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Vegans Should Consider Taking DHA Supplements

We are all fatheads.

Indeed, about half the dry weight of our brain is fat. Lower levels of the long-chain omega-3 fat DHA in some areas of Alzheimer’s brains got people thinking that perhaps DHA is protective. Since the level of DHA in the brain tends to correlate with the level of DHA in the blood, cross-sectional studies of dementia and pre-dementia patients have been done. The result? The dementia and pre-dementia subjects do tend to have lower levels of both long-chain omega-3s, EPA and DHA, circulating in their bloodstream. This doesn’t necessarily mean that lower omega-3 levels cause cognitive impairment, however. It was just a snapshot in time, so we don’t know which came first. As I discuss in my video Should Vegans Take DHA to Preserve Brain Function?, maybe the dementia led to a dietary deficiency, rather than a dietary deficiency leading to dementia.

What we need is to measure long-chain omega-3 levels at the beginning and then follow people over time, and, indeed, there may be a slower rate of cognitive decline in those who start out with higher levels. We can actually see the difference on MRI. Thousands of older men and women had their levels checked and were scanned and then re-scanned. The brains of those with higher levels looked noticeably healthier five years later.

The size of our brain actually shrinks as we get older, starting around age 20. Between ages 16 and 80, our brain loses about 1 percent of its volume every two to three years, such that by the time we’re in our 70s, our brain has lost 26 percent of its size and ends up smaller than that of 2- to 3-year-old children.

As we age, our ability to make long-chain omega-3s like DHA from short-chain omega-3s in plant foods, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and greens, may decline. Researchers compared DHA levels to brain volumes in the famed Framingham Study and found that lower DHA levels were associated with smaller brain volumes, but this was just from a snapshot in time, so more information was needed. A subsequent study was published that found that higher EPA and DHA levels correlated with larger brain volume eight years later. While normal aging results in overall brain shrinkage, having lower levels of long-chain omega-3s may signal increased risk. The only thing we’d now need to prove cause and effect is a randomized controlled trial showing we can actually slow brain loss by giving people extra long-chain omega-3s, but the trials to date showed no cognitive benefits from supplementation…until now.

A “double-blind randomized interventional study provide[d] first-time evidence that [extra long-chain omega-3s] exert positive effects on brain functions in healthy older adults,” a significant improvement in executive function after six and a half months of supplementation, and significantly less brain shrinkage compared to placebo. This kind of gray matter shrinkage in the placebo might be considered just normal brain aging, but it was significantly slowed in the supplementation group. The researchers also described changes in the white matter of the brain, increased fractional anisotropy, and decreases in mean and radial diffusivity—terms I’ve never heard before but evidently imply greater structural integrity.

So, we know that having sufficient long-chain omega-3s EPA and DHA may be important for preserving brain function and structure, but what’s “sufficient” and how do we get there? The Framingham Study found what appears to be a threshold value around an omega-3 index of 4.4, which is a measure of our EPA and DHA levels. Having more or much more than 4.4 didn’t seem to matter, but having less was associated with accelerated brain loss equivalent to about an extra two years of brain aging, which comes out to about a teaspoon less of brain matter, so it’s probably good to have an omega-3 index over 4.4.

The problem is that people who don’t eat fish may be under 4.4. Nearly two-thirds of vegans may fall below 4.0, suggesting a substantial number of vegans have an omega-3 status associated with accelerated brain aging. The average American just exceeds the threshold at about 4.5, though if we age- and gender-match with the vegans, ironically, the omnivores do just as bad. There aren’t a lot of long-chain omega-3s in Big Macs either, but having a nutrient status no worse than those eating the Standard American Diet is not saying much.

What we need is a study that gives those with such low levels some pollutant-free EPA and DHA, and then sees how much it takes to push people past the threshold…and here we go: Phase 2 of the study gave algae-derived EPA and DHA to those eating vegan diets with levels under 4.0. About 250mg a day took them from an average of 3.1 over the threshold to 4.8 within four months. This is why I recommend everyone consider eating a plant-based diet along with contaminant-free EPA and DHA to get the best of both worlds—omega-3 levels associated with brain preservation while minimizing exposure to toxic pollutants.

A list of my recommendations can be found here: Optimum Nutrition Recommendations.

Why not just eat fish or take fish oil? I explain why in these videos:

How else can we protect our brains? See, for example:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

190 responses to “Vegans Should Consider Taking DHA Supplements

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      1. I have been a huge Greger fan since I discovered NF a year ago, and have weaned myself from all meat, and then gradually all dairy, including butter, yogurt, and eggs (in that order) thanks in large part to NF here, on YT, and on Insta.

        That he is not addressing the video you’ve linked is pretty devastating to me. This article advising DHA supplementation on 8/27/19 despite the evidence presented on 8/19/19 makes me wonder if he’s just not aware of it yet or if he’s ignoring it.

        It seems very possible that Furhman is a disingenuous opportunist. I’d really like to get Greger’s perspective.

      2. I would also like to see a response… although I know getting into YouTube tit-for-tats is not Dr. Greger’s style. I’m conflicted now about whether to take a DHA/EPA supplement or not…

  1. What kind of diets were being eaten by the people in the studies? The majority of Americans only get one to two servings of fruits and vegetables. Vegans probably ate a lot of vegetable oils. Most likely these studies are done on people with terrible diets which are shrinking their brains faster than people on really healthy diets. It would be more interesting to have a study with people eating whole plant food diets.

    1. David W., I agree. Also, if 1/3 of vegans in the study Gregor quoted did not not have low levels of DHA/EPA, what are they eating or not eating.? This would be an interesting follow up by Dr. Gregor.

        1. I doubt they were given significant amounts of sunflower oil but rather a gel cap filled with oil to look like the fish oil caps. It is unlikely that an 1/8th of a teaspoon of the oil would have any discernible effect on the ratios of 6 to 3 on the subjects blood levels.

          1. While that’s possibly true, you’re assuming that a small amount of fish oil has an enormous effect while a small amount of sunflower oil has no effect.

    2. Well, one of the studies, The Oregon Brain Aging Study, the people were 65 and free of usual diseases, so they may not have been that bad in their diets. They didn’t smoke and didn’t have diabetes, vascular disease and had not had a stroke.

    3. Hi, David w! You can find the sources cited in this blog post by clicking the “Sources Cited” link under this companion video: Vegans eating lots of vegetable oils are not necessarily eating healthier diets than average non-vegans. I agree that it would be interesting to have more studies on people eating whole plant food diets. You can be sure that such studies would be covered here on NutritionFacts. I hope that helps!

    1. Manda,

      There are a lot of brands.

      Tom just mentioned that Dr. Fuhrman’s were the ones used in the study, but Vitamin Shoppe sells them and there are a lot of brands on Amazon.

      Look for “GMP” in the description. That goes for any supplement.

      They vary with how much DHA and EPA they have or you can get all DHA.

      From what I read, it is the DHA which is more important.

      They also vary with which fillers they have.

      Most of them don’t have very much taste, but a few seem to have a taste, per reviews on Amazon.

      1. The Deva DHA/EPA supplements I use have a taste, which I asked them about. The response was that it is from the algae and has no relation to rancidity or impurities. I think most supplements have ingredients that mask the taste and make prevent freshness testing, as done by consumerlab for some brands, The Deva supplement I use is notable for its lack of ingredients: high oleic sunflower oil, organic orange oil, mixed tocopherols, ascorbic acid palmitate, and cellulose capsule. Vegan. No carrageenan or food coloring, etc. The dose is a bit less than Dr. G recommends: 120-140 mg DHA, 60-80 mg EPA per cap. I take two per day. I have also used Ovega 3, which is ok and has a higher dose (almost 500 mg/cap combined DHA/EPA) but also carrageenan, as well as Dr. Fuhrman’s, which is refrigerated until shipping and comes in a bottle. I don’t take his at this point simply because I wanted to increase my dose, which made it kind of pricey.

        1. Aside: I never buy DHA/EPA supplements in hot weather as you can have no idea how it was stored or how hot it got during shipment and delivery (in my case, the product is typically left on a sunny porch).

          1. Gengo,

            I have the same thoughts usually about B12 and any enzymes for the exact same reason.

            I did just have to buy supplements, but I make sure to go at night and drive to the store myself and take them straight home.

            The last Serrapeptase that I used, didn’t seem to do anything and the bottle I had used 3 years ago did so much.

            That time, I could even see how much cleaner my gums were and so many other things. It felt too powerful to take them often and this time it was like nothing at all. Same brand.

            I didn’t expect the same results because, last time, I had used them to take down the swelling on my injured foot and ankle and it worked overnight and helped the pain. It kept coming back, and PEMF got rid of the pain and swelling and it never came back, so I didn’t need it for that, but, like I said, it was as if I went to the dentist and had a thorough cleaning and this time I seriously don’t perceive anything.

    2. I take a product called O-Mega-Zen + EPA from NuTru. Each gel cap = 300 mg DHA + 150 mg EPA. Vegan formulation (algae-derived), “free from contaminants.”

    3. On Amazon I got a brand called Nested Naturals vegan omega-3.
      It has 200mg DHA and 100mg EPA per vegan capsule. The other ingredients are: hypromellose, candelilla wax, water. It also contains green tea extract as a preservative. It’s very reasonably priced, at least it was when I purchased it a while back.
      There is a slight “fishy” or seaweedy taste/ odor when you take it, but it’s brief, and I haven’t experienced any “fishy burps” that some folks experienced with some similar supplements.

      1. >>>There is a slight “fishy” or seaweedy taste/ odor
        Same as Deva. See my comment. I think any brand that is not masking the taste will have some taste as it is supposed to be natural to the algae according to Deva.

    4. Don’t buy any. See later discussion points below about why other specialists don’t agree with Greger’s analysis and have concerns with the studies he cites.

      1. Most of the WPFB doctors do still recommend it. Though there are hypotheses that it might be okay to be low, but that is for the healthiest WFPB diets.

        Vegans still do have heart attacks and strokes and high cholesterol and high triglycerides and high Homocysteine and Diabetes and obesity, etc.

        The videos I just watched talked hypothetically about things being inconclusive and said things like the brain study used obese people and since I am an obese person after almost 2 years trying to do vegan Whole Food Plant Based and since I am recovering from brain damage, I am happy with the fact that it lowers Homocysteine and helps triglycerides and lowers the risk of glaucoma which my relative went blind from. It lowers Arachidonic Acid. Helps with blood glucose. I am older and no longer have estrogen protecting my brain.

        1. There are not studies yet that it is okay for WFPB vegans to be obese or have Diabetes and have high triglycerides and have high Homocysteine, etc.and not supplement and have better outcomes.

          1. There have been studies where vegans died just as often as meat eaters and lab testing where vegans had the highest scores with Homocysteine.

            Women don’t even get the metabolic benefits in so many studies and they lose the protection of their brains after their estrogen is gone and end up with higher Homocysteine and higher rates of Alzheimer’s.

            1. I feel like some of the people, including Jeff Nelson only want to include an idyllic population in his studies.

              The truth is anorexics go vegan and so do people from serious health conditions.

              I haven’t picked on Dr. McDougall for his “fat vegan” comments, but he is bigoted and probably MOST of the people who come to these ways of eating will come from SAD and there will be people who try it who are 1000 pounds or 600 pounds or 300 pounds and they might never get down to their ideal weight. They might already have a shrinking brain and all sorts of health risk factors and the doctors and journalists in this movement being bigots doesn’t help.

      2. Nelson isn’t a specialist – he is not even a clinician of any kind. He is however an extremely opinionated person who creates conflict and manufactures controversies for reasons of his own.

        What downsides are there to modest omega 3 supplementation? None for most people, as far as I can tell. Are there potential brain health benefits for many ‘vegans’? Judging by various studies seenhere, yes. So why turn a debate on the evidence into a series of personal attacks?

        1. I think you may have drunk too much kool-aid.

          The downside is hundreds of dollars per year over a lifetime for something that may or may not be useful.

          Your ad hominems against this guy don’t carry any weight — they’re the equivalent of a chimp throwing his poop.

          I have been a huge Greger fan since I discovered NF a year ago, and have weaned myself from all meat, and then gradually all dairy, including butter, yogurt, and eggs (in that order) thanks in large part to NF here, on YT, and on Insta.

          That he is not addressing the video you’ve linked :// is pretty devastating to me. Nestle is a researher who seems beyond reproach. This guy Nelson is simply doing reporting, and it shows what it shows.

          It seems very possible that Furhman is a disingenuous opportunist.

          Greger advising DHA supplementation on 8/27/19 despite the evidence presented on 8/19/19 makes me wonder if he’s just not aware of it yet or if he’s ignoring it. I’d really like to get his perspective.

          Until then, let’s let the evidence speak. This is not a cult.

    5. Nature’s Way NutraVege Omega-3 Plant is what I take. Each 1-teaspoon serving has 500mg omega-3 fatty acids— 300mg DHA and 150mg EPA. Tastes great too!

  2. I found this study fascinating, but not sure if this has been validated in humans:

    We report that curcumin enhances the synthesis of DHA from its precursor, α-linolenic acid (C18:3 n-3; ALA) and elevates levels of enzymes involved in the synthesis of DHA such as FADS2 and elongase 2 in both liver and brain tissues. Furthermore, in vivo treatment with curcumin and ALA reduced anxiety-like behavior in rodents. Taken together, these data suggest that curcumin enhances DHA synthesis, resulting in elevated brain DHA content.

    1. That is very interesting, Shalin!

      Turmeric is already one I have been interested in while I have been reversing my own brain damage.

      Nice to know that there is another mechanism.

    2. Dr. Greger also recommends a 1/4 tsp of turmeric a day, which contains curcumin as the active ingredient. Very interesting that these two recommendations are synergistic with one another.

    3. Shalin, that IS fascinating. It makes sense that that might be the reason India has less Alzheimer’s Disease than the U.S. does, and if so, it might be that by including turmeric/curry powder in our food, we might not need to take supplemental DHA. Thank you for posting!

    1. Marie Roberts,

      It is because Daily Dozen sounded better than Daily List.

      Last night, I watched Dr. Greger’s very old video where he showed his daily list, which came before the Daily Dozen and it had the supplements on it.

      Notice that he also doesn’t have B12 on the list. Though B12 is not daily, so I guess that complicates the issue further.

      I agree with you that the supplements should be on the list.

      But maybe Daily Dozen should take the exercise off and add another food group and maybe have a supplement and exercise reminder instead of having them on the checklist?

      1. B12 is on the Daily Dozen List, as is Vitamin D – they are in addition to the 12 recommended foods including beverages and exercise.

            1. Watch the Truth About Vaccines and make your own choice but I do remember them talking about the shingles vaccine causing more cases of shingles then without it.

        1. Barb,

          That was a good one.

          I laughed that it was about exercise, rather than for selling supplements.

          It was encouraging that obesity without exercise versus obesity with exercise already gave the benefits.

          I have been thinking about that for a long time.

          When I watched the raw food Diabetes documentary from Dr. Cousens – he had a group of people who had Diabetes for decades and almost all of the Type 2 Diabetics got off their meds within a week. Way before they lost any weight.

          I look at my friend and I and she succeeded at losing weight and I still haven’t, but her lab results were the worst her doctor had ever seen and she has been getting more and more Diabetes symptoms even after losing 50 pounds and my symptoms all went away very quickly, even though I didn’t lose much weight.

          I am going to see if Vitamin D and watercress and the Brazil nuts help.

          I was so happy to see a new number on my scale today and I am a little happy that it came after a few days of going back on nuts.

          I think I had shut down my metabolism and my thyroid and I don’t tend to supplement vitamin D every day even though I still don’t get any direct sunlight. It is almost that I just stopped supplementing when it became Summer, even though I still don’t even get any sunlight ever.

          I have no idea if I am right yet, but I felt so encouraged by the 2.2 pound new number in a better direction. I know that my weight still swings back and forth, but it has not swung this low, and it just was encouraging.

              1. ‘Why would gait speed predict survival? Walking requires energy, movement control, and support and places demands on multiple organ systems, including the heart, lungs, circulatory, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems. Slowing gait may reflect both damaged systems and a high-energy cost of walking.13,39–54 Gait speed could be considered a simple and accessible summary indicator of vitality because it integrates known and unrecognized disturbances in multiple organ systems, many of which affect survival. In addition, decreasing mobility may induce a vicious cycle of reduced physical activity and de-conditioning that has a direct effect on health and survival.6’

    2. Marie

      Perhaps because the Daily Dozen is limited to foods (and exercise)? After all, he doesn’t include B12 supplements either

      1. Tom,

        The fact that so many people were confused tells me that you are just tracking better with Dr. Greger and you understand the system is based on videos and studies and you read below the line. You are a serious asset to this community.

        But when more than 5 people are confused, some of it is on Dr. Greger.

        1. Not really. They simply failed to read the blog post or, if they did read it, they didn’t understand plain English.

          How difficult is it to understand ABC?

          A short term supplementation studies show no benefit for brain health
          B long term studies do show a benefit for brain health
          C therefore vegans should consider supplementing for brain health

          I hardly think it is Greger’s fault if people skim a blog post instead of reading it, or don’t understand there is a difference between short term and long term results.

          1. Entering Mr Grumpy mode ….

            I think it was Schiller who wrote (in German) something to the effect that ‘against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain’.

            And didn’t Einstein say ‘Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former’ ?

            Can’t we just accept that people make stupid comments from time to time? I’ve made a few myself over the years. And let’s call a spade a spade instead of making excuses for them.

  3. Just DHA? What about all of the phytolipids? ALL CELLS contain fat or else they would dissolve themselves away.

    Animal fat contains all of the hormones and toxins that the animal did who “donated” it. Otherwise it would be healthy as well. But it does so it isn’t.

    1. I just went to the doctor yesterday and got results of yet more blood work and brain scan. I asked point blank if I should take supplements, and he said a definitive ‘no’, and added that he would suggest whole food sources only or wherever possible. That’s a nice switch from what I hear about other doctors.

        1. Lida, no, I had a ct brain scan because of a TIA. I had a lot of bloodwork from June semi-annual workup, pre-surgergy blood tests, and ER blood tests. Under normal circumstances I get bloodwork done twice a year, or even once for much of it. But I get sent to specialists when required, like I have the eye specialist tomorrow.

            1. Lida, I also had 2 ECG’s this summer, and a carotid ultrasound. In spite of the high cholesterol, doctors still remark on how terrific my test results are. They ask questions and take notes, not for my records but for themselves!! It pays off Lida in ways we can’t even imagine. Considering my family history and personal story, it’s amazing, – no, it’s miraculous that I am still here with neurons firing at all! LOL Be well Lida, and be encouraged!

              1. Barb,
                “Hope springs eternal….”
                Though it isn’t always easy to feel encouraged. Not sure of your entire personal history but I am in awe of how well monitored you are being in comparison to me.
                How I wish we could meet and share our stories (sigh)

                  1. Thank you Deb! I just made veggie lentil kale soup this morning. Kale looks to be quite a nutritional bargain! I am eating it often these days.

      1. No from your Dr to omega 3 supplements Barb? Was any explanation given?.recommended flaxseeds or fish? The official health advice is eat some fish as we all discussed last blog post, which itself generates suspicion plus Dr Greger has videos to turn you off eating seafood

      2. Hyperlipidaemia is a key risk factor for (ischaemic) strokes – I’m not surprised that your doctor didn’t want you to take a lipid supplement.

        Note that Greger’s recommendsation really only apply to the general (“vegan”) population – they don’t necessarily apply to people with pre-esxisting conditions or who have special risk factors.

    2. Navy Corpsman,

      What are phytolipids?

      Plant cell membranes contain predominantly phospholipids, glycolipids, and sterols; the storage lipids are mostly triglycerides.

      Animal cell membranes contain predominantly phospholipids, cholesterol, and sphingolipids; the storage lipids are mostly triglycerides.

      1. Butyrate – found in butter – probably is.

        However, we don’t need to eat butter to get it. We make it ourselves from high fibre plant foods.

        The only fats that are essential (ie we have to get them from our diet) are ALA and LA – both of which are supplied by plants. Everything else we can manufacture from carbohydrates (plant fibre is a type of carbohydrate). Or so I understand.

  4. My question is whether people who are overweight need higher amounts?

    I went back on nuts and doubled my Vitamin D a few days ago and, today, I had a new scale number 2.2 pounds lower than my previous new scale number.

    Not sure it is related, but if I keep losing, I am going to believe it is that I remembered to take my Brazil nuts and doubled my Vitamin D and started eating watercress in my salad.

    I sure hope it doesn’t go all the way back up tomorrow.

    1. Thanks, Cheryl.

      I do plan on getting my levels tested around the New Year.

      Though, I want to test things like thyroid and homocysteine and other things, so I might not do all of the tests then.

  5. The notion that vegans need to supplement DHA was obliterated by Jeff Nelson.

    For the sake of its own credibility, should refrain from endorsing concepts that were clearly shown to have been built on fraud rather than fact.

    1. Both Dr. G (whom I admire greatly) and the posters on this site are opposed to the ingestion of oils and fats, whether derived from plants OR animals.

      I agree only half-way with them insofar as animal fats are concentrated sources of toxins and hormones. Plant fat is what human beans evolved to consume and is necessary for brain and nerve function

    2. Jeff Nelson is not a scientist nor is he a doctor nor is he a nutritionist.

      Dr. Greger is quoting studies which took brain scans and measured executive function and brain volume.

      Plus, I have been following Dr. Greger and my executive function is improving and I have objective measures of it.

      1. When I look at Dr. Greger’s process, I see all of these studies and the data carefully posted and when I see how Jeff Nelson does journalism, he is more like a drive-by shooter.

        1. And I don’t really mean to put Jeff down.

          I didn’t know that he considered himself a journalist.

          I honestly just thought he was a vegan blogger, rather than a journalist.

          But I compare him to Mic the Vegan and Mic is so much more professional and less reactionary in his approach.

          1. I find Mic super annoying, reminds me of the worst mass-“influencers” on YouTube. The video in which Mic attempted to debunk Dr Gundry’s book almost made me convert to Gundry’s theories, seriously, it was super bad. Glad that there was also a Dr Greger video on that…

            Nelson, on the other hand, is hard on McDougall’s approach, to the point he goes bellicose when talking against fats and supplements. I think he’s just a guy seeking for truth, sometimes overreactive. The fact he is not an MD or nutritionist doesn’t matter as long as he has good arguments, this is the “appeal to authority” fallacy. As I sympathize more with McDougall’s dietary approach I may be biased, though.

      2. Deb,

        >>>Jeff Nelson is not a scientist nor is he a doctor nor is he a nutritionist.

        Uh oh, better watch out b/c Lonie will be on your case for your unwarranted bias in favor of those who are actually trained / experienced in the field.

        1. Gengo,


          Lonie is a good guy. He did declare war on me once, but that was a long time ago and we have had an extended peace treaty.

      1. No nutrition facts are ignoring the latest findings and even its own text (see latest blog) where they themselves advice against staking dha supplements.. plus in other videos they say flax is enough..

    3. >>>The notion that vegans need to supplement DHA was obliterated by Jeff Nelson.

      This is false. Dr. Fuhrman has responded convincingly and in quite a lot of detail to Jeff Nelson’s attack on nuts. DHA, etc.–april-2019

      But please, believe whoever you want.

      1. You might also benefit from reading.

        You will note that LPI states DHA may be “conditionally essential” Key factors they discuss are genetics and gender differences.

        “Studies of ALA metabolism in healthy young men indicated that approximately 8% of dietary ALA was converted to EPA and 0%-4% was converted to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (6). In healthy young women, approximately 21% of dietary ALA was converted to EPA and 9% was converted to DHA (7). The better capacity to generate long-chain PUFA from ALA in young women compared to men is related to the effects of estrogen (8, 9). Although only the essentiality of ALA is recognized because it cannot be synthesized de novo by humans, the relatively low rate of ALA conversion into EPA and DHA suggests that these long-chain omega-3 PUFA may be considered conditionally essential nutrients.

        In addition to gender differences, genetic variability in enzymes involved in fatty acid metabolism influences one’s ability to generate long-chain PUFA. Two key enzymes in fatty acid metabolism are delta 6 desaturase (FADS2) and delta 5 desaturase (FADS1) (Figure 3) (10). Two common haplotypes (a cluster of polymorphisms) in the FADS genes differ dramatically in their ability to generate long-chain PUFA: haplotype D is associated with increased FADS activity (both FADS1 and FADS2) and higher conversion rate of fatty acid precursors (LA and ALA) to long-chain PUFA (EPA, GLA, DHA, and AA) (11). These FADS polymorphisms are relatively common in the population and may explain up to 30% of the variability in blood concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids among individuals (3).”

        1. Gengo,

          Thank you.

          That is so useful.

          For males: 0%-4% was converted to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the important line.

          For women: The better capacity to generate long-chain PUFA from ALA in young women compared to men is related to the effects of estrogen (8, 9) is the important line for post-menopausal women.

          The ONE negative test was with college-age WOMEN.

    4. It would be nice to see DR G address the studies in question and the validity of them…. then correct or not as necessary…. I cannot believe that he is pushing the DHA from a particular source for ulterior motives….

    5. Given that Nelson seems to misrepresent the facts when it suits him, I am not inclined to accept his claims on this or anything else. He also seems altogether too quick to accuse people of fraud for the sake of a sensational headline. He accused Kraft of faking studies on low fat salad dressings because the sell full fat dressings for example. However, he failed to mention that they also sell low fat dressings which tends to undermine his claim that they massaged the results to benefit full fat dressings.

      And just what are Nelson’s qualifications exactly?

  6. You talk about eating a plant-based diet along with contaminant-free EPA and DHA to get the best of both worlds—when i click on your recommendation list it says the daily dozen which includes 1tablespoon of ground flax meal. Will you his work or are you also recommending another supplement ? Thank

    1. Sheree,

      Are you a young person?

      As you get older, the ability to convert ALA to DHA decreases.

      Dr. Greger recommends BOTH the flax and the DHA, based on the studies he wrote about above.

  7. Two blogs within a few days with different recommendations.

    There appears to be evidence that the reason why vegans do not do well in terms of DHA/EPA levels is that they eat way too many short-chain omega-6 containing foods, which compete for the enzyme necessary to make long-chain fatty acids out of short-chain fatty acids.

    Do DHA Supplements Improve Brain Function?
    In 2013, for the first time, DHA supplementation was found to improve memory and reaction time among young adults who rarely ate fish. Previous randomized, controlled trials failed to find such a benefit among18- to 45-year-olds, but they only lasted a few months at most, whereas the 2013 study lasted for six months. If all the studies showed either no effect or a positive effect, one might give it a try. But in one of those shorter trials, DHA supplementation didn’t just fail to show benefit—it appeared to make things worse. After 50 days, those who consumed the DHA had worse memory than those taking the placebo. So, out of the six randomized controlled trials for DHA supplementation, four showed nothing, one showed a benefit, and one showed a harm. If it were just about boosting brain function in the short term, I’d err on the side of caution and spend my money elsewhere.

    Vegans Should Consider Taking DHA Supplements
    This is why I recommend everyone consider eating a plant-based diet along with contaminant-free EPA and DHA to get the best of both worlds—omega-3 levels associated with brain preservation while minimizing exposure to toxic pollutants.

  8. Dear, I have tried for many days to get an an answer, on Twitter – on Instagram – on your web page – but no luck – some days ago you published a blog (originally published in 2018 so not new) where Dr Greger advices AGAINST dha supplements, the text above is written as if that blog was never written since they contradict each other. What is your reasoning?

  9. Martin,

    The last blog was about short-term studies for cardiovascular conditions and those didn’t find a reason to supplement. This blog is about longer studies and brain health.

    Science is almost never a straight line. There are studies with differing results and the studies have to be weighed differently.

    There are 13-year studies with elderly people and 2-month studies with college students. There are studies using brain scans and some measuring things like executive function and there are “a snapshot in time” studies and there are longer correlational studies.

    Dr. Greger has analyzed the logic both in favor of supplementing and against it and if you combine these two blogs, you can get a bigger picture and you can decide for yourself.

    I am not worried about heart condition because I am doing low-fat vegan mostly Whole Food Plant-Based, but I am seriously worried about brain health because I had a serious brain break-down 7 years ago and I looked at the data and had to do my own version of “Am I feeling lucky, punk?” with whether I think I can get enough DHA from ALA, when the studies show that people become less efficient at conversion and the studies show that the conversion to EPA is easier from ALA, but not DHA.

    There isn’t going to be anyone anywhere to guarantee that you are “safe” whether you supplement or not.

    It isn’t likely to do much for you if you are taking it for heart problems, but it might actually help you if you are doing it for brain health and if you don’t take it, you have to ask yourself the “Am I feeling lucky, Punk” because once the brain matter is gone faster, it is gone faster and then you just live with your own decision.

    1. My executive function is improving doing all of this and I was out of my mind 7 years ago, so I am really, really happy right now.

      If my cognitive abilities were decreasing, I probably would stop because not supplementing is cheaper.

      But almost 2 years in, so far, so good.

  10. The study with “harm” was a short study with college-aged women. It needs to stay in there, but the 13-year study with elderly people is the one I give more weight to.

    1. Plus, I was a college student once and what I know is that, at the beginning of the semesters, which would correspond with the pre-test, people are studying and going to classes and sleeping at night and by the end of the semester, people are partying and there tends to be loud music and alcohol and people staying in their girlfriends’ room, etc.

      I doubt it has changed that much since when I went.

      1. Honestly, I have been thinking a lot about the college study and how there are factors like on-campus versus off-campus housing versus commuters and big dorms versus small dorms and coed versus all-women dorms. I have lived in all-women and coed dorms and if I was tested the year I lived in an all-women dorm, I would score higher. Less loud music. Fewer dorm parties. Less alcohol. More sleep.

        By 2 months in, people are pulling all-nighters or dating or partying.

        If one group had people commuting from home and the other group was in a very loud dorm those would be the types of confounding factors.

        College had wayyyy more confounding factors.

        For instance, there is the food plan, which younger students at colleges are forced to have. Younger people tend to put on the “freshman 5 or 15” with weight gain and stress.

        My own life became so much more stable after graduation.

        I actually did drink some in college, which never really happened before or after. It was just what my dorm and friends were doing.

        Plus, whether I partied or not, the party was in the dorm and I was not going to be sleeping until 3 in the morning no matter what I wanted.

  11. What tests and guarantees of vegan DHA being contaminant free can we really trust? Dr greger has shared studies on supposedly pollutant free safe fish oils that were actually polluted. How do we know that claims of contaminant free algae DHA are any more reliable?

    1. WFPB enthusiast,

      The algal supplements are not harvested from the ocean, so they don’t get contaminated by the ocean pollution.

      Plus, on the last blog, Tom posted Consumer Lab’s test results of a few of the best-selling brands.

    2. WFPB enthusiast

      Consumerlabs tested and approved

      Deva Omega 3 – DHA

      Ovega 3 Plant-based Omega.

      There are other brands which are GMP and have third-party testing, but those 2 passed Consumer Labs tests.

      1. Hopefully consumer lab will test Deva’s DHA/EPA supplement next time. But given the results of the DHA only product, I feel comfortable taking the other.

  12. Hello, Dr. Gregor & Team – Thank you for the magnificent work that you do! I’ve been a vegan for over two years now and I’ve asked two doctors – my primary care physician and my allergist/immunologist – for a blood test to see what my Omega 3 levels are. And both said they had no idea how to test for this! Do you happen to know what the official name of the Omega 3 Index test is so that my doctors could order it at George Washington University Hospital and/or at Quest Diagnostics? It’s CRAZY that western-trained physicians don’t know how to properly take care of vegans! Thank GOD you and your team exist! Appreciate your great help and inspiration! Jane

  13. Dear Dr. Greger,

    Thanks to you i become vegan on 2012.

    I came across Omega 3 from sage, heard a few lectures from a professor who extracted the oil, at Machon Volkani, Israel.

    At that time, my mom was 82 years old, and could walk about 50 meters, until she needed to sit down.
    After taking the Omega 3 from Sage, for a month and a half, i took her for a walk. She kept walking with no need to sit. She walked for 1 km, it was unbelievable. At the same time her hand trembling stop, and her memory and brain capability improved dramatically. (Not really Science, someone should put it to the test….)

    1. I know the human body is smart enough to be able to digest ALA to all compounds it needs. A day old baby does it perfectly with his mothers colostrum.

    2. Consuming omega -3 from fish exposes us to really bad toxins. There was a legal act against the 5 top manufactures. I believe the industry is rich enough to “solve” that act.

    3. The environmental disaster we are creating by consiming the fish product, encouraging this industry is a cry for generations. The whales will pay the price, and so will we.

    4. The ratio omega 3-6-9 is recommended as 1-4-1, if you eat plant based whole food diet, you don’t need much omega, which you can consume from green leafs and chia.

    I really hope you continue to make the huge impact on this world, I personally admire you, you are my guide and teacher.

  14. My neurologist said the same thing. HEALTHY fats are very important. A very good source and an adequate amount of this comes from one teaspoon a day of chia oil. Mix it with your smoothie as I do or put it on salad, etc.

  15. “Omega 3 Acid Esters” contain EPA 465 mg ethyl esters and DHA 375 mg. ethyl esters in 1 gram capsule. Is this okay? I appreciate some of your science opinions regarding this. The label does not List any other ingredients. I’m assuming from fish. And clarified or has impurities removed etc. Any thoughts?

      1. I really liked Dr. Radak. His was well-balanced and polite and he showed that most of the WFPB doctors, other than McDougall still do the process that people “might want to” take DHA based on the exact same study Dr. Greger used and that is the whole point.

        The fact that a few of us improved cognitively on nuts and Omega 3’s and Avocado, it may be that people have to flip their own coin.

        But Jeff is still just arrogant and pitting doctor versus doctor and his methods are not ones I can approve of, but Dr. Radak did such a good process and I give him a thumbs up.

        It still is just up to people to wonder if they need it or not and no doctor can answer that for them.

        I am post-estrogen and in a group where I won’t convert well and what I have been doing has been healing my brain radically. There is a 1000% difference. Not sure if it is 1000% but saying 100% would be such an underestimation.

          1. He also verified for me that sunflower oil making things worse can effect studies.

            I say that because the one where there was a negative effect used sunflower oil in the Omega 3 and I am saying it because they sell Algal oils with sunflower oil in them and that maybe isn’t a great idea?

              1. Or decreases Arachadonic Acid in vegans, but fish oil increases Arachadonic Acid in omnivores.

                I think.

                He went pretty fast through that part and only mentioned the vegans.

                1. He did the things which affect ALA conversion and

                  His list was:

                  Being elderly “especially” affects it.
                  Caffeine intake
                  Glucose intake
                  Saturated Fat intake
                  Transfat Intake
                  Metabolic Syndrome
                  Glucocorticoids – natural or medical
                  Being low in zinc, magnesium, niacin, Vitamin C.

                  A lot of the WFPB doctors tell people they might consider supplementing if they have a risk factor such as these.

                  1. Anyway, by the end, he agreed with Dr. Greger that it can’t hurt may be the answer and he didn’t have an arrogant putting Dr. Greger down perspective at all.

                    While I watched his talk, the vegans dying at the same rate as everybody else even of heart disease, etc. is the study that came to mind.

                    He used “dry eye” as an example and said that vegans have less “dry eye” and, yet, at least two people here talked about that topic.

                    When triglycerides were covered, there were WFPB people with high triglycerides and high cholesterol, etc.

                    I guess I am saying, know if you have a risk factor before making your decisions.

    1. Thank you bhami, I enjoyed watching the talk with Dr Tim Radak.
      He cut to the chase in looking st both omnivore and vegan trial perspectives. Excellent!

  16. Does anyone know any reasonably priced supplements for DHA and EPA? We take one now but realized from this article that we should be doubling our dose. They’re already expensive to begin with.

  17. Many docs can write a Rx for it to be filled in a pharmacy. Insurance might help. Worth a call to your pharmacy to ask them to call your physician for a prescription—or—- call your insurance company to see if it is in their formulary. Ask the pharmacy staff about it’s cost with insurance. (Food is still best).

  18. I am so confused. On his 8/22/19 blog Dr Greger stated “So, out of the six randomized controlled trials for DHA supplementation, four showed nothing, one showed a benefit, and one showed a harm. If it were just about boosting brain function in the short term, I’d err on the side of caution and spend my money elsewhere.” This seems to contradict the information above. Can someone clarify for me?

  19. What’s with Jeff Nelson from Veg Source hammering on Dr G about the DHA recommendation? “It’s irresponsible and possibly unethical”. I don’t get it.

    1. Patrick,

      His manner of doing things is what is off.

      None of these doctors know yet how the DHA effects WFPB and, honestly, Dr. Greger has an audience with such mixture of risk factors and Jeff only speaks to very thin vegans who eat very well and he doesn’t even mind deficiency symptoms. That is his logic.

      I noticed that Dr. Klaper recommends supplementing if people have Diabetes, or other disease risk factors and he recommends supplementing if people have symptoms. Jeff has stated that he is for not supplementing even when people are symptomatic and that is why he attacks Dr. Greger.

      But, honestly, every single one of these doctors will shift positions if the studies show to do that and Jeff would do a “Ha, Ha, I told you so” process if that ever happened and Dr. Greger will shift if science shifts not before and I respect the science process and I do not respect the bully process.

      1. I don’t think Nelson ‘attacks’ Greger, just exposes flaws in Greger’s conclusions. In the same way, perhaps, Greger ‘attacks’ people who propose flaws in their dietary guidance – Keto people, Egg Board, Diary industry etc.

        Nelson ‘attacked’ some of Greger’s conclusions on nuts in his book and Greger conceded Nelson was right and corrected.

        Nelson has provided a detailed analysis on why he thinks Greger (and Fuhrman) are probably wrong on DHA and, as a reader, you can decide. The last analysis by Radnak (on YouTube) is probably the most detailed you can find and he again shows flaws in the study that Greger uses. ‘Attack’ or just better analysis?

        Greger usually says ‘I provide the science and you can decide’ which seems apt here. We can over-rely on Greger’s team to do all the hard thinking for us but we shouldn’t assume they accurately analyse and present conclusions all the time. He does have a habit of using relative percentages to exaggerate outcomes.

        Nelson doesn’t appear to be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when he questions our heroes, but don’t let bias get in the way of thinking about the data for yourself.

        This article was probably pre-programmed for issue some time ago, which is unfortunate given the new information available in the last few days.

        I hope Greger responds and either backs his assertions with further commentary or concedes the weight he applied to this one study, in the face of most studies showing no positive outcomes, was mis-placed.

  20. I live in NS [Nova Scotia] Canada where a local company, Ascenta makes this algae oil. I’ve been on this since last year when Dr G advised us to partake: ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ hahaha A large bottle is $60 CDN, but, lasts 6 months @ 1/2t/da. I can already feel my brain expanding! hahaha

    1. Ascenta contains sunflower oil and green tea extract… exactly what you don’t want in any supplement. There was discussion of sunflower oil fuether up in this thread.

  21. Phu, what kind of headed discussion… I’m not a nativ english speaker and so I also struggle sometimes with the videos of Dr. Greger. In his video from March 14th, 2019 “The purported benefits of eating fish”
    he said, to much DHA/EPA in the brain isn’t good for the people… and now, the he says exactly the opposite… but for me, after reading both articles again and again the conclusion ist the source of DHA/EPA – it comes from fish, everyone get’s a lot of mercury with – when it comes from alge than it tends to be contaminant-free EPA and DHA and so it’s associated with brain preservation.
    Beside, nobody has rented the wisdom, nit Fuhrmann, not Greger, not everyone – but they all do there best to give others a nudge for thinking – the goal is not to follow blind Dr. Greger or others, the goal is to think by your self, don’t stop thinking! And so everyone should make his own decision. ;-)

  22. I have been vegetarian for 5 years and I’ve recently ditched dairy to embrace a full plat-based diet, inspired and supported by your wonderful book “How Not to Die”. I fully understand the reason and the logics behind the need to supplement vitamin B12, but this post was a bit of a blow to me and hope you can restore my motivation with your usual scientific rigour and crystal clear reasoning. If not eating fish means that I have to supplement EPA and DHA, doesn’t it mean that a plant-based diet is not complete? Many thanks, I hope you can clarify this and clear this doubt about the plat-based I’ve just embraced with enthusiasm. Keep up the good work!! :)

    1. Dear Raffeale,
      If you read the other comments you will see supplementation with DHA/epa is controversial even among followers. Dr. Greger has reviewed studies and has made his recommendation, but because this is a science-based website you are certainly free to review the research yourself (in fact you’re encouraged to do just that) and make up your own mind. I’m surprised this one seeming wrinkle is making you question your efforts to eat whole food plant based, which has such a wealth of evidence supporting benefits for all body systems. Scientific rigor and crystal clear thinking does not necessarily mean we all will totally think the same. This website will continue to provide you with research and will as you suggested “keep up the good work.” Meanwhile you do the same (eating plant based) — keeping with what you have understood and can verify with the research that has been presented.

  23. I’m wondering why the amount of EPA and DHA you recommend is different than that within this study? For instance, they state “The LC-n3-FA group received fish oil capsules for 26 weeks (4 capsules daily) comprising 2200 mg LC-n3-FA (1320 mg EPA + 880 mg DHA, given as 1000 mg fish oil and 15 mg vitamin E).” Is your analysis combining conclusions of this with insights of other longitudinal studies mentioned? Could we please get some clarification? Thanks!

  24. I believe in the WFPB way of eating but there is one part that is hard to reconcile. If this is the best way to eat then why do I have to ingest supplements? Shouldn’t I receive all my nutrients from the food I eat?

    1. Just my 2 cts.
      Vit D : Maybe we are designed to spend a lot more time outside and get it from the sun

      Vit B12 : is it the dirt but to depleted now. Or can’t get enough in our modern world.

      EPA /DHA : maybe we were not design to live do long for this to affect us?

      1. Jean-Marc,

        There are so many studies showing that we do indeed need much more outside time. From air quality to our mental health and more…. enough to get vitamin d levels to optimal….that’s still up in for debate.

        Our manipulation of the dirt and agricultural practices have indeed changed loads of nutrient issues. With many of us having genetic predispositions and needing higher levels of B-12 supplementation appears prudent.

        The EPA/DHA ratios are so skewed for the average population that once again we really should consider supplementation, when using a vegan diet.

        Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

    2. Bill,

      Perhaps we “should” get all of our nutrients from the WFPB diets, however the vegan format is not optimal for our current needs when it comes to EPA/DHA and some other nutrients.

      Keep in mind that both our longevity, exposures, farming practices and a host of other factors now are impacting our recognition of what constitutes “optimal” intakes.

      The WFPB diet from both a nutritional and exposure point of view although not fully comprehensive in our needs, is the least aggressive toward our system function and maximizes our resistance towards disorders while being environmentally more on point.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

        1. Hi Ab, thanks for your question. I looked at literature and other age group and omega three to see if it was effective in other age groups.

          In this study, it suggests that neurodevelopment and cognitive abilities are also enhanced by early provision of n-3 LCPs through breast milk or DHA-fortified foods. Breast fed infants also require n-3 LCPs after weaning to achieve optimal visual acuity at 12 months of age. Good quality evidence supporting a role for n-3 LCP consumption to enhance learning and/or behaviour in school-age children is currently lacking. Evidence supporting the potential importance of n-3 LCP consumption for good cognitive health in older age is now beginning to emerge.

          Also this review looked at school age group and younger and older adults. The aim of this review is to critically evaluate the current evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCT) in healthy school-aged children, younger and older adults to determine whether consumption of LC omega-3 PUFA improves cognitive performance and to make recommendations for future research. Current evidence suggests that consumption of LC omega-3 PUFA, particularly DHA, may enhance cognitive performance relating to learning, cognitive development, memory and speed of performing cognitive tasks. Those who habitually consume diets low in DHA, children with low literacy ability and malnourished and older adults with age-related cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment seem to benefit most. However, study design limitations in many RCTs hamper firm conclusions. The measurement of a uniform biomarker, e.g., % DHA in red blood cells, is essential to establish baseline DHA-status, to determine targets for cognitive performance and to facilitate dosage recommendations. It is recommended that future studies be at least 16 weeks in duration, account for potential interaction effects of gender, age and apolipoprotein E genotype, include vegan/vegetarian populations, include measures of speed of cognitive performance and include brain imaging technologies as supportive information on working mechanisms of LC omega-3 PUFA. So they deduct that longer duration study is recommended for future studies.

      1. Also, apparently, the study quoted by Dr Greger is skewed because it compares a fish oil capsule supplemented in vitamin E with a placebo capsule made of sunflower oil without vitamin E…

        In fact, the study quoted by Dr Greger’s might only show that fish oil with vitamin E is better than sunflower oil without vitamin E in older women eating not healthy…

        But one can not draw recommendations for people eating healthy based on those premises…

  25. Would love to see a blog article about the study regarding vegetarians and increased risk of stroke. They note that pescatarians do not have the same risk.

    I’m wondering if not all vegetarians are created equal (some eat processed flour and drink soda) or if it really is B12 deficiency/DHA issue? Some notations discuss the fact that “low cholesterol” might be to blame.

    In the interim – continuing a plant-based whole food diet but added krill and B12 supplements.

    numerous articles but here’s one:

    1. Dr. Greger will actually be doing a video about this study, but in the meantime he says to be sure to be taking B12.

      1. How can one draw conclusions about statistics saying that there is only 3 individual cases more of strokes per 1000 population over 10 years ? And when the group in question does not differentiate vegetarian who eat eggs, milk, dairies and oils and vegans and people eating healthy ?

        This is ridiculous.

  26. I recently had my Omega 3 index checked and it was reported as 4.4, right at the good threshold . I do eat 3 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed a day with my oatmeal, so I guess I have a decent conversion rate. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Dr Colin Campbell both recommend not taking supplements unless your level is low.

    1. Trust yourself, Canan. Learn from the brilliant doctors out there, but realize no one is perfect so it’s up to you to take the collective information and make up your mind accordingly. That’s what I’ve learned. Conflict of interest or not, that veg source guy is definitely NOT someone to trust. Here’s a good video in reference to collective evidence on omega-3’s from Dr. Radak who researched the subject in depth for many years:

    1. Thank you, that is very informative and shows that there is a real controversy about this oil supplement amongst the plant-based doctors themselves.

      How indeed can one recommend to people to not cook with and not ingest vegetables oils and at the same time suggest to people to take oil capsules everyday ?

      There is something quite wrong about this. Also, what the deal with brain shrinkage ? One may have a small brain working better than a larger brain being confuse, and at the end, we all die anyway, so perhaps brain shrinkage is not an issue at all…

      There may be studies done that compare cognitive efficiency of people according to their brain mass, and a bigger brain might not be equal to a more functional brain.

      1. Hi ab,

        I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thank you so much for your questions.

        Ideally, it would be best to consume no oils. However, most vegans don’t consume enough seaweed to get 250 mg of DHA, which is what Dr. Greger recommends based on the science we have to date. This amount of DHA is such a small amount, about 2-3 calories worth, that it would constitute basically a negligible proportion of the diet.

        The reason why a shrinking brain is concerning is because that is linked to poorer memory and cognitive performance as we age. Brain shrinkage is also found to occur significantly in individuals with Alzheimer’s. Of course, brain size is not always perfectly correlated with cognitive performance, but there may be a relationship between the amount of brain shrinkage and cognitive performance.

        I hope this helps answer your questions!

  27. The double-bind randomized study quoted by Dr Greger ( does not demonstrate that fish oil (supplemented with vitamin E) is good for the brain, it demonstrates that the sunflower oil given to the control group is comparatively detrimental to the brain in elder overweight women already not eating heatlhy. And many brands of algae-based oils also contain sunflower oil in them like those ones:

  28. I’ m a resident of Loma Linda Ca. How do i sign in for the speaking Tour you are having in the School of Medicine on Jan 12, 2020. I contacted the University and they are not aware of such conference. I would appreciate your assistance.

    Edwin Velez

    1. Hi Edwin,

      Thank you for your comment. The organizers of the event don’t have an event page yet with all the info. Once we have a link from them we will be sure to put it on our Speaking Events page.

      The talk is currently scheduled to be at here at 1pm on 1/12/20.

      Frank Damazo Amphitheatre
      Loma Linda University Centennial Complex
      24760 Stewart St., Loma Linda, CA 92354

    1. The study I mentioned that he explains in greater detail is the one in Dr. Greger’s video on DHA. I’m not through watching the lecture, but there is a lot of conflicting data on long-chain omega fatty acids and no impressive evidence that’s been replicated.

  29. Dr Greger’s recommendation for Omega-3s is this:
    250 mg daily of pollutant free (yeast- or algae-derived) long-chain omega-3’s (EPA/DHA) He does not break the Omega 3 recommendation down It is a combination of both to total 250.

  30. There are two issues with this:
    1) Dr. Greger does not advocate a “vegan diet” , since a vegan diet can include rice water, oreo cookies, french fries, frosting, etc. These food-like substances do not support health or longevity. This site is focused on only unprocessed plants, which is an entirely different subset of vegan foods.
    2) If you read new articles to glean important scientific information, then you’re at the whim of whatever the news agency wants to report. If you want “just the facts”, go to the peer-reviewed published study and read it, without looking at it through the distorted lens of the news agency.

    TL;DR – Eating WFPB? Just take a B12 supplement (and get adequate sun exposure for Vit D).

    1. Hi, Bill! We are not suggesting that people take fish oil. The safest way to get omega-3 fatty acids is 250 mg daily of pollutant free (yeast- or algae-derived) long-chain omega-3’s (EPA/DHA). You can also get some omega-3 fats from walnuts, flax and chia seeds, although there is some controversy about how well we convert those to EPA and DHA. You can find everything on this site related to omega-3 fatty acids here: I hope that helps!

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