Facts and Food Sources of Cervonic acid (DHA)


Cervonic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid which is basic structural component of human brain, skin, cerebral cortex and retina. It is named as 22:6(n-3) in physiological literature. It could be synthesized from alpha-linolenic acid or directly obtained from fish oil, maternal milk or algae oil. Its structure is carboxylic acid having 22 carbon chain and 6 cis double bonds with first double bond placed at the third carbon from omega end. DHA is manufactured commercially from microalgae: Crypthecodinium cohnii and another of the genus Schizochytrium. DHA manufactured with microalgae is vegetarian. In strict herbivores, DHA is internally manufactured from α-linolenic acid which is a shorter omega-3 fatty acid created by plants. Omnivores and carnivores obtain DHA from diet.

Food Sources

Food name Weight (g) Cervonic acid (g)
Salmon 13.6 2.480
Mackerel 80 2.372
Herring fish 143 1.580
American shad 85 1.123
Tilefish 150 1.099
Bass fish 124 0.930
Sablefish 85 0.782
Bluefish 117 0.778
Rainbow trout 143 0.744
Swordfish 85 0.656
Pompano fish 88 0.444
Drum fish 85 0.313
Pollock 85 0.297
Fish broth 244 0.246
Oyster 85 0.194
Cisco fish 28.35 0.174
Egg 85 0.169
Jellyfish 58 0.145
Octopus 85 0.138
Conch 127 0.091


Health Benefits of Cervonic acid

  1. Mental health

Study shows that DHA promotes memory and slow onset of Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology in mice. However human trials show that Cervonic acid did not lower decline of mental function in elderly people having mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. When used as a treatment, it promoted blood levels of DHA and increased brain DHA levels which is based on measured increase of DHA in participant’s cerebrospinal fluid.

  1. Cancer prevention

In mice, cervonic acid inhibits growth of human colon carcinoma cells more than other omega-3 PUFAs. Cytotoxic effect of DHA was not caused by enhanced lipid perioxidation. Yet, different cancer lines might handle PUFAs differently and demonstrate various sensitivities towards them. It promotes efficacy of chemotherapy in prostate cancer cells in vitro. Cervonic acid promotes efficacy of chemotherapy in prostate cancer cells.




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