Last week I posted about fish oils and why I feel they are superior to flax oils for Omega3 and DHA supplementation. With all the research that has been done into our body’s ability to convert the flax into useful DHA I still think fish oils are superior for that purpose. Of course flax seeds are still beneficial on many levels. They just may not be the best source for DHA.
Fish oils admittedly have their own issues though. For one, vegans won’t touch them. ;) Also a diet of fish, flesh or oil, can increase our exposure to environmental toxins and mercury. Low quality fish oils on the market have a high lard content and this is especially bad. Within the body…human or fish, toxins get stored in the fatty tissue if they cannot be expelled. So a fish oil capsule that has a high lard content is getting a concentrated dose of whatever toxins those fish had in their bodies. Yuck.
The higher quality fish oils go through a purification process to remove as much of the lard and toxins as possible but as a commenter last week mentioned this may also mean the good stuff is lost along with the bad. This means there is a good chance that they will add the nutrients and lost components back into the oil but they would likely be synthetic. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are a BAD idea.
So, are we just generally screwed then? Well, my lovely and smart readers (yeah I love you guys) pointed out a solution. We can get Omega3/DHA from algae supplements. In fact this is where the fish get it so it is like going straight to the source. We take algae supplements but I never even connected the dots on it being a relatively pure source of DHA. I searched around the net to see if algae actually has DHA or if it has ALA like flax seeds. From the various sites I found it appears algae does have DHA which is good news. Also the algae for supplements is grown in fermentation tanks and therefore contains no ocean-borne contaminants. Of course not being an ocean grown organism can mean they they are missing out on some of the nutrients they might otherwise get from their eco habitat but no pollution is a good thing too.
My kids and I actually already supplement with algae as I mentioned so we will likely just continue with that and forget the fish oils.
We have some NOW DHA Omega Supreme which has flax seed oil and algae oil. We also have Vitamineral Green which is a raw, organic, whole green food powder which has spirulina and chlorella algae.
I love having such a great community of moms join me here to share thier knowledge. It is a wonderful thing!
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