Tag Archives: DHA

Nutrition Facts – Omega 3

I recently came across a useful website for anyone interested in the latest research on nutrition. It’s called ‘NutritionFacts.org‘.  

As a researcher by profession, I’m always keen to access the latest studies on whatever subject currently grabs my attention.  For the past 8 years (since Lil’ L was born), I’ve had a keen interest in nutrition. To keep up with the latest research, I’ve spent hours scouring the online scientific and medical journals.

So you can imagine how excited I was to discover that a certain Dr Greger, funded by The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation, is doing this for us. And even better, he’s publishing the findings in a bite-size, easy to understand format online. 🙂

Recently, I’ve been thinking about omega-3 and DHA.  As a vegetarian family, we mainly source our omega 3 from flaxseed (linseed), walnuts and hempseed. We tend to sprinkle ground flaxseed and chopped walnuts on our breakfast cereal.  We also mix walnut oil or hempseed oil into our main dinners. Lately, though, I’ve been wondering whether we should use flaxseed oil instead of the ground seed. Does the oil contain a more concentrated dose of nutrients? Over to Dr Greger…

 

Isn’t it incredible how much goodness is contained in those little flaxseeds!

I’ve noticed that chia seeds have been mentioned a lot lately as a good source of omega-3. I was wondering whether chia seeds have a higher nutritional value than flaxseed.  In less than 2 minutes, Dr Gregor had given me the answer:

 

He certainly puts some effort into livening up those videos! 😉 

Continuing on the subject of omega-3, I’ve read a few articles that have mentioned that the rate of conversion of omega-3 into EPA and DHA (which give protection against heart disease and ageing of the brain) varies from person to person. In one article, in particular, it stated that the rate of conversion was lower in males compared to females.

While our family has never taken supplements, I’m now debating whether to adopt a ‘belt and braces’ approach and give Lil’ L a marine-algae DHA supplement, just to make sure he gets adequate levels of DHA. These supplements are made of the marine algae from which fish get their DHA.

It makes sense (to me anyhow) to consume the DHA directly, rather than killing and eating the fish to get to their supply of DHA. Plus, the level of pollutants in fish these days is worringly high (thanks mainly to the humans that have accidentally polluted our seas). Mercury and petrochemical pollution is found in most fish nowadays and avoiding these pollutants is more important in infants, toddlers and children, as their growing cells are more sensitive to the damaging effects of toxic pollutants. Dr Furhmann et al have stated that fish is simply too polluted a food to rely on as a DHA source for children and they don’t recommend feeding young children fish in an attempt to supply them with their requirements of DHA.

These signs are popping up everywhere.

I probably will buy some DHA supplements for Lil’ L, but I’ll do a little bit more research before I ultimately make a decision.

I would love to know what your stance on DHA supplementation is.  Do you take supplements? Or do you simply try and get sufficient intake of Omega 3 through your diet?

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