Do I need an EPA/DHA supplement? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-09-2016, 09:34 PM
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Do I need an EPA/DHA supplement?

Or is a daily tablespoon of ground flaxseed enough? I've read that ALA is converted to EPA and DHA, but there seems to be a lot of conflicting information. Some articles say a decent intake of ALA would be adequate, while others say you should take an EPA/DHA supplement.

Thoughts?

I'm a 15 year-old girl, if that helps at all.
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#2 Old 01-09-2016, 10:28 PM
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Eat a variety of plant foods and you will be fine. No need to stress over every detail. If it would make you feel better, by all means take a DHA supplement. Some people swear by them. I have taken one off and on (Deva vegan DHA) but it really doesn't do much for me. There are many of us who have been vegan for years without tons of supplements and we are doing fine! Avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, chia or hemp seeds are all great sources of ALA. Best wishes!

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#3 Old 01-09-2016, 10:48 PM
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For DHA I have recently decided to start taking it. It could be many years much like B12 before we see problems, and it could vary from person to person.

Thing is I've not been able to find any evidence either way whether flax would be enough for DHA. As far as I know nobody really knows yet. You would think plants would be enough because civilizations have been land locked for ages and they didn't die off. However it's possible a percentage of the population cannot produce enough DHA.

Who knows? I don't. What I do know is that I can be safe for 50 cents a day until I do know for sure.
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#4 Old 01-10-2016, 04:04 AM
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Like @odizzido , I started taking one "just in case" while I was pregnant and have kept on afterward because, well, why not? If you can afford a supplement and there are no risks involved, might as well be certain you're getting enough.
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#5 Old 01-10-2016, 05:00 AM
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I was exhausted last night after getting home late, and forgot to add this link about vegans and DHA:

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/omega3
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#6 Old 01-10-2016, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naturebound View Post
I was exhausted last night after getting home late, and forgot to add this link about vegans and DHA:

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/omega3
I definitely recommend this article. I used to take a algae-derived DHA/EPA supplement, but the prices started going up and up and up. This was around the time fish oil was losing some credibility in preventing cardiovascular disease, so I decided to stop taking it. It looks like the evidence of a beneficial effect of DHA/EPA supplement is questionable at best, although it is unlikely to be harmful. I would feel a little more strongly that a DHA/EPA supplement should be taken during pregnancy and early childhood, as there is some suggestion that DHA and EPA may be involved in brain development.
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#7 Old 01-10-2016, 06:57 AM
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ALA should be fine as long as you are not eating Omega-6s in excess. I have seen a number of 4 (Omega-6): 1 (Omega-3) or less. I have about 3 tbsp of ground flax seeds and focus on monounsaturated rich foods for the rest of my fats. Getting enough omega-6 is never an issue for me.

I also take an algae oil supplement just to be on the safe side. Although it is the most expensive and least necessary supplement I take...
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#8 Old 01-11-2016, 05:20 PM
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Thanks everyone!

I did already read that article, but I still wasn't sure.
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