Vegan, vegetarian, or just don’t love the taste of fish? Algae is a great plant-based solution to getting your omega-3s. While consuming oily fish was once thought to be the only way to get standard amounts of DHA. It’s now known that fish don’t naturally produce these omega-3s and only have high levels of them because of their algae-rich diet.
In recent years, DHA has been successfully obtained from algae, which has opened up new opportunities for Vegan and Vegetarian Omega-3 supplements like Nordic Naturals Algae Omega and Vegetology Opti3 Omega -3 EPA & DHA and research shows, such options can be extremely effective in meeting one’s DHA requirements.
One recent study had 32 healthy adults consume either algae oil capsules or cooked salmon with an equivalent amount of DHA each day for two weeks. By the end of the trial both group showed comparable increases in their blood levels of DHA, leading researchers to conclude that “algae-oil DHA capsules and cooked salmon appear to be bioequivalent in providing DHA to plasma and red blood cells.” Another 2014 scientific review similarly found that algae serves as an effective alternative source of DHA.
Algae oil is also a safe option when it comes to protecting the environment. Overfishing occurs when fish are caught at higher rates than they can reproduce, which negatively affects ocean food chains, increases global food insecurity, and destroys coral reefs. Algae-based DHA supplements, often harvested from ponds, represents a much more sustainable choice. Plus, algae don’t contain any heavy metals or toxins so there’s no risk of ocean-borne contaminants.