This entry was posted on Friday, September 17th, 2010 at 3:38 pm and is filed under Omega-3s. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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Yes, you can get the levels of omega-3s in your blood tested. I hear that Mayo Clinic has a test to measure omega-3s. It can cost $400 if you have to pay for it yourself – they require an entire fatty acid panel. I have no further information on it – if you are interested, talk to your doctor or Mayo Clinic.
I have been looking for a vegan supplement with both EPA and DHA for a long time. Currently I take krill oil. The only problem I see with this is that 40 mg of EPA in two capsules is such a tiny dose I’m not sure if it is significant.
There hasn’t been any research on such supplements that I know of. If a vegan is making sure they get some extra ALA in their diets and they are taking DHA, then they probably will get enough EPA from conversion of ALA and DHA into EPA. Another 40 mg a day could be some extra insurance.
Fantastic website and without a doubt the best Vegan blog on the internet!
I’m really pleased to see you mention Opti3 on here. I heard about the product in the fall. My local vegan product vendor stocks it now which is great. Seeing you mention here gives me even more faith.
When looking more closely at Opti3, I saw it not only offers the DHA and EPA but also has a lot of SDA and ALA. Only the other day I read it contains more Echium than Echiomega (Echium for SDA), to go along with its DHA and EPA dose.
I agree with Tia that its a shame none of the brands can get a higher dose of EPA at the moment, but when I ask them about it, they say its currently impossible. I did hear Martek will soon be launching a new algae EPA. Could be interesting to see how this goes?
> Fantastic website and without a doubt the best Vegan blog on the internet!
Aw, shucks. Thanks!
> Seeing you mention here gives me even more faith.
Just to be up front, I do not do any sort of verification that any given vegan DHA/EPA supplement has what the company says it has. I just list the ones I know of for people’s convenience in finding them.
Great website. At the recent American Dietetic Association in Boston, I was introduced to a vegan DHA from Martek called Brain Armor. The link is below. It provideds 1050mg of DHA from algal oil, in only 3 softgels.
Thanks for pointing that one out. I recommend about 200 – 300 mg of DHA every 2 or 3 days for most vegans, and every day for most vegans over 60 or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, but I don’t have opinions on the various brands.
1050mg of DHA over 3 capsules isn’t all that different from what is already out there. Omega 3 Zen, a commonly found brand, has about 300 mg per capsule. EPA supplements are still rare. So are EPA and DHA supplements in therapeutic doses that are vegan sourced. Those two things would be things to shoot for to make a unique supplement.
Good question. Because they normally come in capsules of 200 or 300 mg. And you don’t want to break up DHA capsules! They go rancid and smell bad even if they aren’t rancid. But if you find one of only 100 mg, that would work, too.
500 mg DHA per day for a few weeks would probably not be harmful, but I generally do not recommend trying to make up for lost time when it comes to omega-3s. I am not part of the omega-3 craze (or I’d be recommending much higher amounts than I do), I am mostly concerned about extremely low levels seen in vegans and it doesn’t take much DHA to get levels back up (in the blood, that is, we don’t really know how blood levels translate into tissue levels and are just assuming they correlate).
I just listened to a compelling People’s Pharmacy interview (NPR radio station) today (January 28th)-a clinical psychologist was discussing non-pharmaceutical approaches for depression. 1000-2000 mg of EPA was recommended in the form of fish oil among other research based recommendations. I am vegan although not depressed. Will comb through the postings above and see what you recommend for people like me. I suppose if i was in the middle of a clinical depression, fish oil (while not vegan) might be better than a more toxic anti-depressant if effective.
Thank you for your blog.
I was about to order Opti 3 and happy to do so, when i learned that they use
a capsule made with carrageenan.
I wrote to the company and was told that the FDA approves of carrageenan.
Actually, i dont think the FDA is a source of wisdom or even an honest organization, so
i was surprised to hear them used in this way.
Still searching for a good omega supplement. I am wondering about Dr. Fuhrman’s only because it is liquid and therefore needs no capsule.
I have read many times that it might be prudent to take an omega-3 supplement. However, I find that whenever I start taking it my skin breaks out and I get much more pimples than I usually do. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Why could this be happening? It happened a couple years ago, when I tried a fish oil supplement, but now, with my vegan DHA/EPA supplement the same thing is happening again (and I’ve tried it multiple times). Would you still recommend taking it, or should I be fine with just adding flax seeds/chia seeds to my diet, as I have been doing anyway?