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Phospholipid…the Preferred Carrier to the Brain

Phospholipid…the Preferred Carrier to the Brain

Why is Accentrate® Brain Ready® nutrition? Why do we say we have Tissue-Targeted® EPA and DHA?

Accentrate® has been formulated with EPA and DHA in phospholipid form, which is the preferred carried to the brain.

The brain contains very high concentration of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is essential for the normal development and function of the brain.[1] EPA and DHA protect against multiple metabolic and neurologic disorders.[2]

“DHA cannot be synthesized de novo and must be obtained directly in the diet or via the conversion of shorter chain essential n-3 PUFA, including α -linolenic acid, to DHA predominately in the liver. As the brain synthesis of DHA is very low, it is generally agreed that the brain is supplied with DHA from the plasma.”[3]

Omega-3 fatty acids exist in the body in three forms generally, the triglyceride form, the free fatty acid form, and the phospholipid form. Substantial research has attempted to determine which forms are best absorbed. Further research has gone to determine which forms are best absorbed in the brain.

One study that compared the absorption of EPA in phospholipid form to free fatty acid for showed that EPA in phospholipid form, but not free EPA, increased brain DHA 2-fold. Free EPA increased EPA in adipose tissue, and both supplements increased EPA and DHA in the liver and heart.[4] Only EPA in phospholipid form increased EPA and DHA in the retina, and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, cyclic AMP response element binding protein, and 5-hydroxy tryptamine (serotonin) receptor 1A in the brain. These novel results show that brain EPA can be increased through diet.[5]

The results show that DHA from triglyceride, which is released as free DHA during digestion and is was incorporated preferentially into adipose (fat) tissue and heart but not into brain. In contrast, phospholipid DHA increased brain DHA by up to 100%, but had no effect on adipose tissue.[6]

Accentrate® doesn’t need high doses of EPA and DHA like fish oil supplements, because Accentrate provides EPA and DHA in the form EPA and DHA is already in the brain.

A close up of a map

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Here we see that EPA and DHA from fish oil, or in triglyceride form (TAG) goes through substantial metabolism, and the omega-3s typically end up in adipose tissue, heart, or muscle, and little makes it to the brain. DHA in the phospholipid form, is Targeted to the brain (Tissue).

Sugasini, et al, “Enrichment of brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is highly dependent upon the molecular carrier of dietary DHA: lysophosphatidylcholine is more efficient than either phosphatidylcholine or triacylglycerol,” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 74 (2019) 108231.


[1] Sugasini, et al, “Enrichment of brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is highly dependent upon the molecular carrier of dietary DHA: lysophosphatidylcholine is more efficient than either phosphatidylcholine or triacylglycerol,” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 74 (2019) 108231.

[2] Yalagala, et al., “Dietary lysophosphatidylcholine-EPA enriches both EPA and DHA in the brain: potential treatment for depression.” Journal of Lipid Research, Volume 60, 2019, p 566-577.

[3] Chen, C. T. et al. “Plasma non-esterified docosahexaenoic acid is the major pool supplying the brain. Sci. Rep. 5, 15791.

[4] Yalagala, et al., “Dietary lysophosphatidylcholine-EPA enriches both EPA and DHA in the brain: potential treatment for depression.” Journal of Lipid Research, Volume 60, 2019, p 566-577.

[5] Yalagala, et al., “Dietary lysophosphatidylcholine-EPA enriches both EPA and DHA in the brain: potential treatment for depression.” Journal of Lipid Research, Volume 60, 2019, p 566-577.

[6] Sugasini, et al, “Enrichment of brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is highly dependent upon the molecular carrier of dietary DHA: lysophosphatidylcholine is more efficient than either phosphatidylcholine or triacylglycerol,” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 74 (2019) 108231.

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