What is the connection between DHA and RP?
Dr. J.Gong and his team at the Lipid Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University School of Medicine found that overall, RP patients have 10 to 15% lower DHA levels than normal. Even worse, Dr. D. Hoffman at the Retinal Foundation of the Southwest, Dallas, TX, reported those having one form of RP have up to 40% less. Dr. Hoffman also found that the DHA deficiency is easily correctable by supplementation. RP patients were able to absorb and incorporate fish oil fatty acids into their cells as effectively as those with normal vision. On the other hand, when EPA was given, its conversion to DHA was markedly lower than in healthy controls. The ability to enzymatically convert DHA from EPA seems severely impaired. Thus, RP patients need to take pre-formed DHA to effectively raise the DHA levels in their cells to normal.
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