DHA in Vegan Women
PCRM sent out a press release on November 15 titled Women on Vegan Diets Have More Long-Chain Omega-3s, Compared with Fish-Eaters.
I already blogged about the study they are referring to in my November 8th post, DHA Supplements: A Good Idea, Especially for Older Vegan Men. Three people have written me about this press release and so I am going to share my comments about why this finding is most likely an anomaly.
The women categorized as vegan in the study did have the highest DHA levels – 286 µmol/l compared to 271 for the fish-eaters. But “vegan” was simply defined as someone who did not list eating animal products in their 7-day diet diaries. These vegans might have only been vegan for one week. Second, there were only 5 vegan women in the study making the finding unlikely to be statistically significant. Third, the standard deviation for the DHA levels of the vegan women was very high at 211 µmol/l. That means that one or two of the vegan women had very high levels of DHA but some have very low levels.
Unfortunately, this finding should not give us any confidence that vegan women do not need to be concerned about their DHA levels.