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Omega-3: Vegan DHA / EPA
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  1. #1

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    Question Omega-3: Vegan DHA / EPA

    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.

  2. #2
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    Default

    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/

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    This one might be a bit cheaper, though it's from US.

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    Default Vegan DHA / EPA

    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 EPA as well as DHA.

    It's the first time vegan DHA and EPA 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

    You can get V Pure Omega 3 Vegetarian EPA and DHA from www.water4.net and hopefully by the next batch the price will come down too.
    Last edited by Korn; Jun 22nd, 2009 at 10:47 AM. Reason: This was the first post in a similar thread

  5. #5
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    Default Vegan DHA/EPA supplements

    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?
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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.

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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.
    Eve

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    Default Omega 3 DHA EPA?

    Yes if it's sourced from Algae or seaweed

    See V-Pure

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

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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.
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    what is DHT?
    "You in my life is like having the wind in my hair! You mess it up , but thats ok!"

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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 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 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 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 from Algae - what have you got to lose .....apart from your brain?

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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.
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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.

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote j&k
    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?

    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!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    what is DHA?
    "You in my life is like having the wind in my hair! You mess it up , but thats ok!"

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote Vegan cat
    what is DHA?
    Did anyone ever answer your question Vegan cat?

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote j&k
    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!!
    "You in my life is like having the wind in my hair! You mess it up , but thats ok!"

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote sandra
    Did anyone ever answer your question Vegan cat?
    kinda
    "You in my life is like having the wind in my hair! You mess it up , but thats ok!"

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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.

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    so DHA is Omega 3
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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.

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    "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.
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    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?

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Sandra:

    Consuming omega 3 rich oils like flax seed oil is not the same as consuming preformed DHA. The body converts omega 3 fats to DHA the following way: Omega 3 (Alpha-linolenic acid --> Eicosapentaenoic Acid --> DHA). Excessive intake of Omega 6 fats blocks conversion to DHA (and most people eat too much omega 6 fats).

    The typical conversion rate of omega 3 from vegetable sources is probably between 3% to 5% -- in other words, not very efficient. Some people have difficulty converting any omega 3 to DHA (those are the people who often report not feeling right on a healthy vegetarian diet, but feel better when they incorporate a little fish. They think it is the protein, but it is really the DHA).

    I believe just to be safe, it is wise to take a preformed vegan DHA supplement like the one derived from sea algae. A 200 mg dose is sufficient.

    Further, I don't believe the omega 3 oils are worth taking. They have a low conversion rate to DHA, are more unstable than DHA (meaning they turn rancid easier), and are high in calories and low in nutrients. Instead, I believe people should be consuming a few ounces of nuts and seeds (and/or avocado), a tablespoon a day of ground flax seed (stored in freezer to prevent rancidity), and 200mg preformed vegan DHA (Again, buy one that has been stored in the fridge, not at room temperature). These are all good sources of omega 3's, and low sources of omega 6's.

    Hope this is helpful! IF you have any more questions, please ask. I think this is an area most vegans don't know as much about as they should.

    Best,
    Josh










  27. #27
    meow! Vegan cat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    I brought a packet of Golden Linseed - is this the same as Flaxseed? It says you can add to cereals and salads etc.

    Also what about Spiriluna?
    "You in my life is like having the wind in my hair! You mess it up , but thats ok!"

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Yes linseed and flax are one and the same. But, you need to grind the flax -- you can use a coffee grinder. Then, use it right away, or make a good amount and store it in the freezer.

    Spirulina is healthy and a great addition to the diet, but I would not rely on it to meet your DHA needs. It simply does not have enough fat in it to be your only source.

    Best,
    Josh

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan#Vegan_nutrition

    DHA
    One nutrient that is sometimes overlooked when analyzing the vegan diet is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). For non-vegetarians, good sources for this omega-3 fatty acid include edible marine fish and shellfish and eggs. This healthy fat can also be found in Algae and vegan DHA dietry supplement capsules are now available. This fatty acid is very important for brain function, eye function, and for the cellular transport of valuable nutrients. "ALA" can be converted by the body into DHA. ALA is found in soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil: many vegans include these specific foods in their diets. To obtain the same benefit, it has been estimated that 10x the amount of ALA as DHA must be consumed. [24]
    Omega-3 fatty acids must be included in any diet: this is specially true for younger children and the elderly because growing and ageing brains need more of these nutritious fats. There are multiple sources of omega-3 fatty acids available to vegans: flaxseed oil (sometimes called edible linseed in the UK) and hemp oil, nuts (especially walnuts), and certain green, leafy vegetables all provide omega-3s as well.
    Omega 3 interacts with another dietary fatty acid: Omega 6. it is believed that the health benefits of Omega 3 consumption are obtained only when the Omega 3: Omega 6 ratio is increased. Oils which should therefore be avoided due to their high Omega 6 content are: sunflower, safflower, and corn oil. Olive oil is an example of an omega-neutral oil as its fat is monounsaturated and does not contain much omega 3 or omega 6 and may be consumed without affecting the desired ratio.

    3x the amount, that is good information. I trust wiki, do you?
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Hi Josh, So it is better to get this DHA from a marine source, just as we get iodine? I think what I was getting at was, that you don't have to eat fish to get it as the fish get it from algae or whatever themselves, so it would be better for us to get it from that source rather than second hand through the fish. Thank you for explaining that to me, I am already taking iodine supplements as it is needed for thyroid function [not that there's anything wrong with my thyroid] but I will look out for DHA supplements aswell.

    Thanks Sandra

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    The information Hanisk posted from Wiki is as I understand the sitution entirely correct and is the same as in the Vegan Society's book Vegan Nutrition and Health.

    The claims about the difficulties of conversion to DHA and the value of supplements over flax/hemp seed strike me as little more than marketing hype. I'd certainly like to see some peer-reviewed scientific studies proving this.

    Similarly, the B12 "content" of algae has to my knowledge always been found to be analogues which can actually do vegans more harm than good by impeding the absorption of any "true" B12 in the diet.

    I'm equally suspicious about the claims regarding algae "superfoods" including spirulina, though I must admit I quite like the taste

    In short, I'm inclined to think that the only certain thing about these supplements is that the empty the wallet quickly

    Cheers

    Mike

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Michael -- It is funny to hear that somebody would think it is just marketing hype -- all you have to do is look for the studies -- they are out there.

    Let me start you along the road quickly before I head out to dinner:

    http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/106/21/2747 (look at page 2752) -- If you need more help looking up studies (this one is a few years old), it will have to wait til tomorrow.

    HAve a great night!
    Best,
    Josh

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?


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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    I just bought a coffee grinder an hour ago. Soon I will be ingesting 10x the amount that I require with confidence :-D
    it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    OK, so back from dinner. More studies:

    This one shows vegan and vegetarians have lower levels of DHA than meat-eaters -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...975&query_hl=1

    Here is a paper put together by the Flax Counsel of Canada, which one would think would prefer to tell you the conversion rate is high. They cite to two studies and conclude the conversion rate ranges from .2% to 8% (look at page 2 -- Efficiency of conversion of ALA).
    http://www.flaxcouncil.ca/english/pd...abolism_R2.pdf

    All these studies should be more than sufficient to prove the point.

    Best,
    Josh

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote Haniska
    I just bought a coffee grinder an hour ago. Soon I will be ingesting 10x the amount that I require with confidence :-D
    Ok don't panic.
    I believe that flax seed can be swallowed in large amounts without harm.
    In order to get to the oil inside the seed can be sprouted or milled.
    Non fortunately when the seed cases are broken, substances called cyanogenic glycosides are released....these substances lead to the release of cyanide in the gut, too much of which can cause illness.

    http://extoxnet.orst.edu/faqs/natural/cya.htm


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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    I've just been thinking, if you can only get a good source of this DHA from marine sources, where have I been getting it from as I haven't ate anything from the sea in over 30 years? [Or am I about to collapse from lack of DHA?] Also, what about meat eaters? I'm sure there are thousands of them who don't eat anything from the sea, they must be deficient aswell.
    All this is just too complicated and uncertain aswell, it's not that I'm stupid [I've been told I have a very high IQ believe it or not] it's just too much information. Sometimes it seems to me that it is vegans themselves who worry they aren't getting the right things in their food! I still believe we are far healthier than meat eaters and eat a more varied diet.
    I'm sure meat eaters aren't running about worrying 'I hope my DHA levels are ok!'
    P.S. Please don't read any of my other post on the forum as you will be querying the efficacy of my high IQ claim!!

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote j&k
    Michael -- It is funny to hear that somebody would think it is just marketing hype -- all you have to do is look for the studies -- they are out there.
    Hi Josh

    you've completely misinterpreted me. I'm not disputing that essential fatty acids are essential (though the scientific community is currently revising its opinion on the efficacy of fish oil since there are studies that contradict some of the earlier ones). What I am disputing is whether it is necessary or even desirable for vegans to take expensive DHS supplements rather than eat flax/hemp seeds/oil etc.

    There are to my knowledge no studies that demonstrate the fish oil supplements are superior to eating fish or the the vegan DHA supplements are superior to eating natural ALA sources that are converted to DHA (the % you quote is not nearly as important as it sounds).

    I believe there is a danger we have become so conditioned by the market that we really don't believe our bodies are capable of surviving on food alone without DHA supplements, vitamin supplements, enzyme supplements, protein supplements etc. It think it's a neurosis and a rip-off.

    Cheers

    Mike

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Interestingly when I read the first aformentioned study it sseemed to stated levels were stable in vegan/vegetarians .

    I come from a family who have never eaten fish generations way back. We all appear reasonably intelligent. No dementia etc. My 4 year old can already read and add up and he isn't at school until next year. mY eldest son is 20 and gets top marks at uni and will be doing his honours next year. My husband and I both have university degrees finishing with top marks.I'm not doing this to brag, but if DHA is lacking in a vegan diet and has detrimental effects - well we're not doing too bad. We eat nuts and seeds and oils, but I'm the only one who consumes flax.

    A recent study on Australian tv tested most of the fresh fish on the market - the result - all had high levels of various metals and toxins. And I believe Australia has some of the least polluted water in the world. fIsh were gathered from various coustlines around the continent.

    A liver filters waste so imagine what cod liver oil must contain - yuck!

  40. #40
    Michael Benis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote whalespace
    Ok don't panic.
    I believe that flax seed can be swallowed in large amounts without harm.
    In order to get to the oil inside the seed can be sprouted or milled.
    Non fortunately when the seed cases are broken, substances called cyanogenic glycosides are released....these substances lead to the release of cyanide in the gut, too much of which can cause illness.

    http://extoxnet.orst.edu/faqs/natural/cya.htm


    Please research a bit before either trying or recommending a new food.
    You don't need to eat vast amounts. The DHA supplements contain between 100 and 300 mg per capsule, most 200 mg. Even with the low ALA to DHA conversion rate you don't need to go stuffing yourself with flaxseeds. The cyanide is unlikely to cause most people greater problems than diarrhoea, however.

    A bit more info:

    Like many other foods (cashews, some beans, and others), flax contains very small amounts of cyanide compounds, especially when consumed raw. Heat, especially on dry flax seeds, breaks these compounds down. However, our bodies have a capacity to neutralize a certain amount of these compounds, and the US government agencies say that 2 tablespoons of flaxseed (~3 T of flax meal) is certainly safe and is probably an “effective dose” for health purposes.

    Cheers

    Mike

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Thanks for taking the time to post these, Josh.

    They don't however establish the value of DHA supplements, merely the need to be careful you;re getting enough ALA.

    Quote j&k
    This one shows vegan and vegetarians have lower levels of DHA than meat-eaters -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...975&query_hl=1
    At the same time the levels weren't dangerous and this wqas before we became aware of the advantages of flax and hemp.

    Quote j&k
    Here is a paper put together by the Flax Counsel of Canada, which one would think would prefer to tell you the conversion rate is high. They cite to two studies and conclude the conversion rate ranges from .2% to 8% (look at page 2 -- Efficiency of conversion of ALA).
    http://www.flaxcouncil.ca/english/pd...abolism_R2.pdf
    Which means you still only need a teaspon of flax seed oil per day, discounting the high ALA content oils in e.g. broccoli and cabbage.

    So where's the proven need for overpriced supplements?

    I hope this isn't coming acorss as antagonistic to you, which isn;t my intention. You're posting very useful advice. I'm just questioning the need to go spending on supplements.

    Cheers

    Mike

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote Michael Benis
    You don't need to eat vast amounts. The DHA supplements contain between 100 and 300 mg per capsule, most 200 mg. Even with the low ALA to DHA conversion rate you don't need to go stuffing yourself with flaxseeds. The cyanide is unlikely to cause most people greater problems than diarrhoea, however.



    Cheers

    Mike
    cyanide yes, so do apricots, almonds and peaches yum

  43. #43
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    I agree with you treehugga!

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    OK, here I am looking at things from the other side of the fence, so to speak, with several studies cited below which report that direct DHA ingestion in fish oil is more effective than ALA ingestion in flax seed oil. What they don't state, however, is the LA levels of the study populations. These are generally a high % of overal fat intake in today's diet and inhibit the conversion to DHA.

    Here is the info on the studies comparing fish oil (NOT the new veggie DHA supplements) to flax/linseed oil:

    In a comparison of linseed oil and fish oil supplementation in healthy volunteers, high doses of linseed oil increased platelet EPA levels but much less markedly than lower doses of fish oil while linseed oil supplementation did not increase platelet DHA levels (Sanders and Roshanai 1982). Later experiments also found that ingestion of ALA increased platelet EPA but not DHA (Allman, Pena and Pang 1995, Weaver, Corner, Bruce et al 1990, Mantzioris, James, Gibson et al 1994, Cunnane, Hamadeh, Liede et al 1995). These results demonstrate that ALA is converted only inefficiently to EPA and even less efficiently, if at all, to DHA.
    Comparisons of the various physiological consequences of supplementation with linseed oil and fish oil have also demonstrated that they are not equivalent in their actions (Harris 1997, Knapp 1997). Kestin, Clifton, Belling et al (1990) found that supplementation with fish oil caused a decrease in plasma cholesterol, triglycerides and systolic blood pressure but there were no significant effects of the diet supplemented with ALA. Kelley, Nelson, Love et al (1993) found that linseed oil supplementation increased EPA but not DHA levels in plasma and monocytes, and had no significant effect on plasma triglycerides or lipoprotein levels. Layne, Goh, Jumpsen et al (1996) found that supplementation with linseed oil produced small changes in lipoprotein levels of EPA and DHA but did not alter plasma triglycerides level. By contrast, fish oil supplementation increased EPA and DHA levels and reduced plasma triglycerides level. In a comparison of the effects of linseed oil and fish oil in well-controlled type II diabetics, McManus, Clandinin, Jumpsen et al (1996) found that fish oil reduced triglycerides levels while linseed oil did not.
    Both full term and pre-term infants are capable of synthesising AA and DHA from their 18-carbon precursors (Carnielli, Wattimena, Luijendijk et al 1996, Sauerwald, Hachey, Craig et al 1996, 1997, Uauy, Mena, Wegher et al 1999) although the amount of DHA produced from ALA may be inadequate (Salem, Wegher, Mena et al 1996, Woods, Ward and Salem 1996). In a primate study, Su, Bernardo, Mirmiran et al (1999) concluded that the contribution of endogenous synthesis of DHA from ALA did not match that of diets with preformed DHA.

    And here finally is a useful little page of information from the Vegetarian society for anyone who's getting confused by all the ALA DHA LA business:

    http://www.vegsoc.org/info/omega3.html

    Cheers

    Mike

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote treehugga
    cyanide yes, so do apricots, almonds and peaches yum
    And so do vitamin B 12 supplements (CYANOcobalamin) unless you go for the more expensive but more absorbable methlycobalamin.

    Cheers

    Mike

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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    One would hope that the self selected (with an axe to grind) vegetarians and Vegans in the EPIC study had a greater than average awareness about what to eat and when to eat it (as did the healthier than average meat eaters in the study)

    Yet it still showed they had very low levels of EPA and DHA.

    The whole argument of supplements is one to counter the multibillion dollar pharmaceuitical industry who peddle many drugs with terrible side effects, that risk addictions and rarely "cure" anyone - usually just create a dependency.

    Nutritional supplements are a natural complementary and safe answer that drug companies are desperate to supress (hence all the latest legislation trying to stop natural remedies - the drug companies spend millions on professional full time lobbyists

    a few examples are

    Infertility - usually easily helped with high doses of vitamins, minerals and essential fats.

    Cognitive function problems - ADHD, and a whole variety of depression and brain function problems have been shown to be helped in a far superior way with supplements such as EPA rather than drugs such as ritalin or prozac.

    Heart health - simple essential fats and vitamin B12 have been proven to be far more successful than statins in treating heart conditions.

    Asthma, excema and a host of other conditions can be cured through nutrition therapy avoiding a lifetime of medication that can cause a host of side effects.

    Drugs aren't just for Christmas they are for life!

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Many things do contain cyanide, but in small amounts that don't really effect us.

    Meat is espouted to be the best, most absorbable form of iron also, but lacks fibre and other vitamins and contains undisirable fats and I know of quite a few meat eaters with very low iron levels.

    The heavy metal thing is more than enough to persuade me that no matter how many fabulous DHA'S are in the poor buggers. ima not gonna eat em and have survived wonderfully so far without em.

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote sandra
    I agree with you treehugga!
    Thanks Sandra and may I say you look lovely and healthy despite your lack of fish oil

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote DonQuinoa
    One would hope that the self selected (with an axe to grind) vegetarians and Vegans in the EPIC study had a greater than average awareness about what to eat and when to eat it (as did the healthier than average meat eaters in the study)
    As far as I'm aware the EPIC study preceded the wider awareness of ALA intake.

    I've got nothing against natural remedies, but do think some of the supplement business is no more ethical than the big pharmaceuticals - they use fear to make money. Many of the ntaural ingredients of the supplements are easier and cheaper to obatin from fruit and vegeetables etc.

    That doesn't mean all supplements are evil or all supplement companies.

    Back on the DHA trail, I'm finding some more interesting stuff, however, including this http://www.foodsforlife.org.uk/nutri...A-DHA-EPA.html from vegan doctor Yvonne Bishop-Weston.

    Got to go do some work now, though!

    Cheers

    Mike

  50. #50
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone taking DHA supplements?

    Quote treehugga
    Thanks Sandra and may I say you look lovely and healthy despite your lack of fish oil
    Thank you treehugga, I feel pretty good too!

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