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Discussion Starter #1
I have read a lot of mixed information on flax and I have been looking for some hard data on conversion rates from the ALA (or aLNA) found in flax into DHA (which is what we actually need). Well, I finally found something and I can't say that I like it:<br><br><br><br>
"stable-isotope studies using αLNA, which have addressed the question of bioconversion of αLNA to EPA and DHA, have concluded that in adult men conversion to EPA is limited (approximately 8%) and conversion to DHA is extremely low (<0·1%)."<br><br><br><br><a href="http://tinyurl.com/no4n7" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/no4n7</a><br><br><br><br>
I also found a second source saying the same thing:<br><br><br><br>
"Since the capacity of adult males to convert ALNA to DHA was either very low or absent, uptake of pre-formed DHA from the diet may be critical for maintaining adequate membrane DHA concentrations in these individuals."<br><br><br><br><a href="http://tinyurl.com/zh6sc" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/zh6sc</a><br><br><br><br>
I am not about to dump all the flax just yet (and I'm sure that its still good for me), but I do find this a little concerning. The 0.1% contradicts a lot of older information, but my guess is that those figures were never gender separated - women can convert to DHA much better than men, at around 9% according to this same study.<br><br><br><br>
If this is true, either men don't really need DHA, or we are intended by nature to eat fish (!).
 

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Actually the study shows that you have to increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and decrease the intake of omega-6 fatty acids. The turnover of DHA is low and so needs may be easily met in most individuals. I would stick to the flax seeds. Have a look at the end of the disussion of the pdf-file.<br><br>
We are not intended by nature to eat fish!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lothar M Kirsch</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Actually the study shows that you have to increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and decrease the intake of omega-6 fatty acids. The turnover of DHA is low and so needs may be easily met in most individuals. I would stick to the flax seeds. Have a look at the end of the disussion of the pdf-file.<br><br>
We are not intended by nature to eat fish!!!</div>
</div>
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Good point, I wasn't aware of that. Here is the quote:<br><br><br><br>
"The nutritional demands for DHA in healthy adults are likely to be modest as they reflect principally the need to supply DHA to support turnover and resynthesis of cell membranes."<br><br><br><br>
This makes more sense to me. We convert poorly because we don't need to convert any better!<br><br><br><br>
The reason I got onto this whole thing was that I keep reading that we need omega-3, but the follow up to that statement is usually that flax is not a suitable replacement for fish, then they reference the low conversion. I have even read that some people are unable to convert at all.<br><br><br><br>
As a side note, you can get vegan DHA supplements (from algae), so I think I will get some and take one a week or something along those lines just to be safe. I just sort of wanted to think aloud with this thread.
 

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Yeah, the vegan DHA supplements are probably your best bet if you find your body can't convert flax into useable fatty acids. I should probably look into the supplements myself just because I forget to add flax to so many of my meals.
 
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