Example of vegan DHA from algae (97% of omega 3 fatty acids in the brain is DHA, 93% of omega 3s in the retina is DHA), each liquid capsule has 450 mg of DHA. DHA prevents brain shrinkage as explained at http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/8/omega-3-fatty-acids-increase-brain-volume/page-01. The body converts some DHA into EPA. The famous Ornish diet (and variants of that low fat vegan diet that many MDs recommend) to reverse diabetes, arterial plaque and heart disease is based o a low fat diet, so low, that people avoid even walnuts, flax seeds and other seeds or nuts and all vegetable oils, relying mainly on fats naturally found in legumes, etc and on vegan algal oil such as the one pictured (Walmart and other places carry it). Men make less DHA from dietary ALA (another omega 3), so for those not eating fish, such as vegans and vegetarians, it makes perfect sense to take vegan DHA or vegan DHA-EPA, just like others take fish oil to get the same DHA-EPA benefit.
Fish oil has cholesterol, saturated fat, PCBs, mercury, etc... So, it's not that good anyway.
One lesser known thing is that cooking fish or canning fish can often remove all omega 3 acids ► https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AlexP/posts/BXYektzUKEt
. Thus, even non-vegans may be DHA deficient if their intake of ALA omega 3 and other precursors of DHA-EPA (there are a few other precursors, less known) is low. A low fat diet prevents diabetes, heart disease, etc. I personally gave up on walnuts, flax seeds or chia seeds for the most part (we will know in a year if i stick to this) - since they got too much fat, and use this DHA algal oil pill for DHA. But everyone is different. Also I noticed that both walnuts and all forms of seeds have a need to be soaked a lot to make them more digestible, and even then, it's not a clear cut for a lot of people who may be slightly allergic to whatever lectins, phytic acid, and other chemicals in nuts and seeds that are there.
Omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is 1:46 in corn oil, 1:13 in olive oil, inferior to soybean 1:7, canola 1:2, flax seed 4:1 . Soybean has 6.8% omega 3 by weight, canola 9.1% omega 3 and olive 0.76% omega 3, corn 1.1%, sunflower 0.2% (high oleic) and 0.04% (mid oleic) omega 3, so olive oil is extremely low in omega 3 compared to 57% in flax seed oil. The chart says 0% because that 1% is negligible. For the best omega 3-omega 6 ratio, using flax or canola or soybean is way better than olive, corn, sunflower, safflower, sesame, cottonseed, peanut. But one can be healthy without adding any vegetable oils in foods.The normal human diet ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 has been 1:1 (like in many veggies) for eons. Recently, due to industrialization, our diets ratio moved from 1:1 to 1:16
- Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79. This shift has led to an epidemic of inflammatory diseases, heart disease, increase in diet preventable violence, hypertension, diabetes, etc
The richest vegan sources of omega 3 arewalnuts - 4 times the omega 3 in salmon, 5.4 times the omega 3 in sardines, 41 times the omega 3 in tilapia, 32 times the omega 3 in tuna
No nut comes even close, the only one close in omega 3 to omega 6 ratio are macadamia nuts, but those have 44 times less omega 3s. Walnuts have 9.1 g of omega 3, 38 g of omega 6 in 100 grams ► http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3138/2
.flax seeds - 10 times the omega 3 in salmon, 14 times the omega 3 in sardines, 103 times the omega 3 in tilapia, 80 times the omega 3 in tuna
Flax seeds are very cheap (5-10 times cheaper than walnuts, about same price as chia seeds or cheaper) and have 22.8 grams of omega 3, ONLY 5.9 grams (compare that with 38 in walnuts, omega 6 causes inflammation) of omega 6 in 100 g ► http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3163/2chia seeds - 8 times the omega 3 in salmon, 11 times the omega 3 in sardines, 82 times the omega 3 in tilapia, 64 times the omega 3 in tuna
- 17.6 grams of omega 3 in 100 g, 5.8 g of omega 6 in 100 g. ► http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2
I only eat walnuts (rarely now) and flax/chia seeds when it comes to nuts and seeds, and I avoid all vegetable oils (even olive oil has a bad omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, 1:12, and little omega 3, 0.76 g, compared to walnuts, 9.1 g) Some people eat avocados for omega 9, but i almost never eat avocados either, being a low fat vegan to prevent heart disease. Avocados (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1843/2
) have omega 3 to omega 6 ratio 1:15, very bad, and just 0.1 g of omega 3 per 100 grams, 90 times less than walnuts.
Flax seeds have 6 times less omega 6 than walnuts, so they are superior from that point of view (flax seed oil has omega 3 to omega 6 ratio about 4:1, while walnut oil has this ratio 1:5), but not many people eat flax seeds, even if they are cheaper. With a coffee grinder, one can grind them and add them to foods. Or one can go to Walmart or amazon and buy algae vegan DHA or DHA-EPA capsules.Omega 3 fatty acids increase brain volume. People thought the brain shrinks with age always, but it's not true. DHA-EPA can reverse that shrinkage. DHA is 97% of all omega-3 fats in the brain and 93 % of omega-3 fats in the retina. 8% of the brain is omega 3 fatty acids.
The vegan algal plain DHA or vegan DHA-EPA supplements are way better than "mercury free" fish oil supplements for those few people (usually men) who cannot turn ALA into DHA. Today many fish oil supplements are mercury free, but there are PCBs and other heavy metals sometimes in fish oil - besides saturated fat and cholesterol. The animal saturated fat and cholesterol in fish (which was shown to affect heart and vascular health of babies in the womb) and fish oil supplements are working against recommending intake of fish during pregnancy or at any other time, since vegan DHA exists.
Violence increases when there is low omega 3 in diet ► http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2006/oct/17/prisonsandprobation.ukcrime
ALA conversion to DHA in men is 5 times less than in women sometimes, leading to low DHA. Could this explain why we got so much more men engage in violent crime? Perhaps that's why men could prioritize taking vegan algal DHA if they are vegan, since almost everyone gets too much omega 6, which furthers lowers ALA to DHA conversion and the uptake of DHA by the brain.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12323085
explains that in healthy young men 8% of ALA (alpha linoleic acid) is converted to EPA and 0 to 4% is converted to DHA
shows that in healthy young women 21% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA and 9% is converted to DHA. So, women have far less issues with DHA than men.
Even so, it's better to get some DHA (the typical 200 mg per day found in most algal DHA capsules) to be safe, especially since most women today get too much omega 6 from vegetable oils, processed foods, nuts, seeds, etc which compete with omega 3 for prostaglandin formation leading to more inflammatory compounds.
DHA can convert into EPA at a rate of about 9% ► http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9076673
. Therefore, many people choose to take DHA only or DHA mainly supplements, such as vegan algal DHA supplements. There are also vegan DHA-EPA supplements, but there is a huge debate whether DHA is more useful than EPA and should be used in larger quantities - so many people who believe DHA is more useful tend to go for DHA supplements, as they view EPA as secondary and anything needed is made from DHA anyway. Also many papers showed too much fish oil leads to cancer and that some algal vegan DHA oil has more DHA than fish oil percentage wise and is better than fish oil for a variety of reasons related to fats interfering with the fatty acids biochemical cycles in the human body and the prostaglandin synthesis as relating to inflammation. I myself just use vegan DHA algal oil supplements, since I think DHA is more important than EPA and any EPA is made from DHA and ALA. Vegan MD Michael Greger recommends the same thing - taking something like 250 mg of vegan algal DHA a day as he explained in this video ► https://youtu.be/h4LvCZ0KnKc
. That would be minimum, especially for vegan males who never eat fish, since males convert far less ALA into DHA.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20861171
was a 4900 people study that showed that vegans and fish eaters had almost the same level of EPA and DHA in their blood plasma, with vegans having more DHA (286 micromoles per liter instead of 271) but less EPA (50 instead of 64). These studies indicate that when we eat less DHA, the body increases the conversion rate of ALA to DHA and makes better use of DHA. Hence, DHA supplementation may only be needed for pregnant women and those males (females convert ALA to DHA much easier) who have very low DHA in their blood due to poor conversion, or those vegans who eat very little ALA due to being on a very low fat diet to prevent heart disease or diabetes. There are many studies that show ALA to DHA and EPA conversions being low (you will see that there is a wide variation in these studies where they give people ALA and measure blood level of DHA and EPA), but in the end all we need to look at is the final DHA and EPA concentration in the plasma, not what happens when you increase ALA in the diet. The body is very intelligent and knows when it needs more DHA and it produces more regardless of how much ALA is in the diet.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3164236
has the full free paper that found that the Japanese (the longest living nation on Earth, Monaco lives longer but it's just a town of 37000 people) have 2 times the EPA-DHA level in their blood compared to Americans. However, other studies found that Norwegians eat as much DHA-EPA as Japanese and have poorer heart health, probably due to eating more animal oxidized and long fatty saturated fatty acids (coconut is medium fatty acids and Sri Lankans in 1953 had the lowest heart disease rate, even if eating a coconut a day, way more saturated fat than people get from animal products, but a different type of saturated fat). The Eskimo studies have shown that just eating 4 times the DHA-EPA omega 3 that Japanese eat doesn't improve heart health, since they get too much long chain saturated fatty acids. Apparently, DHA is only effective as dietary intake method to prevent atherosclerosis (plaque is caused by oxysterols from cooked unsaturated fats in meat, cheese, some oils - you cannot oxidize saturated fats like coconut), etc when the total animal long chain saturated fat is low. The blood levels of DHA and EPA are affected by the amount of EPA, DHA and ALA ingested, smoking, diet, omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, and lots of other things. Every second a million trillion chemical reactions take place in our body, so it's very hard to determine which people may have their ALA (the omega 3 precursor to DHA in most plant foods) to DHA (the omega 3 in algae that is used by the brain, eyes, etc a lot) and EPA (the other major omega 3 used by the body) conversion working better. Even when 2 people have the same blood level of EPA-DHA, one cannot really know how much DHA is made from ALA and is being taken by the cells or stays in the blood. So, while we may look at a lot of biomarkers and assess these concentrations over a few weeks after a rise of ALA consumption, it's hard to know precisely what is going on at the cellular level. Some people pick and choose a study or two and write a general nutrition article and then come up with a conclusion, but with the hundreds of related studies and issues of the fatty acid cycle biochemistry, things are quite complex - so it's very hard to make any preliminary conclusion or hypothesis into a "science fact".http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nhs.12182/abstract
is a very good study too ► Low DHA in blood was found in depressed women
► Nursing & Health Sciences, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 257–262, June 2015OMEGA 3 IN VEGGIES:
100 grams of cooked broccoli has 119 mg of omega 3 while raw has 21 mg (almost 6 times more), and 51 mg omega 6 versus 17 mg omega 6 for raw. This ratio for cooked broccoli of omega 3 to omega 6 of 2.3:1 is totally superior to any high protein vegetable. Even omega 3:omega 6 ratio of 1:1 in raw broccoli is highly anti-inflammatory. Raw summer squash has 47 mg omega 3 versus 28 mg omega 6 or 1:7 to 1 (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2639/2
). Walnuts, one of the most popular sources of omega 3, have a paltry ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 of 1:4. I never eat nuts, nobody needs nuts to be healthy. In 100 grams Lentils (cooked, as you cannot eat them raw) have only 37 mg omega 3 and 137 omega 6, so ratio is not ideal, being almost 1:4. Tomatoes have only 3 mg omega 3 and 80 mg omega 6, onions 4 mg omega 3 and 13 mg omega 6, peeled cucumber 2 mg omega 3 and 2 mg omega 6, unpeeled cucumber 5 mg omega 3 and 28 mg omega 6, so virtually no omega 3 in these common veggies used in salads. Broccoli calcium is much more readily absorbed than milk calcium. Cooked Kale (most people cook it, due to taste) does have 103 mg omega 3 and 79 mg omega 6, so it's good, but not as good as broccoli. Raw kale has 180 mg omega 3 and 138 mg omega 6, but most people eat very little raw kale, due to taste and difficulty in chewing. Avocados are a very inflammatory food in a way, since omega 3 is just 110 mg and omega 6 is 1700 mg, a ratio of 1:17, which is a known trigger of disease. Most nuts have way more omega 6 than omega 3, with the exception of chia seeds and flax seeds.
For 100+ reasons I didn't eat meat for 20 years and dairy for 12 years see
(going vegan is the same as having 62 mature trees in your backyard)