Plant-Based Omega-3 Supplements

Plant-Based Omega-3 Supplements
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By choosing algae-based sources of long chain omega-3 fatty acids, one may be able to get the benefits of fish consumption without the risks.

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This is what it looks like. It’s grown organically. So, no heavy metals; no industrial toxins. It’s grown bloodlessly. You know, Charlie looks happier in the commercials. It’s grown sustainably, so we’re not contributing to the extinction of our ocean wildlife. It’s grown hygienically—so, you don’t have to hear me talk about the first report this year of a new fish tapeworm in North America. Those are not noodles.

Food is a package deal. No, we tell the maître d’, “I’m not trying to be difficult; I do want the omega 3s. But could I at least get the tapeworms on the side?” It doesn’t work that way. Food is a package deal.

As unsavory as this may be, it’s not as bad as pork tapeworms, shown here sticking out, and here, shown literally eating someone’s brain.

All the benefits, none of the risks. The long-chain omega 3s, the “DHA” in golden algae, found to be 100% bioequivalent to the DHA in fish flesh. So, organic, hygienic, sustainable, bloodless, bioequivalent; it may even be cheaper too. So, we have a choice: we can get our long-chain omega 3s this way, or…this way.

Yes, people who don’t eat animals have very low levels of industrial toxins in their body, but they also have very low levels of long-chain omega 3s. So, I recommend everyone take 250mg of microalgae-based DHA daily. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Most fish-eaters aren’t getting enough DHA for optimal health, either.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

This is what it looks like. It’s grown organically. So, no heavy metals; no industrial toxins. It’s grown bloodlessly. You know, Charlie looks happier in the commercials. It’s grown sustainably, so we’re not contributing to the extinction of our ocean wildlife. It’s grown hygienically—so, you don’t have to hear me talk about the first report this year of a new fish tapeworm in North America. Those are not noodles.

Food is a package deal. No, we tell the maître d’, “I’m not trying to be difficult; I do want the omega 3s. But could I at least get the tapeworms on the side?” It doesn’t work that way. Food is a package deal.

As unsavory as this may be, it’s not as bad as pork tapeworms, shown here sticking out, and here, shown literally eating someone’s brain.

All the benefits, none of the risks. The long-chain omega 3s, the “DHA” in golden algae, found to be 100% bioequivalent to the DHA in fish flesh. So, organic, hygienic, sustainable, bloodless, bioequivalent; it may even be cheaper too. So, we have a choice: we can get our long-chain omega 3s this way, or…this way.

Yes, people who don’t eat animals have very low levels of industrial toxins in their body, but they also have very low levels of long-chain omega 3s. So, I recommend everyone take 250mg of microalgae-based DHA daily. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Most fish-eaters aren’t getting enough DHA for optimal health, either.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

More on plant-based omega-3s:
Algae-Based DHA vs. Flax
Flax Seeds For Sensitive Skin (EPA not DHA)

And fish pathogens:
Zero Tolerance to Acceptable Risk
Tongue Worm in Human Eye
Allergenic Fish Worms

And fish oils:
Is Distilled Fish Oil Toxin-Free?
Fish Oil in Troubled Waters
PCBs in Children’s Fish Oil Supplements

Because even distilled fish oil has been found to contain toxic industrial pollutants, the safest source is algae- or yeast-derived EPA/DHA (our bodies can retroconvert DHA into EPA, and vice versa). My recommendation is to ideally get 250 to 500mg a day.

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72 responses to “Plant-Based Omega-3 Supplements

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  1. Dr. Dave Woynarowski apparently has his own brand of fish oil supplements, and he spoke on the Longevity Now Conference with David Wolfe. His source for his product is line-caught mackerel. He says that plant sourced ALA is not very bioactive and does not convert well to DHA, maybe 5% conversion. Says flax is good but most nuts and seeds and plant-based omega 3s are more omega 6 than 3 and you need more 3 than 6 to blunt the inflammatory aspects of the 6. Algae oil has way more DHA than EPA and we need both, actually need 3-1 EPA to DHA. Plant-based eaters need 125 g Omega 3 (per day, I guess) and they cannot get enough from Algae. Yeast technology that promises EPA is GMO and owned by Monsanto.

    Bottom line: We gotta get his product. Only his product will give us what we need.

    I’m using Vegan DHA by Minami Nutrition. I guess it’s useless, as it’s only 300 mg per day and I need 125 g, and it does not provide me with EPA. Too bad. I was getting such a nice placebo effect until I listened to Woynarowski.




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    1. I would certainly welcome any data Dr. Woynarowski has to offer, but what you ascribe to him doesn’t make sense to me. For example, the institute of Medicine has determined that the Adequate Intake for ALA is 1.1-1.6 g/day, 78 times smaller than what you recall him saying.

      Bottomline: Because even distilled fish oil has been found to contain toxic industrial pollutants, the safest source is algae or yeast derived EPA/DHA (our bodies can retroconvert DHA into EPA and vice-versa). See some of my reasoning here. My recommendation is to ideally get 250 to 500 mg a day.




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  2. Dr. Greger, thank you so very much for your availability and your response. It’s really great to be able to discuss these health questions with you. I’ve been taking the Vegan DHA for about a week, based upon this video you posted, and I really hope it is working for me. As a long term vegan of more than 35 years, who never really paid much attention to Omega 3s, I may very well be depleted and in need of this essential fat; I’ve certainly been battling depression all my life. And now between the magnesium and the DHA, whether by placebo or for real, I believe I am feeling better. I hope you know that I was being sarcastic when I wrote above that “we gotta get his product.”

    Thank you again.




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  3. Dr. Greger,
    As you have reported, the effects of animal based omega-3 supplements can prove to be ironically, inflammatory. While you recommend utilizing algae as an alternative, is there concern over the neurotoxins (as you have discussed in other videos as present in spiralina and cholera), or are these only present in the blue-green algae?




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    1. There is another video you might watch that answers this question (although the video is cut off at the end). See nutritionfacts.org/videos/algae-based-dha-vs-flax-2/. Essentially what Dr. Greger says is that while we can make DHA from the shorter chain omega 3 fatty acids in walnuts and flax, probably we can’t make enough from that route for OPTIMAL health.




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  4. Suppose someone wants to avoid having to buy this algae oil and is willing to each an ideal plant based diet. Is it possible? How many greens do you have to eat? What kind of a plant based diet provides the necessary 3:1 ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Or is your video trying to imply that one cannot be healthy on a fully plant based diet without having to consume a algae oil supplement? I’m sure many vegans have been wondering about this point.




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    1. Hello BPCveg,

      I actually have an answer. Although this video says we need algae oil, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with Dr. Greger. According to Dr. McDougall, “a condition of ‘essential fatty acid deficiency’ is essentially unknown in free-living populations….true essential fatty acid deficiency would result in: loss of hair, scaly dermatitis, capillary fragility, poor wound healing, increased susceptibility to infection, fatty liver, and growth retardation in infants and children.” Here is the full article http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/aug/oils.htm Although the algae oil may have the DHA, oil is still oil and not a whole plant food. I respect Dr. Greger’s statement of avoiding fish oil for its many contaminants ,as seen here http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=omega+3 and using algae oil as a substitute but is it really necessary to ingest any pure DHA in the form of an oil? After weighing it out, to me, it doesn’t seem necessary.




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      1. I don’t recommend long chain omega 3’s for deficiency; I recommend them for optimal health. To prevent scurvy, the vitamin C deficiency disease, you only need like 30mg of C a day. But no one would recommend only 30. The reason the RDA is more than double that is the recognition that the levels to avoid deficiency don’t necessarily mean that’s the level for optimal health. That’s like saying you just need enough D to avoid rickets. Not true–D does all sorts of wonderful things in the body besides keeping your bones calcified. Same thing with the omega 3’s. Do nonfish-eaters have to take long-chain omega 3’s? We don’t know. But the balance of evidence suggests it would be beneficial in my opinion.




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        1. Dr. Greger:

          I respect your opinion, but I am still very concerned about your recommendation of algae-oil DHA. I closely follow the work of Brenda Davis, who I am sure you are familiar with.

          In ‘Becoming Raw’ (2010), Davis and Melina argue on page 127-128:

          “DHA is the most highly unsaturated fat in the diet and also the most unstable (meaning it is easily oxidized by free radicals in the blood). Oxidized fats are bad news; they contribute to all sorts of disease processes, including cardiovascular disease. It’s possible that our bodies are smart enough not to bother making DHA when it’s not needed. In addition, it’s possible that when DHA is in our bloodstream, it’s rapidly transported to locations where it’s needed and incorporated into tissues, such as the brain and the retina of the eyes.”

          Overall, Davis and Melina have not recommended algae supplements for everyone.

          Furthermore, a recent study (2010) argued that despite having zero intake of DHA, vegans made comparable levels to omnivores. Full text of the article is available:

          http://www.ajcn.org/content/92/5/1040.full.pdf

          Dr. Greger you seem like a great guy, but if turns out that you are recommending a carcinogen to vegans I will be very dissapointed in your judgement. I hope that you can provide us with a very clear rationale as to why a healthful vegan (plant-based diet, no-oils omega-6:omega-3 in the range of 2:1 to 4:1) should need to take this oil, with possible risks.




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  5. Not having a science background, I don’t know the difference between an algae or a yeast. We’ve been buying the algae-based DHA (Udo’s Choice DHA). I would like to be sure whether or not algae and yeast are the same. I don’t want to support Monsanto in any way. The Algae-based DHA isn’t GMO, is it? Algae and yeast-based DHA are 2 entirely different things, right?

    BTW, this pure form (not a blend of oil) DHA seems to be getting hard to find. Last time I checked my 1 local source, it was not on the shelf, and I just checked Amazon, I can’t find this product in the except in Canada. …Oh, no, now I just tried to buy it from the Canadian source and it’s not available there, either. Almost all that’s on the shelf is blends.

    http://www.florafmd.com/flora/home/USA/Products/61587.htm




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  6. I really want to do this (I’m epileptic and on the modified atkins diet) but my nutritionist tells me that the body doesn’t process the omega fatty acids as well when they are derived directly from plant based sources as they do from fish. Would very much like  your input on this (I was vegan before and wld like to be again but my seizures increased on that diet)




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    1. Firstly, you should drop the atkins diet, it is extremely harmful. Here is Dr. Gregers free e-book on the topic
      http://www.atkinsexposed.org/

      As for omega 3, your body converts omega 3 from plants (ALA) to DHA and EPA. Fish has already preformed DHA so your body does not need to convert it.

      ALA is not converted effectively to DHA under the condition that one
      is consuming too many omega 6 fatty acids. Since most whole plant foods
      contain good ratios of omega 6 : omega 3, this is of no concern unless one is eating a lot of nuts other than walnuts, flax seed and chia seed. The
      National Academy of Sciences does not recognize EPA and DHA as
      essential. This means there is enough evidence for them to conclude that
      we can make enough of it without eating it in its preformed state.

      In addition…

      Do vegetarians have to eat fish for optimal cardiovascular protection?1–3
      Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(suppl):1S–5S.

      Interest in the cardiovascular protective effects of n–3 (omega-3)
      fatty acids has continued to evolve during the past 35 y since the
      original research describing the low cardiovascular event rate in
      Greenland Inuit was published by Dyerberg et al. Numerous in vitro
      experiments have shown that n–3 fatty acids may confer this benefit by
      several mechanisms: they are antiinflammatory, antithrombotic, and
      antiarrhythmic. The n–3 fatty acids that have received the most
      attention are those that are derived from a fish source; namely the
      longer-chain n–3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n–3) and
      docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n–3). More limited data are available on
      the cardiovascular effects of n–3 fatty acids derived from plants such
      as a-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3n–3). Observational data suggest that
      diets rich in EPA, DHA, or ALA do reduce cardiovascular events,
      including myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death; however,
      randomized controlled trial data are somewhat less clear. Several recent
      meta-analyses have suggested that dietary supplementation with EPA and
      DHA does not provide additive cardiovascular protection beyond standard
      care, but the heterogeneity of included studies may reduce the validity
      of their conclusions. No data exist on the potential therapeutic benefit
      of EPA, DHA, or ALA supplementation on those individuals who already
      consume a vegetarian diet. Overall, there is insufficient evidence to
      recommend n–3 fatty acid supplementation for the purposes of
      cardiovascular protection; however, ongoing studies such as the Alpha
      Omega Trial may provide further information.




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  7. If you´re, like me, not so keen on eating supplements but still don´t want to eat fish to get your omega 3 is there any algae that you can consume like a food and not a pill? Is algae free from polutions we can find in fish? One of the reasons I don´t want to eat fish is all “the extras”.

    I googled golden algae, since I have not heard of it before, and I found that it produces toxins just like cyanobacteria does. But, if I remember correctly, you don´t recommend consuming cyanobacteria because of it´s toxicity. What makes golden algae okey to consume but not the cyanobacteria?




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    1. To give a for instance, I do know that the brand I happen to use, Ovega-3, sources theirs from “life’s DHA,” which they say is grown in certified stainless steel container outside of the ocean. This hopefully removes most of our concerns with the ocean derived varieties of this or that.




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  8. I read an article a few years ago about promoting the growth of algae in the oceans to increase their CO2 absorption rates. Perhaps if we were farming more of this for the health benefits it would also have a noticeable positive effect on our planet.




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  9. I tried DHA plant supplements and got nose bleeds and my brain felt like it was bleeding at a low intake level. Same thing when I use to eat fish.

    Everyone is different.




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  10. Hello, Dr. Greger! I was having a friendly argument with a company rep who was (big surprise) touting the superiority of THEIR product in our supplements department. He dismissed the reality of retroconversion of DHA and EPA and attempted to trivialize the importance of significant levels of DHA above (get this) 5mg. Could you pass along the best scientific citation links that sum up the current consensus on these points? I’d love to have them on hand for future reference. Thanks!




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  11. I have read that ALA converts well to DHA when on a whole foods plant based diet. But does not when on the SAD diet. I guess this would mean that DHA supplement is good for those who eat a SAD diet but not necessary for those on a WFPB diet. Do I have this wrong?




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  12. I am making my own almond milk. I drink a large glass per day. Am I getting enough Omega 3. How do I compensate for getting enough Omega 6. I’m new to all of this so please excuse my ignorance




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    1. Cyclesalone, almonds don’t contain any Omega 3’s, so you would need to add high Omega 3 foods to balance that. The ideal ratio is a range, not an exact number, as I understand it.




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  13. How do we know DHA plant based fatty acids,in supplements,are not oxidised? Fish and Krill oil supplements contain some type of antioxidant that ensures this.What about DHA supplements from algae?




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  14. I ordered Deva vegan DHA EPA supplement and had to agree to prop 65 warning that the product contained cancer causing chemicals. Is this a cause for concern?




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  15. I do recommend DHA in general.But I do not feel comfortable with the
    commercial vegetarian sources of DHA (even though I am a vegetarian). I
    believe Dr. Greger may have overlooked the genetic modification
    (mutagenesis) involved in the commercial production of DHA and EPA in
    microalgae, as well as the metabolic engineering, high processing and
    other unnatural production methods used. I provide more information at
    this link:
    http://fiteyes.tumblr.com/post/88875554665/vegetarian-dha-is-it-safe




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  16. Dear Dr. Greger,

    I am very appreciative of your addressing the Omega 3/6 ratio question. I have been following this research for a number of years. There appears to be solid support for the value of keeping this ratio in an an optimal range because it correlates to a long list of chronic diseases.

    There is one aspect of this question that you do not appear to address. There is a simple serum test that determines this ratio for anyone – gas chromatography, I believe. The test is available from a number of labs. My reading generates ambivalence about the test. Some writings state that accuracy is far more detailed than needed for clinical use. But other innuendos claim there are accuracy problems with the test.

    Do you support the use of the Omega 3/6 serum test to determine personal status?

    Appreciatively,

    Stephen Albers




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  17. Neat video! Thanks for the info, and love the speaking up for our fellow animals!

    I’m guessing that the human ancestors (before they started hunting) got some of their Omega 3s from algae as well, through drinking water.




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  18. Dear Dr. Greger : I have yesterday made a deep cut in my finger. I bled heavily and went through the ordeals of going through the chaotic health system of this country. The last doct, who stitched my wound commented that I was bleeding much more profusely than normal and that I had very thin blood. I answered that I was vegan and that I took omega3 supplements. I have since realized that I was taking too much flax seed. Instead of one tbsp I usually took two or three (I didn’t actually measure it but it’s my estimate). I also take a 100mg DHA supplement every week. Can you comment on these values and perhaps also some tips to recover lost nutrients ? (though I am feeling well and quite active).Thanks




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    1. Thanks for sharing your story. My question is what did your doctor suggest? Sound like scaling back a bit on the DHA and/or flax seeds may be helpful. I know women who have experienced this shaving. If they have a small cut it tends to bleed more than when they were not taking DHA supplements.




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      1. Dear Dr. Gonzales: thanks for replying. The doctor that cared for me didn’t make any suggestion. My question was more directed at the DHA consumption than the flaxseed consumption (which was a bit higher than recommended). I consume 100mg weekly, which is about 17 times lower than the recommended dose of 250 mg per day. I was actually wondering if I should consume more DHA to counteract the smaller dose of flaxseed I will be taking.




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        1. I see. Yes, if you are not taking as much flax you could try supplementing 100mg of DHA. I realize that is a smaller dose, but my worry is the bleeding time and what you experienced. I suppose if your doctor was not concerned when you mentioned your diet then continuing what you were doing is fine. I suggest asking your doctor is 250mg is too much, or if she or he feels it’s necessary. Keep in mind there is no requirement for DHA it’s the essential fat ALA that we know for certain is required. Here is more on Dr. Greger’s Optimal Nutrition Recommendations, if interested.

          Hope that helps!
          Joseph




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    1. No silly at all! It is far more complex because all foods have fats in different ratios, but yes that is the gist. I am not even certain 4:1 ratio is optimal. The idea is getting away from the 20:1 ratio (if not much higher) that most Americans consume. The DHA omega-3 supplements can help balance the ratio but it’s not the whole story. Research suggests the importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. ​Dr. Greger discusses, How do you achieve a good omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio? Very complicated research. Dr. Greger has general information and guidelines about omega-3’s. As a precaution, and especially if following a vegan diet, taking a vegetarian-based DHA/EPA supplement may be a good idea.




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  19. I have been watching and reading the information posted on this site for a couple years now. It has changed my life.

    I took a blood panel recently, and all of my numbers were great, except DHA. The range is 0.4%-3.0%. Mine is 3.3%. I eat whole plant foods almost exclusively, and I have never been a fan of fish. I only take 1 algae softgel daily (2 recommended according to bottle). Because I only take 1 softgel, I am getting 160mg of DHA from it.

    I don’t understand how I could have a higher DHA level. I eat seaweed sometimes. Could that affect the increase?
    I understand there is a correlation with low-grade prostate cancer and higher DHA. Please help me understand.




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    1. Perhaps your body is converting ALA into DHA more efficiently? Turmeric can help that process, as the synthesis of DHA from ALA may be influenced by turmeric’s active compound curcumin. I would really ask your doctor about their thoughts on a higher level. It may be a simple fix, just take a bit less DHA. The study you may be referring to did find more DHA may boost PC risk. Note that DHA is super important but those with high blood levels may be at risk. Ask your doctor about lowering DHA levels. I would suggest not taking it for a bit and see how numbers change, but of course confirm with your doctor. Hope that helps a bit.

      Best,
      Joseph




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      1. Thank you Jospeh. This helps a lot. I have been putting Tumeric on my food, and I eat flax and chia seeds every morning. I may be converting those ALA’s more efficiently. I will reduce my 1 algae capsule a day to once every other day.




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  20. Dr Greger,
    I have read a lot about the optimal omega 6 to 3 ratio. However, my omega 3s are usually higher than my omega 6s. Is this bad? I can’t find any info about this. Should I increase my 6 so they are at least 1:1? I do not eat huge amounts of Omega 3s. 2T flax everyday and sometimes some chia or a few walnuts. However, I eat no processed foods and no oils. I also keep my fat at @10% so I choose my fat sources wisely. A typical day for me is omega3 between 3.7g -4.4g, and Omega6 around 1.9-2.4. So about a 2:1 ratio the other way. I could easily bring my 6s in line, but don’t want to do so if unnecessary.




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    1. Good question it’s hard to say exactly. Omega 6 fats are essential and important, but folks typically get enough of these fats. If you are watching your fat intake and keeping it at 10% of total calories you may consider adding a source. Here are the RDAs for essential fats from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). For essential fats, the IOM’s Adequate Intake is 11g/d of linoleic acid (omega-6’s) and 1.1g/d of alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3’s). So yes, omega-6’s are still essential and you need some, but they are not as important to focus on as omega-3’s because they are more widely available from different foods. I will say that numbers and ranges (percentage of total calories and how much should be geared towards fats, let alone essential fats) can be tricky to calculate. We don’t have to me math majors to eat a healthful diet. Research suggests the importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids.
      ​Dr. Greger discusses, How do you achieve a good omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio?. See if these links help? Thanks, Brenda.




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  21. Wouldn’t be possible to ” supplement” DHA by eating algae, instead of taking pills? How much algae (and of which kind) is safe to eat is something I am still confused about. Dr. Greger has addressed nori as the one that most favorably alter estrogen metabolism, for example. Is nori high in DHA, too? Would eating the *recommended* one sheet of nori a day, for example, give us enough DHA?




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  22. Dear Dr. Greger,

    I’ve recently stumbled over a website that you may or may not be aware of. I’d addresses the ALA to EPA/DHA conversion rate topic.
    Here is the link to the website: http://www.udoerasmus.com/articles/udo/fish_oil.htm

    It’s supposedly hosted by some colleague of yours, Dr. Udo Erasmus. I haven’t done much research on him or his website yet, but he claims to provide some studies from around 2002 in which above conversion rates have been shown around 36 to 16%, depending on sex. I am not educated in medical science, so maybe you want to have a look into it and bring some light onto whether these studies are reasonable or not?
    I am kind of reluctant to believe in a man promoting scientific research but selling his own products at the same time.
    On the other hand, I have nether really understood what this conversion talk is all about? What are these 5% are supposed to tell key anyway? Maybe the body does not convert more because it does not need more? Could be similar as it is the case with Provitamin A and Vitamin A. You can supplement both, but in the case of Provitamin A only as much will be converted to Vitamin A as the body really needs (or thinks it needs). Maybe Vegans will convert more ALA to DHA, as they have no other souces, whereas in omnivores the body will just not waste energy on the conversion, because it has other sources already?

    Anyway I would be very keen on hearing your opinion on those studies.

    best regards and keep up the good work!




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  23. So in terms of avoiding contaminants and pollutants, algal oil beats fish oil even if it is ”molecularly distilled”. No doubts about that. But what about the issue of stability? Algal oil is still.. oil, and is unsaturated, which makes it sensitive to heat and light. Are there any studies in which commercially available algae-based oils are tested for rancidity and oxidation?
    Im afraid we will have to either stick with dietary ALA and pray for it to convert to sufficient levels of EPA/DHA OR consider adding a few sardines to our diet to ensure optimal EPA/DHA status???

    Dr.Fuhrman says that all omega-3 oils are unstable and algal oil is no exception.
    ”The main problem is that the fat turns rancid as it sits on store shelves.”
    ”Even algae-derived DHA can become rancid if not cared for properly.”
    https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/what_vegans_may_be_missing-DHA.aspx




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  24. So in terms of avoiding contaminants and pollutants, algal oil beats fish oil even if it is ”molecularly distilled”. No doubts about that. But what about the issue of stability? Algal oil is still.. oil, and is unsaturated, which makes it sensitive to heat and light. Are there any studies in which commercially available algae-based oils are tested for rancidity and oxidation?
    Im afraid we will have to either stick with dietary ALA and pray for it to convert to sufficient levels of EPA/DHA OR consider adding a few sardines to our diet (which seem to be the safest omega-3 rich fish variety on the planet) to ensure optimal EPA/DHA status???
    @Michael_Greger_MD:disqus @disqus_wnYOIlS4ks:disqus

    Dr.Fuhrman says that all omega-3 oils are unstable and algal oil is no exception.
    ”The main problem is that the fat turns rancid as it sits on store shelves.”
    ”Even algae-derived DHA can become rancid if not cared for properly.”
    https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/what_vegans_may_be_missing-DHA.aspx




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  25. So in terms of avoiding contaminants and pollutants, algal oil beats fish oil even if it is ”molecularly distilled”. No doubts about that. But what about the issue of stability? Algal oil is still.. oil, and is unsaturated, which makes it sensitive to heat and light. Are there any studies in which commercially available algae-based oils are tested for rancidity and oxidation?
    Im afraid we will have to either stick with dietary ALA and pray for it to convert to sufficient levels of EPA/DHA OR consider adding a few sardines to our diet (which seem to be the safest omega-3 rich fish variety on the planet) to ensure optimal EPA/DHA status???
    @Michael_Greger_MD:disqus

    @disqus_wnYOIlS4ks:disqus

    Dr.Fuhrman says that all omega-3 oils are unstable and algal oil is no exception.
    ”The main problem is that the fat turns rancid as it sits on store shelves.”
    ”Even algae-derived DHA can become rancid if not cared for properly.”




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  26. So in terms of avoiding contaminants and pollutants, algal oil beats fish oil even if it is ”molecularly distilled”. No doubts about that. But what about the issue of stability? Algal oil is still.. oil, and is unsaturated, which makes it sensitive to heat and light. Are there any studies in which commercially available algae-based oils are tested for rancidity and oxidation?
    Im afraid we will have to either stick with dietary ALA and pray for it to convert to sufficient levels of EPA/DHA OR consider adding a few sardines to our diet (which seem to be the safest omega-3 rich fish variety on the planet) to ensure optimal EPA/DHA status??? @Michael_Greger_MD:disqus @disqus_wnYOIlS4ks:disqus

    Dr.Fuhrman says that all omega-3 oils are unstable and algal oil is no exception.
    ”The main problem is that the fat turns rancid as it sits on store shelves.”
    ”Even algae-derived DHA can become rancid if not cared for properly.”
    https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/what_vegans_may_be_missing-DHA.aspx




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  27. What are the foods rich in omega 3 and how much should I use them to provide enough DHA to my young child everyday (without using a supplement and without risk to health).




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  28. yet flax oil/seed oil has omega 369’s and is highly potent itself? more potent than fish oil? anyway i try to stay away from yeast due to biblical reference, but algae seems pretty neat as well. still no use of not having a diet based around omega three’s. just no reason to. try some cold compressed flax seed oil as a supplement particularly with a vitamin d coating because half the earth’s population is vitamin d deficient or so i’ve heard and you have something rather stimulating and increasing in your productivity. i heard omega three’s were the most important nutrition we get yet i still do not find electrolyte supplements rather simply with all eight combined. the four positives and the four negatively charged i’m guessing ions or particles. and even further still if you make the change from milk to soy milk with added extra dha from silk’s brand you’ll have soy and flax oil that both have omega three’s. these should not be over – looked and should be taken into very careful and accurate gentle consideration. need a safe for the environment way to wipe weeds and mold and mildew and other pests aside from bugs from fields of produce. that would be considerate. maybe there could be some way some scientist could crack some genetic code of bacteria and also mold/mildew and figure out a safe and correct way to wipe off those most common problems from the face of the earth. your algae looked very healthy though. i’m guessing if those were some grains or other type of plant/produce they would look really neat and appetizing.




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  29. I am taking an omega 3 supplement from algae but it has 500 mg gel tablets, is that okay to take twice what the doctor said. I couldn’t find 250 mg gel caps .
    am I taking too much?




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  30. What about ingredients such as: Medium-chain triglycerides, high oleic sunflower oil, carrageenan, glycerin, sorbitol, sunflower lecithin, tocopherols, and ascorbyl palmitate that are in most of the algae based supplements? Carrageenan is a toxin as far as I’m concerned, and I typically try to avoid foods with those other ingredients…




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  31. The Global Organization for EPA and DHA omega 3s (GOED) has just published the following daily supplement recommendations for AVERAGE people:
    Russia: 1300mg, France: 500 mg, Norway: 450 mg, rest of Europe: 250 mg, USA: none. The just published GOED recommendation is 500 mg which matches the International Society for the study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL).




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  32. Why is there never mention of Ahiflower, which just won the 2016 NEXTY Editor’s Choice Award for “Best Ingredient” for all natural supplements at the largest natural products event in the world?
    Ahiflower was shown in research link to increase cellular EPA levels up to 400% more than Flax, and higher than Chia and Hemp! Ahiflower oil increases EPA higher than any other single Non-GMO plant. 4:1 ratio of Omega 3:6, complete Omega 3-6-9 with GLA.




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  33. Ahiflower research showing 400% more EPA than Flax:
    http://ahiflower.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Lefort-Ahiflower-J-Nutr-Sci-2016.pdf

    Ahiflower is the highest non-GMO plant source of SDA known. Please share information on the health benefits of SDA, a Pro-EPA and it’s importance for vegans for CV health, cancer and diabetes as well as being one of the most anti-inflammatory products available in vegan nutrition.

    http://ahiflower.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/NPI-Veg-omega-3s-SDA-Sep-2015.pdf
    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2012/01/24/jn.111.153858.full.pdf
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23417895
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22279133




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  34. This video subtitle reads, “By choosing algae-based sources of long chain omega-3 fatty acids, one may be able to get the benefits of fish consumption without the risks.”

    In reading through the literature about plant-sourced O3, including flax, this is the first time I have come across the claim long-chain O3 is found in hydroponically-grown (pollution-free) algae. In sharp contrast, some of my sources even elaborate that short chains are the rule in the WFPB diet, and short-chain O3 must be converted to long-chain O3 through an intermediate metabolic process. Specifically, how is this algae variety different?

    Below is the transcript to Dr Greger’s ultra-brief, one-minute video on “Algae-Based DHA vs Flax”– http://nutritionfacts.org/video/algae-based-dha-vs-flax-2/

    “There are at least six sources of microalgae-based DHA currently on the market. There’s Deva, Omega Zen capsules, Omega Zen liquid, Dr. Fuhrman’s brand, Spectrum makes one, V-Pure brand, and Udo’s Oil makes one, too.

    This isn’t even negotiable for all pregnant and breastfeeding women. Just within the last year, mothers given DHA supplements had infants with significantly better vision at two months, significantly better problem-solving at nine months, and were significantly smarter at four years old—it bumped their IQ as well.

    Now, we can make DHA ourselves from the shorter chain omega-3s in flaxseeds, walnuts, and a few other sources, but probably not enough for optimum health. Still, flax is amazing stuff.”

    Again, this is the first time ever to find any plant cited for providing long-chain O3.




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  35. Can’t we get enough DHA just from eating whole seaweeds like wakame? Or you don’t recommend it because of pollutants? How about purslane? I’ve never seen you talking about purslane, one of the healthiest greens on the planet. I’ve heard it contains good amounts of DHA. I have a lot of purslane everywhere here in Portugal (I live in a very small village with just 2 streets and a square :) ) and I know they eat a lot of it in Greece, in salads. In the region of Portugal where I live there is a traditional soup made with purslane, bread and usually poached eggs and cheese. We also eat other wild greens here like dock (Rumex pulcher and Rumex crispus), also in a soup, with beans and bread, eggs and sometimes cheese. We blach the dock first because this way it’s not sour (it’s sour because of oxalic acid). I eat stinging nettles and dandelion from time to time too. We don’t have much pollution here and lots of edible weeds everywhere. I’ve heard wild greens have more nutrients and antioxidants than cultivated plants… I also pick up in the wild and eat over 10 species of mushrooms (I never pick up greens or mushrooms near roads and other pollution sources). My mother makes a traditional stew my grandmother used to make: a vegan stew with beans and sweet potato! Those soups I told you about and this stew are complete meals people used to eat frequently decades ago. I will give you the recipe for the sweet potato stew:

    Ingredients:

    – a bit of good extra virgin olive oil
    – 1 medium sized onion, chopped
    – 3 garlic cloves, minced
    – 1 bay leaf
    – 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
    – 3 medium sweet potatoes, coarsely chopped.
    – 1 15oz can of beans (we use a bean we call “butter bean” here, similar to kidney beans but lighter in color and with a very soft texture, but you can use other beans)
    – salt to taste

    1 – Put a bit of olive oil in a pan, add the onion, let it soften a bit while stiring. Add the garlic, bay leaf and parsley and stir it for a while(you can add all these ingredients to the water later so you don’t heat the olive oil as much, or, if you don’t want to use oil, just omit it).

    2 – Add the beans, and water to cover them by 1 inch (you can add more or less water in case you want it more like a soup or more like a stew) and salt to taste.

    3 – When it starts to boil lower the heat and add the sweet potatoes.

    4 – Cook until the sweet potatoes are cooked. Add some small loaves of a good dense bread to a bowl and serve the stew over it.

    Let me know if you enjoyed this simple but delicious recipe! ;)




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  36. Dr. Greger,

    All major EPA/DHA sources seem to be in liquid form. Is there an algae or yeast powder based alternative? Any recommendation?




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  37. The recommendation of EPA and DHA from algae takes me directly to the concern about BMAA toxins from some algae forms. Do we know whether or not BMAA contamination exists with algal oil supplements, in general in by specific brand?




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