T Nation

Vegetal vs. Marine Omega 3 Studies


Here is some great backing for Flameout and just great general background info on the whole omega 3 issue. As it turns out, the alpha linolenic acids in flax (and other vegetal sources) doesn't readily convert to the needed DHA/EPA in our bodies as well as previously thought.


"Fish Oil vs. Flax Oil Part 1: Which Omega-3s Prove Best for Babies?
Babies benefit from dietary DHA, but flax oil doesn?t raise levels in mothers? breast milk
by Craig Weatherby and Randy Hartnell

There is a good deal of evidence?much of it from recent British research?showing that developing fetuses and fast-growing infants and toddlers need ample amounts of the marine omega-3 called DHA to be blessed with optimal mental and visual health and capacity.

The question is, can mothers make DHA and transmit it to their fetuses and nursing babies by eating the vegetal omega-3 in flax and other vegetable oils?

The short answer is ?yes?, as attested by millennia of human history. Many children have gone on to lead reasonably healthy lives without their mothers ever eating fish.
Of course, during most of human evolutionary history people consumed a lot more vegetal omega-3s?from nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and wild game?and a lot fewer omega-6 and saturated fats.

Mountains of research published over the past 40 years or more documents the serious health risks associated with fish-poor diets. These risks only emerge fully in the context of today's diets, which are high in omega-6 and saturated fats, and low in vegetal omega-3s: an imbalance proven to promote problems like tissue-degrading inflammation, cancer, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, mental problems, and more.

As we'll see, it appears likely that children can develop greater cognitive and visual capacities, and stronger emotional health, if they consume DHA instead of or in addition to ALA.
Breast milk high in DHA gives
Key Points
? The brains and eyes of infants and toddlers benefit from dietary DHA: a long-chain marine omega-3 fatty acid found only in fish, krill, algae, and other aquatic organisms.
? Levels of DHA in mothers? breast milk are boosted when they consume fish or fish oil.
? Flax oil contains an omega-3 fat (ALA), but consuming it doesn?t raise DHA levels in mothers? breast milk.

children a mental, visual and immunity boost
Among the many studies that have looked at the effects of maternal DHA intake on breast milk and child development, the results are mixed, often depending on how long the follow-up period was. Many show no dramatic effects on brain development in the short term.

But, to generalize, the longer researchers follow children who received relatively high amounts of DHA via breast milk, the more positive brain development effects are found.

And, the results of a series of studies published by researchers at the University of Western Australia over the past five years indicate that the nursing babies of mothers taking supplemental DHA enjoy positive effects on markers of immune function, inflammation, and oxidation, and lower levels of arachidonic acid: the essential but pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid.

Taken together, the findings of dozens of studies explain why the FDA approved addition of DHA to infant formulas some years ago.

Fish beats flax for boosting DHA levels in breast milk
Given the findings that dietary DHA enhances the cognitive and psychological health of young children, there?s every reason to hypothesize?with considerable confidence?that fetuses in the womb should benefit from receiving generous amounts of DHA.

Of course, their mothers would need to consume ample amounts of DHA, or consume ample amounts of ALA, and convert it to DHA at high rates.

Unfortunately, the results of a study published in 2003 suggest that dietary flax oil does not result in higher levels of DHA in mothers? breast milk.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland conducted a pilot study in which seven women took 20 grams of flaxseed oil (containing 10.7 grams of ALA) daily for 4 weeks. Every week, the Oregon team collected breast-milk and blood samples before, during, and after supplementation, and analyzed the fatty acid composition.

They found that the concentrations of ALA in breast milk, whole blood, and red blood cells increased significantly, as did blood and breast milk levels of EPA and the minor marine omega-3 called DPA.

However, dietary flax oil did not raise levels of DHA in the participating mothers? milk, blood, or red blood cells.

In contrast, the results of many studies show that nursing mothers who receive supplemental DHA enjoy substantial, dose-dependent increases in their blood and breast-milk levels of DHA. That is, the amount of DHA in mothers? breast milk corresponds to the amount they ingest via fish or supplements.

And, as we?ve seen, higher levels of DHA in breast milk result in higher DHA concentrations in their infants.

We should note that the increases in breast-milk and blood levels of EPA and DPA seen in the flax oil study might provide nursing infants with better raw material from which to make their own DHA, compared with infants that do receive significant amounts of either of these long-chain marine omega-3s through breast milk or formula. But, since we don?t know that this is the case, it makes sense to for mothers to consume ample amounts of DHA from fatty fish or fish oil supplements.

? Barden AE, Mori TA, Dunstan JA, Taylor AL, Thornton CA, Croft KD, Beilin LJ, Prescott SL. Fish oil supplementation in pregnancy lowers F2-isoprostanes in neonates at high risk of atopy. Free Radic Res. 2004 Mar;38(3):233-9.
? Duchen K, Casas R, Fageras-Bottcher M, Yu G, Bjorksten B. Human milk polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids and secretory immunoglobulin A antibodies and early childhood allergy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2000 Feb;11(1):29-39.
? Dunstan JA, Mori TA, Barden A, Beilin LJ, Taylor AL, Holt PG, Prescott SL. Fish oil supplementation in pregnancy modifies neonatal allergen-specific immune responses and clinical outcomes in infants at high risk of atopy: a randomized, controlled trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Dec;112(6):1178-84.
? Dunstan JA, Roper J, Mitoulas L, Hartmann PE, Simmer K, Prescott SL. The effect of supplementation with fish oil during pregnancy on breast milk immunoglobulin A, soluble CD14, cytokine levels and fatty acid composition. Clin Exp Allergy. 2004 Aug;34(8):1237-42.
? Francois CA, Connor SL, Bolewicz LC, Connor WE. Supplementing lactating women with flaxseed oil does not increase docosahexaenoic acid in their milk. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;77(1):226-33. Erratum in: Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;78(4):806.
? Gibson RA, Neumann MA, Makrides M. Effect of increasing breast milk docosahexaenoic acid on plasma and erythrocyte phospholipid fatty acids and neural indices of exclusively breast fed infants. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1997 Sep;51(9):578-84.
? Helland IB, Saarem K, Saugstad OD, Drevon CA. Fatty acid composition in maternal milk and plasma during supplementation with cod liver oil. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998 Nov;52(11):839-45.
? Helland IB, Saugstad OD, Smith L, Saarem K, Solvoll K, Ganes T, Drevon CA. Similar effects on infants of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids supplementation to pregnant and lactating women. Pediatrics. 2001 Nov;108(5):E82.
? Helland IB, Smith L, Saarem K, Saugstad OD, Drevon CA. Maternal supplementation with very-long-chain n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation augments children's IQ at 4 years of age. Pediatrics. 2003 Jan;111(1):e39-44.
? Jensen CL, Maude M, Anderson RE, Heird WC. Effect of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation of lactating women on the fatty acid composition of breast milk lipids and maternal and infant plasma phospholipids. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jan;71(1 Suppl):292S-9S.
? Jensen CL, Voigt RG, Prager TC, Zou YL, Fraley JK, Rozelle JC, Turcich MR, Llorente AM, Anderson RE, Heird WC. Effects of maternal docosahexaenoic acid intake on visual function and neurodevelopment in breastfed term infants. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1):125-32.
? Lauritzen L, Jorgensen MH, Mikkelsen TB, Skovgaard M, Straarup EM, Olsen SF, Hoy CE, Michaelsen KF. Maternal fish oil supplementation in lactation: effect on visual acuity and n-3 fatty acid content of infant erythrocytes. Lipids. 2004 Mar;39(3):195-206.
? Lauritzen L, Jorgensen MH, Olsen SF, Straarup EM, Michaelsen KF. Maternal fish oil supplementation in lactation: effect on developmental outcome in breast-fed infants. Reprod Nutr Dev. 2005 Sep-Oct;45(5):535-47.
? Makrides M, Neumann MA, Gibson RA. Effect of maternal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on breast milk composition. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jun;50(6):352-7.

Fish Oil vs. Flax Oil Part 2: Seafood Omega-3s Beat Seedy Rival's for Heart Health
Marine omega-3s seen topping the vegetal-type omega-3 found in flax oil for preventive heart health
by Craig Weatherby and Randy Hartnell

Last November, syndicated columnist Charles Platkin?who writes as ?The Diet Detective??penned an article titled ?What can omega-3 fatty acids do for you? Maybe a lot?. (To read it, click here.)

By now, many people know that omega-3s are essential to optimal heart health and child development.

And the scientific hypothesis that dietary omega-3s inhibit cancer growth is supported by substantial evidence from animal and cell studies, as two well-respected researchers confirmed in a Vital Choices report published late last month (see ?Media Reports Miss Fatal Flaws in New Review of Omega-3/Cancer Evidence?).

But Mr. Platkin raised a question of critical importance to consumers concerned about preventive health: ?? is there a difference between the omega-3s in fish and those in walnuts??
Key Points
? The vegetal omega-3 fat in flax oil clearly is heart-healthy, but the marine omega-3s in fish oil enjoy much stronger and more abundant evidence of cardiovascular benefit.
? Of the two main marine omega-3s, DHA is considered key to heart health, but most people?s bodies make little or no DHA from dietary flax oil.
? The competing fats that dominate the standard American diet make it especially hard to convert the omega-3 fat in flax oil to marine omega-3s.

As Debra Palmer Keenan, a nutrition professor at New Jersey?s Rutgers University, told Platkin, "They are not the same thing ? we have to stop talking about omega-3s and talk about DHA and EPA [marine omega-3s] and ALA [the main vegetal omega-3] as separate fatty acids.?

The omega-3 bait-and-switch
The results of a flood of research published in recent years confirms the heart-health benefits of marine omega-3s, and the corresponding negative consequences of the nation?s dire omega-3 deficiency.

Because these findings appeared widely in the media, it?s no surprise that major and minor manufacturers alike have rushed to lure consumers by adding omega-3s to their processed and packaged foods.

However, omega-3 fatty acids come in two forms, with distinctly different levels of preventive heart-health benefits:

? Marine Omega-3s (EPA and DHA): These long-chain omega-3s are found only in fish and algae. DHA is a key constituent of cell membranes, especially in the brain and eyes. Both are considered valuable for preventive heart health, but DHA is more important than EPA.
? Vegetal Omega-3 (ALA): This short-chain omega-3 is found in nuts, seeds, and the oils extracted from them. Common sources include soy oil, canola oil, and?by far the richest source?flaxseed oil. The body converts ALA into the two long-chain marine omega-3s EPA and DHA?mostly EPA?as well as a marine omega-3 called DPA that has no established health benefits.
Virtually all of the studies that showed omega-3s help protect against heart attacks and strokes employed fish or fish oil, which contain EPA and DHA, but no ALA.

As the experts quoted in Platkin?s article said, it?s far preferable that manufacturers fortify foods with marine omega-3s rather than plant-derived omega-3 fat

Yet, as we noted last August in an article titled ?Beware the Omega-3 Bait-and-Switch?, most food manufacturers who?ve jumped on the omega-3 bandwagon fortify their foods with flaxseed oil.

Manufacturers engage in this seedy bait-and-switch because flax oil is cheaper than fish oil, and because fish oil becomes even more expensive when treated to eliminate its fishy flavor.

We?ll explain the reasons why medical experts prefer marine omega-3s in further detail below.

For starters, while flax oil consists of about 54 percent omega-3 ALA, most of the remaining 46 percent consists of the pro-inflammatory omega-6 fat called LA (linoleic acid), which Americans over-consume already. This omega-6 fat also elbows omega-3s out of the pathways that lead to incorporation into cell membranes, where omega-3s exert most of their beneficial effects.

Fish versus flax: evidentiary imbalance impairs comparisons
We searched the medical literature for information on the differences between marine omega-3s (EPA and DHA) and the vegetal omega-3 ALA found in flax oil.

Compared with marine omega-3s (EPA and DHA), there is not nearly as much good evidence regarding the effects of dietary ALA on the risk of cardiovascular disease, or its impact on risk factors like blood levels of cholesterol, insulin, sugar, inflammation, clotting factor, and triglycerides, and inflammation levels in arterial tissues.

As a German researcher put it in a 2003 review article, ?Plant-derived alpha-linolenic acid [ALA] has been studied in a limited number of investigations. So far, some epidemiologic and a few mechanistic studies suggest a potential of protection from cardiovascular disease, but this potential remains to be proven in intervention [clinical] studies. In contrast ? [EPA and DHA] ? have been studied in thousands of investigations.?

His conclusion was affirmed in a review published late last year by researchers at Georgia?s Emory University, who said, ?? the evidence suggests a role for fish oil ? or fish in secondary [heart attack/stroke] prevention because recent clinical trial data have demonstrated a significant reduction in total mortality, coronary heart disease death, and sudden death. The data on ALA have been limited by studies of smaller sample size and limited quality.?

The scarcity of evidence aside, it?s very clear that on a cellular level, marine omega-3 fatty acids?especially DHA?enjoy the best evidence of cardiovascular benefit.

DHA seen as key to fish oil?s heart-healthy effects
Fish and fish oil have been proven to reduce deaths from cardiovascular health, thanks to their omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.

But, while EPA helps reduce dangerous tendencies toward unnecessary blood clotting (platelet aggregation), DHA appears to be the most important omega-3 for cardiovascular health, overall.

As the Japanese academics who authored a 2003 review article said, ?? recent studies strongly suggest that DHA has more potent and beneficial effects than EPA.?

And in 2005, English researchers published findings that echo the Japanese scientists? evaluation. As the Britons concluded, ?? fish-oil produced predictable [and favorable] changes in ? [blood levels of] ? lipids [fats] and small, dense LDL (sdLDL) [?bad? cholesterol] that were not reproduced by the ALA-enriched diet. Membrane DHA levels appeared to be an important determinant of these fish-oil-induced effects.?

Dietary flax oil yields little bodily DHA
As we?ll detail below, ALA (usually from flax oil) appears to confer some cardiovascular benefits. However, marine omega-3s hold a clear edge. This is not surprising, for two reasons:

  1. Inflammation is considered a key factor in promotion of arterial plaque and the plaque ruptures and resulting blood clots that often constitute the direct cause of heart attacks and strokes. Both of the main marine omega-3s (EPA and DHA) are more effective than ALA at raising production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (ephemeral, hormone-like messenger chemicals).
  2. The findings of several recent studies suggest that while the omega-3 ALA in dietary flax oil can raise body levels of EPA, it does little to raise blood or heart tissue levels of DHA, especially in men.
    The second point is supported by findings from a series of recent human and animal studies:

? The authors of the American Heart Association?s annual Scientific Statement on Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease for 2002 came to this conclusion: ?Although some -linolenic acid [ALA] is converted to the longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids, the extent of this conversion is modest [0.02 to 15 percent] and controversial ? [with conversion to] DHA ? much less than that to EPA.?
? The standard American diet?high in saturated and omega-6 fats?puts a low ceiling on the rate at which the body converts ALA to marine omega-3s. Conversion of ALA to EPA drops to six percent and conversion of ALA to DHA dips below four percent when diets are high in saturated fats. And these regrettably low conversion rates drop by 40-50 percent when the diet is high in omega-6 fats.
? Healthy young British women who took supplemental flax oil containing 700 mg of ALA saw their blood levels of EPA rise by 21 percent and their DHA levels rise by only nine percent. As the researchers noted, ?Comparison with previous studies suggests that women may possess a greater capacity for ALNA [ALA] conversion [to EPA and DHA] than men. Such metabolic capacity may be important for meeting the demands of the fetus and neonate [newborn infant] for DHA during pregnancy and lactation [nursing].? Renowned British fatty acid researcher Philip Calder attributes this gender advantage to the effects of estrogen.
? When African-American men and women with chronic heart disease took three grams [3,000 mg] per day of supplemental ALA (in flax oil capsules) it raised their average blood levels of EPA by 60 percent but had no effect on blood levels of DHA.
How can we explain the large rise in EPA levels, which was many times that seen in all other ALA-to-EPA conversion studies? This African-American study group probably had extremely low tissue levels of EPA to begin with. We would expect such a scarcity of bodily EPA to result from the dietary pattern?high in fried foods and saturated fats, and low in seafood and plant sources of omega-3s?typical of African-Americans: a pattern that helps explain the high rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes that afflict this population group.
? Rats that receive supplemental flax oil enjoy increased brain levels of DHA, and increased levels of EPA and DPA in their hearts and livers. However, supplemental flax oil does not raise DHA levels in their heart or liver tissues. In contrast, rats fed fish oil show increased DHA levels in their brains, hearts, and livers. And, compared with supplemental flax oil, fish oil does a better job of reducing rats? tissue levels of arachidonic acid (AA): an essential but pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid, high levels of which raise the risk of heart disease.
? Among young dogs given either ALA or marine omega-3s, those getting marine omega-3s enjoyed higher rises in blood levels of DHA, and larger beneficial effects on a key measure of visual capacity (retinal rod sensitivity).
Heartening facts about flax
Clearly, flax oil is no match for fish oil when it comes to preventing adverse cardiovascular events, but the picture is not entirely one-sided.

Dr. Daniel Mozaffarian of Harvard?s School of Public Heath?who we heard speak at last year?s Seafood & Health conference?reviewed the evidence and came to this conclusion in a 2005 review article: ?Although clinical benefits have not been seen consistently in all studies, most prospective observational studies suggest that ALA intake reduces the incidence of CHD [coronary heart disease] ??.

This may be because the ALA in flax oil appears to exert some of the anti-arrhythmic effects that make fish oils so effective at preventing sudden cardiac death. A recent analysis of data from the famed Nurses? Health Study found that women who consumed the highest levels of ALA had a 38-40 percent smaller risk of sudden cardiac death: a correlation that persisted even among women reporting relatively high intakes of marine omega-3s.

And, like marine omega-3s, the ALA in flax oil and other seed oils is pretty effective at preventing dietary omega-6 fats forming pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid in cell membranes: a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

In conclusion, it seems fair to say that while flax oil is definitely heart-healthy, the marine omega-3s in fish and fish oil impart a much stronger preventive impact.

? Platkin C. What can omega-3 fatty acids do for you? Maybe a lot. Accessed online at http://www.globegazette.com/articles/2005/11/30/feature/doc438ce439b0026273183115.txt
? Hirafuji M, Machida T, Hamaue N, Minami M. Cardiovascular protective effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with special emphasis on docosahexaenoic acid. J Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Aug;92(4):308-16. Review.
? Calder PC. n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: evidence explained and mechanisms explored. Clin Sci (Lond). 2004 Jul;107(1):1-11. Review.
? von Schacky C. The role of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2003 Mar;5(2):139-45. Review.
? Wendland E, Farmer A, Glasziou P, Neil A. Effect of alpha linolenic acid on cardiovascular risk markers: a systematic review. Heart. 2006 Feb;92(2):166-9. Epub 2005 May 12. Review.
? Finnegan YE, Minihane AM, Leigh-Firbank EC, Kew S, Meijer GW, Muggli R, Calder PC, Williams CM. Plant- and marine-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have differential effects on fasting and postprandial blood lipid concentrations and on the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative modification in moderately hyperlipidemic subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Apr;77(4):783-95.
? Harper CR, Jacobson TA. Usefulness of omega-3 fatty acids and the prevention of coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2005 Dec 1;96(11):1521-9. Epub 2005 Oct 21.
? Harper CR, Edwards MJ, Defilipis AP, Jacobson TA. Flaxseed Oil Increases the Plasma Concentrations of Cardioprotective (n-3) Fatty Acids in Humans. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1):83-7.
? Barcelo-Coblijn G, Collison LW, Jolly CA, Murphy EJ. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid increases brain but not heart and liver docosahexaenoic acid levels. Lipids. 2005 Aug;40(8):787-98.
? Burdge GC, Wootton SA. Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women. Br J Nutr. 2002 Oct;88(4):411-20.
? Brenna JT. Efficiency of conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to long chain n-3 fatty acids in man. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2002 Mar;5(2):127-32. Review.
? Gerster H. Can adults adequately convert alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3)? Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1998;68(3):159-73. Review.
? Burdge GC, Calder PC. Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to longer-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in human adults. Reprod Nutr Dev. 2005 Sep-Oct;45(5):581-97. Review.
? De Lorgeril M, Salen P. Use and misuse of dietary fatty acids for the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease. Reprod Nutr Dev. 2004 May-Jun;44(3):283-8. Review.
? Albert CM, Oh K, Whang W, Manson JE, Chae CU, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Hu FB. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid intake and risk of sudden cardiac death and coronary heart disease. Circulation. 2005 Nov 22;112(21):3232-8.
? Mozaffarian D. Does alpha-linolenic acid intake reduce the risk of coronary heart disease? A review of the evidence. Altern Ther Health Med. 2005 May-Jun;11(3):24-30; quiz 31, 79. Review.
? Penny M. Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD; William S. Harris, PhD; Lawrence J. Appel, MD, MPH, for the Nutrition Committee. American Heart Association Scientific Statement: Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2002;106:2747.
? Wilkinson P, Leach C, Ah-Sing EE, Hussain N, Miller GJ, Millward DJ, Griffin BA. Influence of alpha-linolenic acid and fish-oil on markers of cardiovascular risk in subjects with an atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype. Atherosclerosis. 2005 Jul;181(1):115-24.
? Francois CA, Connor SL, Bolewicz LC, Connor WE. Supplementing lactating women with flaxseed oil does not increase docosahexaenoic acid in their milk. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;77(1):226-33. Erratum in: Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;78(4):806.
? Heinemann KM, Waldron MK, Bigley KE, Lees GE, Bauer JE. Long-chain (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids are more efficient than alpha-linolenic acid in improving electroretinogram responses of puppies exposed during gestation, lactation, and weaning. J Nutr. 2005 Aug;135(8):1960-6."


Why do weightlifters care about how omega-3 fatty acids convert to DHA/EPA in breast-feeding moms? Correct me if I'm wrong but lactating mothers and training weightlifters are apples and oranges.


Do you have a pregnant wife or one that might become pregnant? Then you might want to care unless you want your kid to have a higher chance of many birth-defects. Some of us care about the health of ourselves as well as our family and friends outside of our training.

Further, I think you missed the point that alpha linolenic acid doesn't convert well to DHA/EPA biologically period, not just in breast feeding mothers. But using them as a reference, since breast milk is supposedly the "perfect food" and there is little DHA conversion after tons of ALA consumption that should tell us something. Sure you are't a preggo female but this likely means the human body isn't converting the a-linolenic to DHA/EPA at a high enough rate to benefit from vegetal sources. On the other hand when people take marine-based omega 3's or concentrates, which don't need to be converted to DHA/EPA, the blood levels are adequate.

Point being, none of us, man, woman, nor child should be solely relying on flax and/or vetegal sources for our chief supply of DHA/EPA.

Side note: this may be one reason of many why vegetarians don't live as long as meat-eaters, on average.

Is your health not a HYUUGE part of "building your body"????



It's true; our bodies only convert about 1-4% of alpha-linolenic acid into DHA. EPA is readily converted.

This is one of the reasons why dietitians recommend eating more fish.

They are also recommending that pregnant and lactating women take DHA supplements if they don't eat fish.

DHA is especially important during pregancy up to the first 6 months of life.


Not to play chicken little here, but unless we eat "wild fishes" the farm raised variety is not going to provide much DHA either.