Dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) is an oxidized form of ascorbic acid. It is actively imported into the endoplasmic reticulum of cells and generates the oxidative potential found there. Protein disulfide isomerases are known to reduce DHA back to ascorbic acid, oxidizing their disulfide bonds in the process. Therefore L-dehydroascorbic acid is a vitamin C compound much like L-ascorbic acid. Oxidized forms of esterified ascorbic acids can be numbered at C(5) or C(6) atoms and the (free) chemical radical semi-dehydroascorbate or semidehydro ascorbic acid (SDA) to the group of dehydroascorbic acids.
Docosahexaenoic acid (commonly known as DHA), is an omega-3 essential fatty acid. In chemical structure, DHA is a carboxylic acid with a 22-carbon chain and six cis double bonds; the first double bond is located at the third carbon from the omega end. Fish oils are rich in DHA. Most of the DHA in fish and more complex organisms originates in photosynthetic and heterotrophic microalgae, and becomes increasingly concentrated in organisms as it moves up the food chain. DHA is also commercially manufactured from microalgae; Crypthecodinium cohnii and another of the genus Schizochytrium.
Almost all long-term epidemiological (population) studies averaging approximately 12 years in duration overall have indicated that consuming fish as source of DHA plus EPA appears to be protective against cardiac-related mortality. In general, most fish contain moderately higher levels of DHA relative to EPA. The so-called randomized control trials which have supported beneficial effects of fish oil-derived omega-3 fatty acids for reducing mortality from cardiovascular disease (including sudden cardiac death) have used supplemental sources which contain a mixture of DHA plus EPA (sometimes with higher levels of EPA as compared to DHA).DHA is metabolized to form the docosanoids—several families of potent hormones. DHA is a major fatty acid in sperm and brain phospholipids, and especially in the retina. Dietary DHA may reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing the level of blood triglycerides in humans. Low levels of DHA result in reduction of brain serotonin levels and have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, and depression, among other diseases, and there is mounting evidence that DHA supplementation may be effective in combating such diseases.