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Up Your Vitamin D3 & Omega-3 Levels With This Sustainable Supplement

When we think about omega-3s, the first product that comes to mind is fish oil. Fish oil is a traditionally ideal source of omega-3 fatty acids, as it offers EPA and DHA–the types of omega-3s the body uses most effectively. mbg’s own omega-3 potency+ uses sustainably sourced anchovy oil to provide 1,500 milligrams of EPA plus DHA.

So, what does algal oil offer that fish oil doesn’t? It allows vegans, vegetarians, and people who don’t or are unable to eat fish to consume a DHA-rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. As mentioned above, the fish obtain their omega-3s from the algae they eat in the ocean, so you can think of the algal oil as going directly to the source.

Even though algal oil is not as high in EPA and DHA as fish oil because of how both of these PUFAs increase as you follow the food chain up, it is a valid source of omega-3s–especially for those who don’t have fish in their diet.

If you’re familiar with plant-based sources of omega-3s, you may be asking why flaxseed and walnuts aren’t enough to satisfy your body’s need for fatty acids. Most plant-based sources of omega-3s provide ALA (the precursor to EPA and DHA in the body), but the body is really inefficient at converting ALA to EPA and DHA.

Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University confirm this physiological challenge, citing research from the British Journal of Nutritionthat found only 8% and less than 4% of ALA was converted to EPA and DHA, respectively, in healthy young men; while 21% and 9% of ALA converted to EPA and DHA, respectively, in healthy young women.

“Making EPA and DHA from ALA is possible but very inefficient, and achieving optimal omega-3 index levels is nearly impossible with only ALA,” president and founder of the Fatty Acid Research Institute William S. Harris, Ph.D., previously shared with mbg.

mindbodygreen’s own vice president of scientific affairs, Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, notes that getting enough of all three types of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is critical for optimizing whole-body health.* (Another reason for plant-based eaters to embrace the use of an algal oil supplement for that all-important DHA.)

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