We believe this to be one of the most important supplements available. This is the only completely vegetarian/vegan DHA with 200mg of DHA per capsule that we know of.
O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA is derived from natural marine sources (golden marine algae) with little fishy odor or aftertaste. It is a highly concentrated, extra strength Omega-3 DHA with special nutraceutical composition having twice the active ingredient of Omega-3 DHA. This supplement supplies Omega-3s which are largely absent in the modern diet.
DOCOSA-HEXA-ENOIC ACID (DHA)
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), a long chain omega-3 fatty acid, is a critical nutrient, that is becoming very deficient in today's refined and heavily processed diets. DHA is a major component of brain tissue, making up around 40% of all fatty acids within the brain, and making up 8% of the weight of the whole brain. It is considered the 'building blocks' of brain and neural tissue, and is essential for the development of our nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life. making it especially vital for expectant and breastfeeding mothers. DHA makes up 50% of the weight of nerve cell membranes. It is also a major component of the retina of the eye.
Dr Dean Ornish recommends taking 3 to 4 grams of fish oil per day, which is equivalent to 360-480 mg of DHA per day. He also notes that "fish contain saturated fat and cholesterol, so fish and fish oils may possibly, in some instances, cause LDL ["bad" cholesterol] levels to increase." Therefore, by taking one or two capsules of O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA you can get the amount of DHA recommend by Dr Ornish, without the potential risk of increasing your cholesterol.
Levels of DHA are found to be extremely low in long term vegans and strict vegetarians, and so supplementing with a rich source of DHA such as O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA will correct this imbalance.
Some available Supplements for comparison
Flax Seed Oil
For the average adult 35 grams of flaxseed oil is necessary for the production of approximately 300 mg of DHA. This is equivalent to 35 x 1000mg capsules, or 2.5 tablespoons of flax seed oil. Obviously, this is a lot of flax seed oil, and the quantities quoted here are for minimal levels of supplementation.
Fish oil typically contains 12% DHA and 18% EPA. Therefore, one gram of fish oil contains about 120 mg of DHA. The effect of fish oil supplementation on LDL ("bad" ) cholesterol varies, and in some people fish oil supplementation has been reported to in-crease LDL levels. Of course, higher supplementation amounts, such as amounts recom-mended by health practitioners today, would increase this risk.
O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA contains DHA that is extracted from microalgae, which is grown in fermentation tanks derived from cultures of golden marine algae isolated from the Pacific Ocean. One capsule of O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA contains 200 mg of DHA. This is the only high-potency source of DHA on the market (other vegetarian sources contain 100 mg per capsule). O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA is free from all contaminants.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the following statements on the O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA label: "Omega-3s such as EPA and DHA have been the subject of considerable scientific research of their beneficial effects in terms of cardiovascular system, central nervous system and other major bodily systems." In addition, the FDA classifies the DHA oil used in O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food ingredient.
In summary, O-Mega-Zen3 +EPA has the following important features:
- It is the only high potency microalgae DHA supplement available on the market, supplying 200 mg of DHA per capsule.
- It is comparably priced to other low potency DHA supplements.
- Your body can convert about 10% of the DHA into EPA (eicosapen-taenoic acid)
In her book Vegan Nutrition, Dr Gill Langley recommends that vegans should reduce their use of omega 6-rich oils such as sunflower oil and include more alpha-linolenic containing oils (such as rapeseed, soya bean or walnut oil) in their diets. This will encourage the formation of more DHA and also to achieve a better balance of EFAs in their tissues. However, the jury is still out on how effective some bodys are on converting the omegas to DHA and EPA. Considering the emotional and physical side effects of deficiency in these nutrients, we believe this DHA supplement is most beneficial to anyone who doesn't eat fish.
It has been recognised since the 1970s that human capacity to convert ALA to EPA and DHA may be limited (Sanders and Younger 1980, Singer, Berger, Wath et al 1986) and subsequent studies have confirmed this (Emken, Adlof and Gulley 1994). In studies of vegans who consume no EPA or DHA, erythrocyte levels of DHA were less than half as high as in omnivores, and supplementation of the vegan diet with ALA-rich linseed oil did not significantly increase DHA levels (Sanders and Younger 1980, Agren, Tormala, Nenonen et al 1995).
Both full term and pre-term infants are capable of synthesising ALA and DHA from their 18-carbon precursors (Carnielli, Wattimena, Luijendijk et al 1996, Sauerwald, Hachey, Craig et al 1996, 1997, Uauy, Mena, Wegher et al 1999) although the amount of DHA produced from ALA may be inadequate (Salem, Wegher, Mena et al 1996, Woods, Ward and Salem 1996). In a primate study, Su, Bernardo, Mirmiran et al (1999) concluded that the contribution of endogenous synthesis of DHA from ALA did not match that of diets with preformed DHA.
The evidence seems clear that the physiological activity of DHA is not the same as its shorter chain precursors and its biosynthesis is relatively inefficient. It is concluded therefore that if DHA is found to be helpful, then it will be most helpful in the form of DHA rather than its precursors.
Extract from: The Vital Role of Essential Fatty Acids For Pregnant and Nursing Women (edited for UK legal reasons)
Recently it has been discovered that the Omega-3 fats are necessary for the complete development of the human brain during pregnancy and the first two years of life. The Omega-3 fat and its derivative, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), is so essential to a child's development that if a mother and infant are deficient in it, the child's nervous system and immune system may never fully develop, and it can cause a lifetime of unexplained disorders.
Further compounding the problem, an estimated 60-70% of all two-month-old babies are bottle-fed, and 75-80% of all four-month-old babies are bottle-fed; few of the powdered baby formulas contain Omega-3 fatty acids. To my knowledge, all baby formulas are made with commercially processed oils which contain high levels of poisonous trans fatty acids and other harmful compounds.
Sadly, the breast milk of many mothers in our country reflects the high trans fatty acid and low Omega-3 content in the average diet. American mothers produce milk that often has only one-fifth to one-tenth of the Omega-3 content of the milk that well-nourished, nut-eating Nigerian mothers provide their infants.
This discovery has far-reaching implications. A study in March, 1991 at the Mayo Clinic of 19 'normal' pregnant women consuming normal diets indicated all were deficient in the Omega-3 fats and to a lesser degree, Omega-6 fats. Another study of Inuit (Eskimo) women, compared to Canadian women, revealed the same deficiencies in the milk of Canadian nursing mothers.
Compounding the problem is our society's pervasive obsession with weight loss programs, which induce women to avoid all fats. The frightening news is that for the past three generations (since the advent of refined oils), the vast majority of the population in North America has not been given adequate nourishment for complete brain development.
Since our mental apparatus is developed in the mother's womb and during the first two years of life, one would be wise to heed the advice of the researchers from the Mayo Clinic study. They suggest that this important fat be supplemented in every pregnancy, and that refined and hydrogenated fats be avoided during this critical period.
A deficiency of the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats causes insufficient milk production and breast engorgement. Flax seed oil has been found to substantially increase milk production in women who are not producing enough milk to nurse their infants. It also often clears up breast engorgement. One woman I know was having great difficulty producing enough milk to nurse her newborn child. Within twenty-four hours of taking flax seed oil, her milk production doubled, and one breast that was engorged opened up, allowing the milk to flow freely.
A healthy mother's milk is high in essential fatty acids, GLA, and other precursors to prostaglandins. Cow's milk is low in essential fatty acids, and other prostaglandin precursors, and is high in saturated fats. For this reason, cow's milk is not an adequate substitute for mother's milk. Neither is baby formula. At a recent international symposium on Dietary Omega-3 and -6 Fatty acids Dr Neuringer, an authority on infant milk, stated that the low Omega-3, high Omega-6 content in infant formulas is of great concern because of the imbalance it causes among the resultant prostaglandins.
Note: Since most adults today are deficient in the Omega-3 fatty acids, nursing mothers may not have sufficient amounts to pass along to their infants.
BBC report on the benefits of omega oils
Is DHA the secret of breastmilk's success?
Serving information: One to be taken daily.
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