Omega-3s and DHA for Eye Health – Promote Vision and Brain Health

Omega-3s and DHA for Eye Health – Promote Vision and Brain Health

When it comes to maintaining overall health, the importance of DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be overstated. These essential nutrients are crucial in supporting eye health and brain function, helping promote optimal well-being through all stages of life.

By understanding the benefits of omega-3s for eye health and incorporating them into your daily routine, you can proactively promote your vision and cognitive health.

In this article, you will learn about the role of DHA in vision, the effect of DHA on brain and vision development, how omega-3s can support your eye health at different stages of life, and why algae oil DHA is the best source of this vital nutrient.

What is the Role of DHA in Vision?

Did you know that your eyes need a special type of fat to function properly? This essential fat is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Research shows that DHA and EPA (another omega-3 fatty acid) play a vital role in retinal development and visual function [1].

DHA is abundant in the retina (i.e., the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of your eye) and brain, where it plays a crucial role in supporting optimal eye health. The retina helps convert light into nerve impulses that are transmitted through the optic nerve to the brain, resulting in the formation of visual images.

Optimal levels of DHA support your retina's healthy function and structure, especially the photoreceptors, which are the cells that detect light and color.

While the percentage of DHA in most body tissues is only 1-5%, it accounts for more than 50% of the fatty acid content of a special membrane (the rod) that makes up the outer segments of photoreceptors [2].

The efficiency of visual signaling is dependent on the amount of Omega-3 (DHA) present in the rod outer segment membranes. DHA helps keep the membranes of your photoreceptors fluid and flexible, which allows them to respond to light more efficiently. This indicates its significant role in renewing the outer segments of photoreceptors and synthesizing new membranes.

DHA helps to scavenge harmful free radicals and support a healthy inflammatory response in your retina. The essential fatty acid also promotes the regeneration of a visual pigment called rhodopsin, which helps you see in low-light conditions [3].

Other ways DHA may support optimal eye health include supporting healthy mitochondrial activity, encouraging healthy ocular blood flow, and promoting the healthy drainage of intraocular fluid [4] [5] [6] [7]

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What are the Effects of DHA on Brain and Vision Development?

DHA is not only important for your eye health as an adult but also for your brain and eye development as a fetus and an infant, which is why pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are looking to optimize their omega-3 index with high-quality supplements, like our Ascent Nutrition Algae Oil DHA.

DHA accumulates in your brain and retina during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of life when these organs undergo rapid growth and maturation. After birth, the essential nutrient is transferred from the mother to the baby through the placenta and breast milk.

Studies have shown that higher levels of DHA in mothers and babies are associated with healthy cognitive and visual outcomes in children [8].

By incorporating DHA into their diets, parents can help promote optimal development of their children's brains and visual systems—with research suggesting that "dietary DHA supply during a critical early period in development leads to persistent changes in the underlying neural structure and/or function" [9]. This implies that a higher maternal intake of DHA may encourage a lifetime of healthy cognitive function and visual acuity.

However, choosing a clean and pure source of DHA (i.e., algae oil) is key in ensuring the best outcomes for both mothers and babies.

Algae oil, being the original source of DHA, is free from potential contaminants found in other sources like fish, making it an ideal choice for supporting optimal eye health and brain function during pregnancy and beyond.

Algae oil is also suitable for individuals who value vegan/vegetarian lifestyles, and it's environmentally sustainable as it does not deplete fish stocks or harm marine ecosystems.

Moreover, algae oil has a neutral taste and odor—unlike fish oil, which can cause unpleasant fishy burps or reflux.

What are the Benefits of Omega-3s for Eye Health Among Athletes?

If you are an athlete or someone who engages in physical activity regularly, supplementation with omega-3 DHA may help optimize your performance by promoting eye health and cognitive function.

As we have seen, omega-3s promote various aspects of your visual function, such as contrast sensitivity, visual acuity, and night vision. DHA can also support optimal cognitive health through its role in supporting neurotransmission efficiency and motor neuron responses [10].

These can all contribute to better hand-eye coordination, reaction time, accuracy, and spatial awareness, which are essential for many sports and exercises.

Moreover, DHA supplementation can aid in recovery. Studies have shown that consuming adequate amounts of DHA supports a healthy inflammatory response, promotes mitochondrial health, encourages healthy cardiovascular function, promotes muscle strength, and supports muscle recovery after strenuous activity [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16].

By incorporating DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids into their daily routines, athletes can support their overall health and well-being while also optimizing their performance on the field, court, or track.

What is the Best Omega-3 DHA Supplement for Eye Health?

As you can see, omega-3s are crucial for your eye health, cognitive function, and overall health and well-being. However, most people do not get enough omega-3s from their diet—especially DHA, which is the most important type for your eyes.

As detailed in the DHA Regimen, the optimal level for effectively increasing one's omega-3 index is 1,000-2,000 mg of DHA per day. If you were to eat salmon (i.e., one of the highest fish sources of omega-3s) to meet this recommended level, you have to eat 5-11 servings every week. And as you can guess, this is not very sustainable or practical.

Therefore, supplementing with DHA can be a smart way to boost your omega-3 levels and reap their benefits.

So, what is the best omega-3 supplement for eye health?

Many omega-3 supplements in the market contain low-quality ingredients, insufficient amounts of EPA and DHA, or harmful contaminants such as heavy metals. Not to mention the fact that individuals who follow vegan/vegetarian lifestyles cannot take common options like fish oil.

For these reasons, we suggest our Ascent Nutrition Algae Oil DHA as the best source of omega-3 fatty acids for optimal eye health. As the original source of DHA, algae provide the essential nutrients that fish consume and incorporate into their cellular membranes. By choosing algae oil, you go directly to the source and bypass the need for fish consumption.

But even with algae oil omega-3 supplements, they're not all equal. Ascent Nutrition's Algae Oil DHA has several advantages over other sources of omega-3s, such as fish oil or krill oil, including:


  • Our Algae Oil DHA maintains a balance of DHA and EPA as intended by nature—i.e., we do not alter the DHA to EPA ratios in any way. In addition to EPA and DHA, Algae Oil DHA contains 24 fatty acids that nourish your brain and body.

  • Algae Oil DHA is derived from a specific wild strain of algae that is water-extracted to produce the cleanest, purest, and most concentrated DHA in the market. This process preserves the integrity and bioavailability of the DHA molecules.

  • Algae Oil DHA is vegan-friendly and environmentally sustainable, as it does not harm marine animals or ecosystems in the process of production.

  • Algae Oil DHA is free of any contaminants such as mercury or PCBs that may be present in fish or krill oil, making it a safe option for you and your baby if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The supplement is third-party tested and has shown that it not only meets but far exceeds cleanliness and safety standards set for microbial analysis testing and the testing of heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury (and you can find our results on our product page).

  • Algae oil also allows you to meet the recommended daily dose of at least 1,000 mg of DHA with ease—i.e., a 2.0 mL serving can help you optimize your omega 3 index, promoting eye health.

  • If you prefer a more flavorful option, you can try our lemon version of algae oil DHA. This version contains organic cold-pressed lemon peel oil that adds a refreshing citrus taste and aroma to the algae oil.


Ascent Nutrition's Algae Oil DHA stands out as the superior choice for achieving optimal omega-3 levels, particularly when it comes to DHA. Order yours today.


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  2. Querques, G., Forte, R., & Souied, E. H. (2011). Retina and omega-3. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2011:,)%20%5B14%E2%80%9316%5D

  3. Senapati, S., Gragg, M., Samuels, I. S., Parmar, V. M., Maeda, A., & Park, P. S. H. (2018). Effect of dietary docosahexaenoic acid on rhodopsin content and packing in photoreceptor cell membranes. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes, 1860(6), 1403-1413:

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  9. Birch, E. E., Hoffman, D. R., Uauy, R., Birch, D. G., & Prestidge, C. (1998). Visual acuity and the essentiality of docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid in the diet of term infants. Pediatric research, 44(2), 201-209:

  10. Stonehouse, W., Conlon, C. A., Podd, J., Hill, S. R., Minihane, A. M., Haskell, C., & Kennedy, D. (2013). DHA supplementation improved both memory and reaction time in healthy young adults: a randomized controlled trial. The American of Clinical Nutrition, 97(5), 1134-1143:

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