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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you are lacto-ovo, what do you do to ensure you have an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA? Do you rely on plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as flax seeds and walnuts, and if so, do you take a plant-based DHA (microalgae) supplement? Do you rely on DHA-enhanced eggs? If you don't supplement, do you feel confident you get enough DHA from the foods you eat?<br><br><br><br>
This issue has come up several times lately on the vegan board, and I'm wrestling with it. I currently eat a nearly-vegan diet, but I'm very bad about not taking my flax oil, and I'm also becoming concerned that plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids may not be enough without a microalgae supplement because there are questions whether the human body's natural conversion rate of ALA to DHA is really efficient enough for optimal health. The idea of being completely dependent on a supplement for something crucial to my health disturbs me, as it seems to me a whole-foods diet ought to provide optimal health.<br><br><br><br>
I hate to say it, but I've been struggling with the question of whether to allow more DHA-enhanced eggs into my diet, or even *gasp* eat fish once in a while. I'm intellectually not keen on eating fatty fish-- if the FDA warns pregnant women not to eat fatty fish due to contaminants, that's a sign to me that NO ONE should be eating them. The health aspect of the issue is unecessarily complicated by the fact that I've been plagued by cravings for tuna sandwiches lately, and I'm repeatedly telling THAT part of my psyche to take a long walk. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/veryangry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":grr:"><br><br><br><br>
I'd like to know how others handle this issue. (Not so much the fish thing, that's just me ranting, but the egg/plant/supplement thing.)
 

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Just flax seeds for me.<br><br><br><br>
No, I don't think my n3:n6 ratio is sufficient, and probably should take a DHA supplement.<br><br><br><br>
VeganOutreach's article on Omega 3s is pretty relevant to Ovo-Lacto Vegetarians: <a href="http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/fat" target="_blank">http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/fat</a><br><br><br><br>
I have considered DHA eggs, but I don't think I'd be able to find cruelty-free eggs supplemented with flax, so I do not at this time eat any eggs. I can't see myself eating fish, even if a pesco-ovo-diet is healthier.
 

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I have been raising my three chidren - 7, just turned 5, and 2 - vegan.<br><br><br><br>
They love LSA - ground linseed, sunflower and almond - mixed in muslie, sprinked over icecream, porridge, mousse....<br><br><br><br>
Vegan souces of omega 3 - Flaxseed / Linseed oil or powder, walnuts....
 

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Barlean's Flax oil is what I use to get my Omega 3 fatty acids. I am not sure about how many capsules I should take though. Any suggestions? The bottle says 3 to 6 a day. How do I know if 3 is enough or is 6 is too much?
 

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I take a couple of grams of flax oil a day (on top of a regular diet that has some other sources) and don't worry about it. I know fish oil has more directly beneficial forms of the oils, but this is probably good enough. My sense of things as a physiologist tells me that if I consistently supply the precursors for some element my body needs, the enzymes to convert the precursor will be increased and my ability to make that conversion will improve. I have seen one report (preliminary and not overwhelmingly convincing) that this is indeed the case if plant omega-3s are the usual source.
 

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Flax seeds and consequent reduction of omega 6 sources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So no microalgae supplements, then, for you plant-based omega-3 people (other than Bios)? Is this because you're confident your bodies (or your children's) convert enough ALA to DHA for good health, or simply because you haven't thought about it? I didn't think about it for a while, and just figured that using olive oil, canola oil, eating walnuts, and occasionally popping some flax oil in salad dressings would be fine, but now I'm thinking about it, and the more I read, the more I have doubts whether that's really adequate for optimal health.<br><br><br><br>
I read the VeganHealth article, and it didn't provide any new information. The upshot seems to be that there's still a question whether vegans or near-vegans should supplement their DHA. I thought it was interesting and kind of odd that the author mentioned fish and meat as sources of DHA, but not eggs. I'm not sure if that means they don't think eggs are a significant source, or that they just don't want to talk about eggs. Most of the other sources I've read on this issue, including <i>Becoming Vegan</i>, acknowledge eggs as a DHA source. Apparently regular eggs don't have all that much; eggs from hens fed flax seed meal have a lot more.<br><br><br><br>
I do have one burning question: How is one supposed to make a rounded teaspoon of flax oil?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tesseract</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I do have one burning question: How is one supposed to make a rounded teaspoon of flax oil?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:"></div>
</div>
<br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/idea2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":idea:"><br><br><br><br>
You know those little plastic trays people use to make fruit roll-ups in the dehydrator?<br><br><br><br>
Pour the flax oil on the tray and dehydrate it. I have no idea how long it might take or what would be left once the liquid is gone. Or if it would dehydrate much, considering it is oil.
 

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I sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flax seed or flax seed oil on something most days. I also buy some foods that are enriched with flax seed based omega 3 (bread, waffles, peanut butter, etc.).<br><br><br><br>
I also only cook with extra virgin olive oil.<br><br><br><br>
Other than that, I never worry about it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tesseract</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
So no microalgae supplements, then, for you plant-based omega-3 people (other than Bios)? Is this because you're confident your bodies (or your children's) convert enough ALA to DHA for good health, or simply because you haven't thought about it?</div>
</div>
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It's because I'm cheap. If I had extra cash to waste I probably would get the supplements.<br><br><br><br>
However my problem is more that I'm getting way too many Omega 6 fatty acids. It's all about maintaining a proper ratio, and my ratio isn't all too good.
 

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I tend not to worry too much. At this point, we have studies that show reduced cardiovascular risk in people who eat lots of omega-3 fatty acids, and we have studies that show reduced cardiovascular risk in people who eat a vegan diet. We have studies that show omega-3 supplements can help vegans improve various laboratory indicators of adequate omega-3 intake.<br><br><br><br>
What we don't have are studies demonstrating that vegans are dying from cardiovascular disease becuase they don't get enough omega-3's, or that supplementing is improving their cardiovascular health. The studies tend to say things like, "Whether this supplementation improves the already reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with vegetarian diet has yet to be demonstrated."<br><br><br><br>
My body mass index is appropriate, I exercise regularly, my lipid profile is fantastic, and my diet is above average. My cardiovascular system is just not at the top of my list of health concerns these days.
 

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Is wheat germ the same thing?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thinking.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":think:">
 

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i do not get DHA enhanced eggs. i get eggs from pasture raised hens and consume raw milk products from pasture raised animals (goat, cow, and now sheep too). i take flax seed oil right now (to balance out my 3-6 ratio as i transition my diet), and i'll then convert to either Udo's Perfect Blend oil or cod liver oil (the processing of CLO removes heavy metals and thus doesn't have the issues that eating fish has). i'm leaning toward Udo's perfect blend.<br><br><br><br>
also, i have dramaticly decreased my 6 intake, which makes a difference. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Like Zoebird, I think Udo's Oil is great. My naturopath recommends it for vegans.<br><br>
You don't need fish!! Udo's Oil also makes vegan dark chocolate bars high in Omega 3 called Bija Bars.<br><br>
I also bought raw hemp nuts (shelled) tonight. They are good for Omega 3.<br><br>
So is Vega (drink). I'm getting more next pay!!
 

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I put milled flax seeds into my smoothies pretty much every day.<br><br>
I don't actually worry about my DHA, although maybe I should.
 

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Good news for those wanting more DHA. I just saw an ad in Alt Medicine magazine for a vegetarian DHA supplement by NOW:<br><br><a href="http://www.nowfoods.com/index.php?action=itemdetail&item_id=83367" target="_blank">http://www.nowfoods.com/index.php?ac...&item_id=83367</a><br><br><br><br>
DHA Omega Supreme - 12 oz.<br><br>
UPC: 733739018366<br><br><br><br>
Essential Fatty Acid<br><br>
Vegetarian Source of DHA with Flax and Borage Oil<br><br>
100 mg DHA / 240 mg GLA<br><br>
Supports Cognitive Function<br><br>
Supports Eye Health*<br><br>
NOW® DHA Omega Supreme Liquid is a vegetarian blend of unrefined, filtered Organic Golden Flaxseed Oil, Borage Seed Oil, and algae-derived DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). DHA Omega Supreme provides 240 mg GLA and 100 mg DHA per serving. GLA is an essential fatty acid that is important for healthy skin and balanced immune system function. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a critical component of brain and nerve cell membranes. In neural tissues, the presence of DHA facilitates healthy neurotransmitter activity, thereby supporting positive mood and memory. In addition, DHA and GLA are both important for the support of eye health. NOW® DHA Omega Supreme is an ideal supplement for vegetarian, low-fat, or low-protein diets which are often deficient in these essential fatty acids.*<br><br><br><br>
DHA Omega Supreme Fact Sheet<br><br>
Nutrition Info<br><br>
Serving Size 1 TBSP (15 mL)<br><br>
Servings Per Container 23<br><br><br><br>
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value<br><br>
Calories 125<br><br>
Calories from Fat 125<br><br>
Total Fat 14 g 20%*<br><br>
Saturated Fat 15 g 8%*<br><br>
Trans Fat 0 g †<br><br>
Polyunsaturated Fat 10 g †<br><br>
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g †<br><br>
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%<br><br>
Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%*<br><br>
Sodium 0 mg 0%<br><br>
Protein 0 g 0%*<br><br>
Total Oil Blend 14 g †<br><br>
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 6.6 g †<br><br>
DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) 100 mg †<br><br>
ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) 6.5 g †<br><br>
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 2.74 g †<br><br>
Linoleic Acid 2.5 g †<br><br>
GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) 240 mg †<br><br>
Omega-9 Fatty Acids (as Oleic Acid) 2.2 g †<br><br>
* Percent Daily Values are based on 2,000 calorie diet.
 

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I really prefer whole food sources of omega 3. I eat organic, cage free eggs from hens fed flax seeds. I eat nuts (especially walnuts) on a regular basis, and sprinkle food with flaxseed as often as I have chance. I also use organic smart balance buttery spread, which has omega 3's (and no trans fat) instead of butter or margarine. I like the organic version because it has no TBHQ.<br><br><br><br>
Eating dehydrated algae or little capsules full of rancid flax oil does not sound appealing to me.
 

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Cool :) And definitely no need to eat murcury laden rotting fish to get this nutrient! One oz of walnuts has the same amount of omega 3's as 3 oz of fish. And LOTS of people don't eat fish and live perfectly healthy lives.<br><br><br><br>
Here's some info on the power of walnuts ;-)<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=99" target="_blank">http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?t...dspice&dbid=99</a><br><br><br><br>
I'm with YOU on the pregnancy warning thing. Anything that's not particularly safe for pregnant women regarding chemical exposure, isn't safe enough for me, either!
 
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