much DHA is actually in salmon or any other dietary source.
To get the real number for each particular serving, we’d ideally like to know where the fish was raised or caught, what their food source was to acquire the DHA (remember, the fish eat the algae to obtain the DHA), how much algae that fish consumed and how much DHA was present in the algae. There are also other possible environmental concerns to consider.
Thus, determining an accurate and reliable number of DHA quantity can prove to be challenging.
Stated again, we can view the average person’s consumption of DHA per week doesn’t reach therapeutic levels that ensure peak omega-3 levels in the brain and body are reached.
For most people, supplementing can be a more realistic way to reach these therapeutic levels and any additional dietary sources of DHA is an added bonus.
An analogy could be described as that of a bank account. To fill up the account, for most people it is easier to supplement and get known, exact quantities of DHA, whereas the additional dietary sources act as the interest gained by holding money in a bank account and these other sources are a bonus.
Brain Health, Voltage & Nervous System Development
DHA is used as a major building block in the growth of new neurons and has been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
This is the protein that is part of a group of growth factors known as neurotrophins, which encourages survival and strengthening of existing neurons and also encourages the “growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses.”
It is also sometimes called the “Master Omega” for maximizing mental and cognitive speed and efficiency.
Going a bit further, we know that the human brain contains an astonishing 86 billion neurons and has an estimated 150 trillion synapses. These synapses are actually not connected, but are the spaces between neurons.
It is here where neurons send and receive electrical signals that convey information to each other and throughout the entire nervous system.
In order for this lightning fast communication to take place, efficiency in energy transmission is paramount.
But because energy can be in low supply due to the amount that neurons need to function, these same neurons must perform a delicate balancing act: they are tasked to produce as much energy as they can, but also at the same time build synaptic connections that branch out and conserve as much energy as they can.
It has been estimated that the speed of neural signals in the human brain travel about 2 million times slower compared to electronic computers and that these computers are believed to be some 10 million times faster in terms of signals per second.
However, the human brain overcomes this enormous difference by way of the number of neurons and the number of synaptic connections (recall that it is about 86 billion neurons and 150 trillion synaptics).
Thus, we can view the human brain as a battery that has voltage–and it is DHA that is responsible for generating this voltage across cell membranes.
As a brief explainer, voltage is “defined as an electropotential difference between two points” and in this case, it is the difference between the inside and outside of the lipid bilayer of a neuron.
The voltage across a neuron’s membrane is reported to be around .07 volts and if we divide that by the average thickness of a neuronal membrane (5 nanometers), it results in 14 million volts/meter.
The equation looks like this:
-(0.07 volts) / (5×10-9 meters) = 14,000,000 volts/meter
As shocking comparison, the voltage required to product lightning in a thunderstorm is only 3,000,000 volts/meter.
This means that per meter, the voltage in the brain is nearly 5 times stronger than what is needed to create lightning!
Stepping back into the bigger picture, it is DHA that takes photons from the Sun and transforms that energy into voltage that helps our brain, eyes and nervous system operate.
As stated earlier, it is believed that DHA has remained selected by Nature to help maximize the speed of communication between neurons.
If we didn’t have DHA in our brain and nervous system, it would be much more difficult for us to compute the sensory inputs we receive through the entire nervous system.
In their book Neurons and the DHA Principle, authors Raymond and David Valentine describe a very interesting property of DHA as well.
“Because DHA tails are in perpetual motion, these chains do not stand still long enough to bind with their neighbors to form hardened oils typical of butter or lard. Thus, the contortions of DHA chains keep the membrane surface in constant motion even in the extreme cold.
DHA is responsible for this extreme motion because it keeps itself, neighboring chains, and other membrane components in a perpetual state of movement (e.g., spinning and lateral movement)…
Neurons and sensory cells harness the motion in DHA tails to boost the speed of their signals. Hence, DHA becomes a pacemaker of brain speed and without it our sensory system would likely be much slower.”
Similar to that of a gyroscope, DHA acts in a way to maintain continual movement of energy and electricity throughout the brain and nervous system.
Thus, DHA is needed for brain development and is responsible for 90% of the omega-3 fatty acids found in the brain and is 25% of the brain’s total poly-unsaturated fat content.
In the first 6 months of human life, DHA is necessary and particularly important for the development of the nervous system and brain for a child.
The USA has one of the lowest levels in the world in relation to DHA found in breast milk, suggesting mother’s need DHA supplementation before, during and after pregnancy. A minimum of 600 mg DHA daily has been re-recommended and even more than that has been found to be better.
In fact, DHA is included in Australia’s public health policy for pregnant mothers.
Synaptamide and Neurogenesis
Another riveting aspect of DHA is how it relates to something called Synaptamide.
This compound is rapidly growing in interest within the biohacking and neurohacking fields and is the topic of exciting scientific research.
Synaptamide (N-Docosahexaenoylethanolamine) is an endocannabinoid and anandamide-like metabolite that is created from DHA. In the brain, there exists a tightly linked relationship between the levels of synaptamide and its precursor, DHA.
At nanomolar concentration, synaptamide promotes neurogenesis, neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis in developing neurons.
Because Synaptamide is produced from DHA, the intake of DHA becomes the rate-determining factor of Synaptamide production.
If adequate levels of DHA is consumed, adequate amounts of synaptamide can be produced.
Look for this specific compound to continue growing in interest and research.
Genes, Telomeres and Inflammatory Responses
In the nervous system DHA supports gene expression, which means that genes are influenced by DHA.
One very interesting aspect of this is that DHA binds to the nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma) ligand, which targets genes related to healthy insulin secretion, healthy blood sugar levels and fatty acid metabolism.
The topic of the various PPARs goes deep and is something I’ve spent a lot of time researching. Because it is such a lengthy topic, I won’t spend more time on it here, but researchers may wish to look into these special receptors further.
Furthermore, as DHA relates to genes and healthy gene expression, telomeres are also a topic that has gained enormous popularity within the biohacking and wellness fields because DHA supports the size of telomeres. Telomeres are sections of DNA that are located at the ends of chromosomes.
In general, the job of telomeres is to protect the longevity of the genetic information in the chromosome, but it is well known that a variety of dietary and lifestyle factors causes the shortening of these telomeres.
Not surprisingly though, DHA has been shown to support the length and longevity of these telomeres.
This field of study is called nutritional genomics, which encompasses nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics and “studies the interaction-mechanisms of nutrients with DNA in human health. In this regard, nutrigenetics studies the effects of genetic variations on the nutritional response, while nutrigenomics investigates how nutrients and bioactive food compounds affect gene functions via epigenetic modifications.”
DHA and EPA have also been shown to positively influences genetic expression as it relates to promoting a healthy inflammatory response. It is widely known that the root cause of many challenges we face as humans is excessive inflammation. Entire books could be and have been written on this specific topic, so I will leave it with the simple statement that DHA and EPA promote healthy inflammatory responses through multiple mechanisms.
While reading a book for an hour, the eyes make an average of over 10,000 coordination movements while the average person blinks up to 15,000 times per day.
In order to do this, there are certain structural components in the eyes that are needed to make this happen.
DHA happens to be among the most important.
Keep in mind though that the eyes can only perceive 0.0035 % of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. We perceive this 0.0035% as the colors of the rainbow and the varying shades in between. This portion of the spectrum is what we see as we go about our day.
The retina of the eye contains an astonishing 91 million rods and about 4.5 million cones, all of which have DHA-loaded membranes that act as photoreceptors and capture the visible spectrum of light.
These photoreceptors in the eye convert the energy from photons (waves of light) from the Sun into electricity, which then is relayed throughout the nervous system.
Photons from the sun hit the retina and are converted to an electrical signal that the brain can then translate. DHA is vital to this process and as discussed above, is the reason we are even able to read and interpret these words right now.
Relating to our two outward facing eyes is that of the pineal gland, sometimes referred to as the “3rd eye” or “Seat of the Soul.”
Neurons within the pineal gland are also loaded with DHA and it has been shown that changes in DHA levels correlate nicely with the healthy function of the pineal gland and proper melatonin production.
Supports Cardiovascular Health
The liver controls and recycles triglycerides and cholesterol. The liver is manufacturing and distributing triglycerides and cholesterol for a reason, which is to support your natural, overall health.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are a class of lipoproteins that carry fatty acids and cholesterol from the body’s tissues to the liver. Typically, about 25-33% of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL.
It’s well known that HDL shuttles cholesterol away from tissues and arteries, back to the liver. That is why HDL is called the “good cholesterol,” because it is taking cholesterol away from your arteries.
For cardiovascular and cholesterol health support, the omega-3s DHA and EPA act in three critical ways.
First, as fundamental natural components dictating LDL cholesterol size, DHA and EPA side chains are integrated at the molecular level, acting directly where triglyceride particles are made.
Secondly and discussed briefly above, DHA and EPA act as signaling molecules and support a healthy inflammatory response in the cardiovascular system.
Third, as a main component of heart and liver tissues, DHA supports optimal tissue function.
In addition to supporting healthy cholesterol levels, DHA and EPA have been shown to support the function of endothelial cells and arteries, which helps support healthy blood pressure.
Mitochondria, ATP and Cardiolipin
The omega 3 index is defined as “the amount of EPA plus DHA in red blood cell membranes expressed as the percent of total red blood cell membrane fatty acids.”
Most people persist at about 4% total omega-3 membrane levels, but optimal levels are at 8-12%.
This 4% means most people are operating at about half of their capacity for DHA reserves and means most people can benefit from DHA accretion (building up to the proper levels of DHA in the body).
The summary of 12 human clinical studies using algae DHA proves tissue accretion therapy is effective and supports longevity. By using an average 1000 mg to 2000 mg DHA and EPA per day, a person can double total omega-3s in their red blood cells in 90 days and in all cells within 12 months.
This is where mitochondrial cardiolipin comes into play. Cardiolipin is a lipid complex that can be created only from certain fatty acids. Cardiolipin is unique in that it is a novel phospholipid made only in the mitochondria, and as it is known, mitochondria are most abundant in heart muscle and neurons.
Mitochondria are the quantum power factories for our body and cells and is where energy generation occurs.
Cardiolipin functions as a proton trap, which gives ATP synthase the voltage needed to enhance electron transfer and reduce electron leakage.
DHA literally helps maintain mitochondrial structure and function.
Cellular uptake of DHA and EPA leads to deposition into the cell plasma membranes, but only DHA is further deposited into the mitochondrial structure as cardiolipin incorporated with DHA.
This only happens with sufficient DHA intake levels over time, though. The cardiolipin DHA then functions in energy production and organelle integrity.
This again means regular consumption of DHA is important for supporting mitochondrial health.
Cardiolipin also plays a role that is essential for the particular shape of mitochondrial cristae.
As ScienceDirect notes, “Mitochondrial cristae are dynamic bioenergetic compartments whose shape changes under different physiological conditions and has emerged as potential modulators of mitochondrial bioenergetics…”
DHA is the only omega-3 that can be used to make this novel lipid known as cardiolipin, but only when DHA is consistently available in the diet at high enough levels.
DHA, DNA and Quantum Tunneling
It is well established today that higher levels of DHA circulating in blood plasma supports healthy DNA and RNA function.
What is more interesting though is the exact relationship between DHA and DNA.
This brings us back to the work of neuroscientist and world-renowned expert on DHA, Michael Crawford.
Crawford’s paper, “A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signaling throughout evolution” puts forth the statement that it is DHA that has actually been giving the orders for DNA’s functions over the past 600 million plus years.
Given that DNA makes the proteins that make the many specialized cells that make up reptiles, birds, all mammals and humans, it is a massive statement to make.
In Crawford’s paper, he explains, “…over 600 million years animal genomes underwent countless mutations with enormous variation in protein composition and structures. We suggest that DHA…[is] the master of DNA since the beginning of animal evolution. Proteins are selected to function with the constancy of DHA: it was the ‘‘selfish DHA’’ not DNA that ruled the evolution of vision and the brain.”
Stated otherwise, once DHA arrived at the scene hundreds of millions years ago or more, the molecule proved so incredibly efficient and beneficial that it has run the show from that point forward and remained unchanged for millions of years as all proteins around it also evolved efficiently to better fit its needs.
This leads to the elephant in the room: What makes DHA so unique and special?
The work of Crawford states that DHA is “nothing less than a natural semiconductor, with a unique ability to accurately and coherently transmit signals via quantum mechanical processes. That’s why it is concentrated in the eyes and brain. Each is essentially a signal processor. For the eyes, the signal is more or less direct. For the brain, it is modulated, as a semiconductor modulates an electrical signal to compute and store memory.”
What this directly means is that as you process this information you’re reading or listening to right now, DHA is literally the primary framework that supports the processing, understanding and remembering of the information, i.e. neurogenesis.
Crawford points out specifically something that should be noted closely, “the unique molecular structure of DHA allows for quantum transfer and communication of pi-electrons, which explains the precise depolarisation of retinal membranes and the cohesive, organized neural signaling which characterizes higher intelligence.”
This also involves a process that should be very specially stated, which is that of quantum tunneling.
Quantum tunneling “is the process through which a particle passes through an energy barrier despite lacking the energy required to overcome the barrier, as would be defined by classical physics.”
In other words, quantum tunneling breaks the “conventional” laws of physics.
This is where quantum biology comes into focus, as all biological systems at their fundamental levels are simply an interplay of atoms.
Stated otherwise, DHA is facilitating quantum processes that are vital for the existence of life itself.
In the upcoming book version of The Neurogenesis Protocol, I’ll be discussing this information even more in-depth and sharing things of interest as it relates to light, biophotons, quantum tunneling, DHA, electrons and more. Stay tuned.
In my quest to stimulate neurogenesis, optimize quantum processes happening in my brain and eyes and boost mitochondrial function, finding the purest and most unique version of a DHA supplement became the most important task to me.
After extensive personal experimentation, countless hours of medical paper reading and inquisitive conversations with lipid biochemists, my company Ascent Nutrition now proudly offers a truly rare, unique DHA product whose quality speaks for itself.
Ascent Nutrition’s Algae Oil DHA uses a wild-type strain of algae that is uniquely water extracted to produce the cleanest, purest DHA in the world.
Unlike fish oil, this specific golden algae oil is balanced to match human biology for the DHA to EPA ratio, because again, DHA is 10 times more abundant than any other omega-3 in the human body.
The brain’s omega-3 needs are 90% DHA and requires 250-300 time less EPA as compared to DHA. This ratio closely matches our incredible strain, which is 1000 mg of DHA + 10 mg of EPA per serving. Many fish oil products have an upside down ratio because it has way more EPA than DHA, which is not how the body is made.
Our Algae Oil DHA can be considered safer than fish and fish oil for both pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as for purity and direct delivery of the right DHA levels for pregnant women. After all, accretion of DHA at an early stage is critical for neurodevelopment.
Be reassured that natural omega-3 DHA-rich oil like Ascent Nutrition’s Algae Oil DHA gives all the DHA needed for the body to harness these secrets-to-life lipids for health benefits in the body and brain.
Additionally and most importantly, algae oil is backed by at least 12 different human clinical studies that show a range of beneficial physiological effects and algae oil has been shown to build up DHA and EPA levels in the human body. (See references below my bio at the end of this article.)
In order to build up one’s levels of DHA in the body, the science shows that a total of 1,000-2,000 mg of DHA and EPA per day over a period of 3-6 months can do just this and can also help support the brain, nervous system and the process of neurogenesis.
The DHA Regimen supports peak Omega-3 levels, synaptamide production and neurogenesis at 1,000-2,000mg of algae DHA per day over a period of 3 months.
In other words, if you want to build up your DHA quantity to peak levels, support synaptamide production and neurogenesis, consuming 1,000-2,000 mg of Algae Oil DHA over a period of 3 months can help.
3 months of 1,000-2,000 mg of DHA and EPA per day equates to 3-6 bottles.
If you are interested in supporting peak Omega-3 levels, it is better to have a long-term goal of 3 months to 12 months to double the total body and brain DHA levels.
View the Algae Oil DHA from Ascent Nutrition.
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Additionally, his work includes the topics of regenerative agriculture, resource-based economies and quantum technologies.
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He is a facilitator and collaborator of big ideas, visions and projects that spark creative and healing solutions in our world.
This article was originally created and published by Lance Schuttler and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Lance Schuttler and Lance Schuttler.com It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.
Human clinical studies referenced:
4. Differential eicosapentaenoic acid elevations and altered cardiovascular disease risk factor responses after supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid in postmenopausal women receiving and not receiving hormone replacement therapy – PubMed (nih.gov)
6. Incorporation of n-3 fatty acids into plasma lipid fractions, and erythrocyte membranes and platelets during dietary supplementation with fish, fish oil, and docosahexaenoic acid-rich oil among healthy young men – PubMed (nih.gov)
7. The effect of supplementation with docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid derived from single cell oils on plasma and erythrocyte fatty acids of pregnant women in the second trimester – PubMed (nih.gov)