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PeterR
May 6th, 2004, 10:02 PM
Does anyone know of a vegetarian/vegan source of DHA (suitable for a breast feeding mother) in NZ or Australia? Martec produce DHA from microalgae which is sold under various names such as Neuromins and HighQ and IQ but I haven't been able to locate any local suppliers. Any help mappreciated.

harpy
May 6th, 2004, 10:12 PM
There is another one called O-Mega-Zen3 which comes in a vegan capsule (I think some of the other algae-sourced DHA supplements come in gelatine capsules, weird as that is)

I don't know if anyone sells it actually in New Zealand but I think this place in the UK (which I bought some from) will ship it overseas

http://www.detoxyourworld.com/products/food/omega_zen/

veganmike
May 9th, 2004, 11:55 AM
This one (http://www.drfuhrman.com/dhapurity.html) might be a bit cheaper, though it's from US.

DonQuinoa
May 15th, 2006, 11:57 PM
The omega 3 Vegetarian Vegan DHA EPA oil product (World's first) is being launched for National Vegetarian Week.

It's from algae and is the first one to have omega 3 (http://www.vegetarian-dha-epa.co.uk) EPA as well as DHA.

It's the first time vegan DHA and EPA (http://www.vegetarian-dha-epa.co.uk) have been available together.

Previously only Vegetarian DHA was available. Many people have problems taking basic omega 3 (ALNA) and converting to DHA and EPA (http://www.foodsforlife.org.uk/nutrition/conversion-LNA-DHA-EPA.html)

You can get V Pure Omega 3 Vegetarian EPA and DHA from www.water4.net (http://www.water4.net) and hopefully by the next batch the price will come down too.

Vagetarian
Jul 2nd, 2006, 09:55 PM
I've read tons of litereature on EPA/DHA requirements and how everyone does not get enough. The simplest way is to eat fatty fish which makes me wonder if our bodies were designed or intended to have fish in the diet. I know fish get their DHA from microalgea and there are vegan DHA supplements that derive the DHA from the microalgea (which I take). But I don't imagine our early ancestors were swimming around saying "I sure could go for some microalgae right now". I also don't think they were taking walnut or hemp seed oil to supplement their diet to enable the proper conversion to DHAs. I personally am a vegan mainly for health benefits, and I've tried to follow a diet which I felt was what our bodies are best suited for and what they are designed for, which seems to be a whole foods plant based diet. The only thing that doesn't "fit" in this approach is the supposed DHA needs. It would seem that the most "natural" diet would be one that is primarily whole foods- plant based with an occasional piece of fish. If I had to survive on an island or in the tropics, that would probably be my diet from a survival standpoint. I believe there needs to be more health studies regarding EPA/DHA. I wonder if the ones that have been done so far are flawed or poorly designed. There are so many studies out there that are poorly designed, it's difficult to know what to believe.
Any thoughts?

Wildflower
Jul 2nd, 2006, 10:16 PM
I have been reading the similar studies on this subject, and although I do not take a supplement, I am beginning to think I should.

I cook with olive oil, and I do eat walnuts and bake with flax seed meal, but I have not seen clear research on whether this converts properly. Some say yes, others no.

I also recently read an article on how your child's IQ is affected by how much omega 3 the mother consumes while pregnant. More, the better, and they suggested oily fish like salmon as well as nuts and seeds. They said that many children have learning and social problems due to lack of omega 3. I saw a special on tv I believe was put out by the BBC, where they fed children who were stuggling in school omega 3's daily, and by the end of it all the kids loved reading and were doing great in school. They did not say the source of the omega 3 in that situation.

It is all so confusing, because how can they say eating fish while you're pregnant helps your child be smarter, yet they also say that you should avoid fish while pregnant because the mercury, PCBs, etc cause brain damage to the fetus???

SO...those are my thoughts.

eve
Jul 3rd, 2006, 12:24 PM
At the moment in the media here there's so much about eating fish, as well as how to make your child brainy by eating fish, but I don't find it at all confusing, but simply ignore it. I do take a spoonful of flax seed oil every day - I'm not keen on a mercury flavour, or the flavour of other rubbish that the poor fish have ingested. Don't be brainwashed, Wildflower, into buying fish supplements or any other supplements; my view is that a diet of whole plant foods is the best.

DonQuinoa
Jul 3rd, 2006, 02:20 PM
Yes if it's sourced from Algae or seaweed

See V-Pure (http://www.water4.net)

Algae has also been found to contain CoQ10 , vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, and key amino acids as well as natural anti biotics.

Vagetarian
Jul 3rd, 2006, 03:52 PM
No offense Eve, but I don't just ignore good science. That's what religious nuts and ignorant people do. I'm not saying the studies about DHA are based on good science, but I would like to know if they are so I can make an intelligent decision about supplementing my diet.

Vegan cat
Jul 3rd, 2006, 04:00 PM
what is DHT?

j&k
Jul 3rd, 2006, 04:49 PM
You are absolutely right to want to be taking DHA, and I believe the best source of it is the vegan derived dha from algae. I don't think of flax seed oil as a health food. Instead, people should be taking ground flax (which similarly has the omega 3's but also has the nutrient density of the seeds; the excess fat and calories and low stability of flax in oil form makes it a less than ideal food) and vegan derived dha.

People should not get too caught up in the what is "natural" argument, because that is not what is ideal for health. If you were to spend too much time thinking about what is natural, then the vegan diet also isn't natural because it does not contain an adequate source of B-12. Of course there is the argument that we used to get B-12 naturally from plant foods because there were insects on them that we would eat which had b-12, but of course that diet would no longer be vegan, would it?

The real question should be what is healthiest? The answer is a vegan diet (wth high quantities of veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds) supplemented with B-12 and DHA is the healthiest. We are in a rare position today that we don't have to eat what is grown within a few mile radius, we have supermarkets which import healthy produce from all over the world. Little about how we eat today is "natural" in the original sense of the word. But we are afforded an opportunity to eat healthier than at any other time in our history. I say take advantage of that and eat all the healthy produce year round, and supplement the diet when necessary with b-12 and DHA.

Best,
Josh

DonQuinoa
Jul 3rd, 2006, 05:40 PM
The whole "it's natural" argument for a vegan diet is frought with pitfalls.

It's natural to survive.

It's easy to be vegan and we have a moral responsibility at the top of the food chain to appreciate our gift of choice - whether to make things worse - or try to make things better by making choices that are ethical, responsible, sensible, logical, healthy, avoid unnecessary suffering and are better for the environment.

But natural ?? Naaah - we'd have never got this far - A gorilla is the closest to a natural vegan diet but they eat incidental insects which are a good source of vitamin B12 for them. But they don't control their environment and spend all day eating! No time for philoshophy or theories of relativity. Throw an ice age at them - they'd die without turning to scavanging and risking constipation.


[Edit: the response to the B12-part of this thread has been moved over to this (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3763) thread. Admin.]

Algae is about a natural a vegan food as you can get.

Records suggest it was used by The Incas, The Atztecs and the ancient Chinese.

It seems to me that it would have been hard to avoid a bit of algae in the water in the days before shops sold water in litre bottles for more money than coke.

Algae at the very bottom of the food chain and just this side of vegetarian (krill and plankton are animal) has been shown to have not only vegan omega 3 EPA and DHA (http://www.water4.net)but also vitamin B12 , vitamin D3 , CoQ10 and a wealth of other phyto nutrients.

In the days before highly processed food and stressful modern lifestyles it would have been far easier for humans to make EPA and DHA (http://www.vegetarian-dha-epa.co.uk) from seeds - we can still do it (in theory) it's just we are crap at it.

These days only pregnant women seem to be able to convert LNA / ALA to EPA and then DHA with any modicom of success - that's all for the baby - thank god! otherwise the human race would be even stupider than it has already proved itself to be.

Thank goodness for Vegan DHA and EPA (http://www.water4.net) from Algae - what have you got to lose .....apart from your brain?

NorVegan
Jul 4th, 2006, 06:34 PM
I take a DHA supplement, because I don’t wasn’t to take any risks, specially if I get pregnant. I don’t feel any difference, but it is a safety net I like to have.

As I have understood the body easier convert LNA/ALA to EPA than to DHA, so I haven’t been worrying to much about that yet. I have also not found any vegan EPA before I read this tread, and now I will consider it, although I am not sure that I can afford it at the moment.

But I don’t mean that supplements necessarily are a bad idea. Of course it is probably for the best if we eat 100 % naturally all the time, but who can that in reality? Almost everyone eats some processed food, or non-organic food each day, so why not use some “unnatural” tings to correct the misbalance we get from our modern life?

Better safe than sorry, DHA/EPA supplements is at far as I have read harmless.

DonQuinoa
Jul 4th, 2006, 09:09 PM
Sorry (Korn) to keep harping on about it but it's important.

You are right NorVegan - we don't live in a natural world - there's very little left that's natural about our planet.

The water, the air, the food - it's all messed with.

As supplements go the V Pure algae oil is almost as natural as mass produced olive oil. It's not exactly squeezed out , not quite as simple as that , but it is just as simple as seperating the oil from the proteins and solid bits in algae and keeping the good bits.

The capsule is made from potato.

I guess you could just eat the whole algae itself but there are thousands to choose from and you'd have to choose carefully.

I can see a day in the not too distant future when everyone has a window box and grows their own (especially the people who already make their own soya yoghurt) and have a spoonfull on their muesli every morning.

Korn
Jul 5th, 2006, 09:53 AM
People should not get too caught up in the what is "natural" argument, because that is not what is ideal for health. If you were to spend too much time thinking about what is natural, then the vegan diet also isn't natural because it does not contain an adequate source of B-12. Of course there is the argument that we used to get B-12 naturally from plant foods because there were insects on them that we would eat which had b-12, but of course that diet would no longer be vegan, would it?

I have just moved the part of the thread that has to do with the vegan diet being natural or not and the B12 issues over to an existing thread about that topic. The thread is here: B12: How natural is the vegan diet? (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3763)

B12/vegan/natural isn't only another topic, but it's probably the most discussed of all vegan-related topics, so IMO it deserves it's own thread. Sorry for interrupting the thread; I could have continued here, but trust me: this thread would then have gone waaay off topic! :)

Vegan cat
Jul 6th, 2006, 09:36 PM
what is DHA?

j&k
Jul 6th, 2006, 09:40 PM
Here are two links which should help:

http://drfuhrman.com/shop/DHA.aspx -- By the way, if you are going to order it, I'd recommend doing it from here because he is the only one I know that stores the DHA in cold temperatures. Because DHA is highly unstable and prone to rancidity, storage for long periods of time at room temperature destroys the DHA.

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T040900.asp

Best,
Josh

sandra
Jul 6th, 2006, 09:42 PM
what is DHA?
Did anyone ever answer your question Vegan cat?

Vegan cat
Jul 6th, 2006, 09:43 PM
Here are two links which should help:

http://drfuhrman.com/shop/DHA.aspx -- By the way, if you are going to order it, I'd recommend doing it from here because he is the only one I know that stores the DHA in cold temperatures. Because DHA is highly unstable and prone to rancidity, storage for long periods of time at room temperature destroys the DHA.

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T040900.asp

Best,
Josh

Merci very much!!:)

Vegan cat
Jul 6th, 2006, 09:44 PM
Did anyone ever answer your question Vegan cat?

kinda

sandra
Jul 6th, 2006, 10:34 PM
So all it means is take an omega 3 supplement like Vertese omega oils and you'll be ok, is that right or am I barking up the wrong tree, I don't think it means that you need to eat fish as was said at the beginning of this thread.

Vegan cat
Jul 6th, 2006, 10:44 PM
so DHA is Omega 3

sandra
Jul 6th, 2006, 10:48 PM
I read the links very quickly, but that's what I made of it, if anyone can tell me if I'm right or wrong I would be very grateful.

Vagetarian
Jul 7th, 2006, 04:18 AM
"Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid and one of the crucial building blocks of human brain tissue."
As I understand it, it's just one type of Omega-3, only found in sea microalgae and the fish that eat it. Your body can convert some fats to DHA but I do not completely understand the particulars of this.

sandra
Jul 7th, 2006, 11:11 AM
We also need iodine which I think is mostly found in sea plants etc, so rather than getting these things second hand from fish, why not get them from the original source? Apparently, they feed the animals with stuff that has iodine added, so you do not get that 'naturally' from eating animals.
I think humans use things like this to justify eating fish or animals, would it not be easier to just get the microalgae straight from the sea in the first place?