Omega-3 intake without fish oil supplements

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but as I recently mentioned, researchers are worried that the overwhelming evidence showing omega-3 health benefits may result in overfishing and the eventual loss of fish species that are rich in omega-3.

So where else can we turn for this vital nutrient?

An HSI member named Jack poses this question about his omega-3 regimen…

“I take 4 tablespoons of a flax meal, rice bran, soy lecithin and chia seed mix with a milk protein shake. I think I am getting a lot of omega 3. How different is that from taking fish oil supplements?”

I put Jack’s question to Dr. Spreen who believes Jack is on the right track…

“Fish oil is rich in EPA/DHA, while flax oil (and flax meal is better) has ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), the base omega-3 from which EPA and DHA are made by the body (and you need ALA for other stuff, too.

“So, in that respect, the flax meal is both full spectrum (as far as omega-3’s are concerned), and free of any fears of mercury toxicity from the fish source of fish oil.

“The kicker comes in concerning how efficiently the body converts ALA to EPA or DHA, a process that suffers more and more as we age (it’s enzyme dependent).

“Adding phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) is a good idea, and chia would pretty much fill out the mix.

“Bottom line: it’s hard to predict how much EPA/DHA Jack is really getting. However, I’d be happy with such a regimen.”

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson