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EPA/DHA Supplements

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:40 am
by gaz
I take Opti3 DHA/EPA capsules every day. Does anyone know if I need to worry about getting ALA short chain fatty acids into my diet too with flax seeds etc. or will the capsules give me all the omega 3 fats that I need?

Re: EPA/DHA Supplements

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:52 am
by Lordmuppet
flax seeds will cover you for ALA as far as I know :) Just make sure to grind them.

Re: EPA/DHA Supplements

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:28 am
by tal
I take the same caps, but only for the DHA/EPA, up to 4 a day. I get at least 70-80g of fat per day from food, some of which is from hemp oil, mixed seeds and the rest from other sources.

I don't think anyone would recommend that you only use that supplement for your lipid needs.

Re: EPA/DHA Supplements

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:46 pm
by sergio
That's a good question. ALA can form DHA/EPA long-chain omega−3 fatty acids, but I wouldn't avoid it just because using supplements. It's another essential fatty acid and I guess it has importance on it's on own, not just because its ability to form the latter. But I'm guessing.

I'm still a bit confused about some facts about Omega 3, I've been tempted to make a poll and see how people are adressing this issue.

Re: EPA/DHA Supplements

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:17 am
by hardcore iv
It's interesting to note that there's some evidence that vegans are better at converting ALA to EPA than fish eaters and maybe supplementing with EPA/DHA could inhibit endogenous production. So we could be making ourselves more reliant on the supps rather than saving money by getting a tablespoon of flaxseeds into us everyday instead?

Re: EPA/DHA Supplements

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:11 am
by sergio
[quote="hardcore iv"]It's interesting to note that there's some evidence that vegans are better at converting ALA to EPA than fish eaters and maybe supplementing with EPA/DHA could inhibit endogenous production. So we could be making ourselves more reliant on the supps rather than saving money by getting a tablespoon of flaxseeds into us everyday instead?

I'm reluctant to having a EPA/DHA supplement, mainly because I'm on a really tight budget, but since all the evidences seems incomplete or inconclusive a lot of people could want having both, or at least a moderate amount of EPA/DHA.

@gaz: Jack Norris answered a similar question here with no further explanation http://jacknorrisrd.com/dha-and-fish-eating-cultures/

[quote]A question re ALA and DHA/EPA after reading ch 5 in Vegan For Life. If I do take a DHA/EPA supplement 2-3 times a week, does that lower/raise the needed ALA intake or is that constant?

Jack Norris RD Says:

Taking DHA does not change the recommendations we give for ALA on p. 5

Another significant quote coming from a nutritionist here http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3/

[quote]It is not known if ALA has substantial health benefits as is, or whether it must be converted to EPA and DHA to produce most of the benefits. My current interpretation of the science is that ALA is important to nutrition because it is an essential fatty acid, and that at least part of its benefits come from its conversion to EPA and DHA. I don’t advocate that vegans take n-3 supplements if they are getting ALA from vegetable oils, vegetables, walnuts, and other vegetarian sources as described above.

However, I think it's worthy having a look at O6/ O3 ratios to check if they're fine or totally unbalanced on a daily basis.