The Summer 2020 Issue of Nutraceuticals Now is now available.
Excerpts of the following articles are available on this website:
To download a PDF of this issue, please subscribe to Nutraceuticals Now or login to your account.
DHAid™ . . . the next generation
DHAid™ is a concentrated and purely vegetarian source
of omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It is produced
from a proprietary strain of microalgae through a controlled
fermentation process. DHAid™ is an environmentally friendly
source of DHA as it is manufactured using renewable
resources. DHAid™ is also non-allergenic, free of potential
contaminants often associated with seafood, and uses no
chemical solvents for production.
• Products displaying the DHAid™ quality seal on the
packaging show the consumer that they contain purely
vegetarian DHA from Lonza.
–– Swiss life-science company founded in 1897
–– One of the world’s leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical,
healthcare and life-science industries
–– The global leader in the production and support of active
pharmaceutical ingredients (API’s) based on both chemical as
well as biotechnological platforms
–– The global leader in microbial control solutions
–– The world’s biggest supplier of vitamin B3 (Niacin and
Niacinamide) and L-carnitine (Carnipure™)
DHAid™ Production Process
Using a proprietary strain of microalgae, Lonza’s innovative
technology allows DHA oils to be produced with superior
quality. During the unique production process, microalgae are
grown in fermentation vessels. They are allowed to grow to
large volumes and therefore accumulate significant quantities
of DHA. DHAid™ is then extracted and refined in processes
that are very similar to those used in the production of
conventional vegetable oils. All DHAid™ products are produced
without use of any solvents. Furthermore, because of the fully
controlled fermentation-based production, DHAid™ is free of
the possible contaminants often associated with omega-3’s
from animal sources.
DHAid™ Product Line
In 2012, Lonza launched a new generation of DHAid™
products. In addition, Lonza is now offering bulk vegetarian
DHAid™ softgels providing 200mg DHA per softgel. They are
produced in Switzerland and are available at 6400 softgels
per unit. The gelatine-free soft capsules are based on potatao
starch, allergen-free, of pure vegetable origin and do not
contain any animal derived constituents. The DHAid™ product
line is found in Table 1.
DHAid™ product trends
The easiest way to enrich the daily diet with supplementary
DHAid™ is via dietary supplements, edible oils or spreadable
DHAid™ Quality and Safety
Lonza produces high quality vegetarian DHA and is a member
of GOED, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3.
As a member of this non-profit organization, Lonza has made
a commitment to adhere to strict quality guidelines and ethical
DHAid™ Quality and Safety at a Glance
–– Produced according to HACCP and GMP standards for food
–– ISO 9001 certification
–– Production based on renewable resources
–– GMO and allergen free
–– Production process is free of chemical solvents
–– Purely vegetarian source of DHA
–– Novel food status in the EU
–– Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) affirmed status by US
Why Is DHAid™ Important?
Helps Optimize DHA Levels in the Body
While, in principle, your body can convert the precursor ALA
(alphalinolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) to DHA,
several human supplementation studies have demonstrated
that this bioconversion is extremely inefficient. Therefore, it is
unlikely to meet DHA recommendations by supplementation
with ALA alone. Moreover, aging, illness and stress contribute
to this limited conversion process. The excessive intake of
omega-6 rich oils also contributes to limited conversion,
because of competition for the same enzymes.
In a study by Geppert et al., vegetarians who took a DHAid™
supplement significantly increased their levels of DHA, as
compared with a placebo group (Fig. 1). In addition, the same
study has shown that DHAid™ supplementation can also
significantly increase EPA levels. Therefore, DHAid™ might
serve as a source of EPA. As both DHA and EPA typically come
from fish-based sources, consumers following a vegan or
vegetarian lifestyle may fulfill the recommended daily intake of
both DHA and EPA by supplementing with DHAid™.
This study also demonstrated the positive impact of DHAid™
supplementation on the omega-3 index. The omega-3 index
is a marker for heart-health risk, with better correlation to
heart health than other risk factors such as triglyceride or
cholesterol level. More than two-thirds of the study’s DHAid™
supplementation group reached the highest protection level
(omega-3 index above 8%), while none from the placebo group
reached this level.
Helps Meet Dietary Recommendations
Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids in the western diet,
including DHA, is usually far below the recommended daily
intake. Experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and
the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids
(ISSFAL) agree that individuals should include at least 220 mg
of DHA/day in their diets. DHAid™ supplementation can help
achieve this recommendation.
Provides a Vegetarian Source of DHA
DHAid™ is a vegetarian product. Many omega-3 products
on the market are derived from fish sources and are not
appropriate for vegetarian or vegan consumers. DHAid™
provides those consumers with a purely vegetarian source of
Decreases Exposure to Potential Contaminants from Fishbased
DHAid™ is sustainable and does not contain potential
contaminants often associated with fish and seafood. As many
omega-3 supplements on the market today originate from fish
oil, they carry the risk of contributing to overfishing and may
also be contaminated with heavy metals or other substances.
DHAid™ is produced via fermentation of microalgae in a
controlled production facility. It is therefore considered a
sustainable product and it does not contain the risk of heavy
What Is DHA?
DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is used by our body
as a building block for cell membranes where it plays an
important role in membrane fluidity, flexibility and permeability.
It is found in many areas of the body and in particularly high
concentrations in the eyes, sperm, and brain, while other
omega-3 fatty acids are present only at very low levels in
these areas of the body. In the brain, DHA serves as a major
structural and functional building block. It is the most prevalent
omega-3 fatty acid present in gray matter, accounting for about
30 percent of its structural lipids. Therefore, most experts agree
that DHA is the most important omega-3 fatty acid and that it
cannot be substituted by other omega-3 fatty acids.
Health Benefits of DHAid™
Pregnancy and Lactation
Prenatal and early postnatal DHA statuses have an impact
on healthy brain growth and cognitive function of the child. In
order to achieve optimal DHA status, pregnant and lactating
women need to ensure adequate DHA intake. In a workshop
with the experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH),
the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and
Lipids (ISSFAL) and scientists and clinicians from around the
world, participating members concluded that pregnant and
lactating women should consume at least 300mg of DHA/day.
After birth, the baby continues to receive DHA through breast
milk. A study by Imhoff-Kunsch found that prenatal algal DHA
supplementation significantly increased DHA content in breast
milk, providing further evidence that DHAid™ supplementation
may be one way to achieve optimal DHA levels for both the
mother and child.
Research has shown that DHA may be important for optimal
brain health across the age spectrum. For infants and children,
it is well established that DHA is required during fetal and
child brain growth. In adolescents, supplementation with
DHA was found to prevent aggression enhancement during
times of mental stress, such as exam periods. In adults and
elderly populations, DHA helps maintain normal brain function.
Scientific evidence links reduced DHA levels to a number of
mental disorders including depression, dementia, schizophrenia
and Alzheimer’s disease.
By Ulla Freitas, Manager Scientific Marketing Nutrition
. . . the next generation
Table 1: DHAid™ product line
DHAid™ FNO-350 DHAid™ CL-400 DHAid™ Dry DHAid™ DS-200
Functional Nutrition Oil Clear Liquid Dry powder Dietary supplement
≥ 350 mg DHA/g ≥ 400 mg DHA/g ≥100 mg DHA/g 200 mg DHA/soft gel
Slightly turbid oil Clear oil Dry powder Bulk softgel capsules
All food applications Especially for dietary supplements Dry mixes Dietary supplements
and food applications