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A Better Vegan Omega-3 Supplement?

A Better Vegan Omega-3 Supplement?

Article by Don Goldberg

EPA and DHA are the beneficial compounds in omega-3 fatty acids, and are plentiful in fish oil. But many people would prefer plant-based omega-3s to animal-based sources. Until now, they have been limited to sources such as flax seed oil, where the EPA and DHA must be synthesized in the body from other omega-3s such as alpha linolenic acid (ALA). The efficiency of this conversion has been called into question, however.

Now, a better alternative source of omega-3 fatty acids is available ahiflower oil! This new plant derived oil is unique in that it contains stearidonic acid (SDA) as well as GLA. Neither SDA nor GLA require the enzymatic conversion within the body that is necessary for ALA from flax seed oil. Therefore, the level of actual EPA and DHA is much higher. In fact, according to the manufacturer, human clinical trial results show that ahiflower  oil has up to four times (4x) more efficient conversion to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) than flaxseed oil.

In this study, 40 healthy adults took two teaspoons of ahiflower oil per day, or the same amount of flaxseed oil.

After 28 days, levels of EPA increased in both groups, but were higher in the ahiflower group. DHA levels also increased for ahiflower compared to flax.

"Doctors said it is the higher levels of the omega-3 stearidonic acid in ahiflower that convert to EPA and DHA at a higher rate than ALA."

Not to be overlooked is the fact that each capsule of ahiflower oil also contains 34 mg of GLA. GLA is normally available in supplements from borage oil, black currant oil, or evening primrose oil. 

(Reference: Journal of Nutritional Science; 2016, Vol. 5, e2)

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