Oil - Levels of Omega 3 in current blend?


#1

Forgive me if this specific question has been discussed, I searched but couldn’t find an exact answer.

Does anyone know the amount of Omega 3 fish oils, broken down into EPA and DHA? I went to my Dr. for a physical today and explained Soylent to him, and showed him the nutritional info and ingredients. He seemed concerned about 2 things:

  • The packaging didn’t specifically call out Omega 3, and thus he was convinced the oil was there only for fat. He suggested I drop the oil and take an Omega 3 supplement instead. He said if I eat a couple of “normal” meals a week (which I do), that will provide me with plenty of fat that would otherwise be missing from soylent.

(His second concern was Vitamin D, he thinks even 100% might be too low. But my blood test will be able to show those levels so I’m not worried).

So, in regards to oil - I know it’s there for Omega 3, but do we have specific % or measurements? Is there any reason I should or shouldn’t take his advice?

Part of me likes his advice for calorie counting reasons - dropping the oil drops a lot of calories. But I’d rather make sure I get the nutrients I need.


#2

Fish Oil (6.4g) - Fish oil is a popular source of the Omega-3 fatty acids recommended in the diet by the American Heart Association. Though technically only ALA is essential, the conversion factor to DHA and EPA which occurs in the body is poor and direct supplementation is advised.

DHA is found in synaptic membranes of the brain and both EPA and DHA have been found to improve overall mental health and stability.

Soylent contains roughly 1g of each omega-3 fatty acid per day, which is comfortably in excess of the amount recommended by the AHA. The USDA has also made mention of officially recommending EPA and DHA for inclusion in the diet, though the amount is undecided.

That post is a little outdated by now, but there is still fish oil, and probably about that much of it.


#3

So if I’m reading that correctly, there is 1g of EPA and 1g of DHA in the oil, which is actually more than the supplement I used to take (500 mg total, doesn’t have a split).

I’m a bit confused about ALA in that post, is that also part of the fish oil, or is that the canola oil?

Either way, it seems there is no need for concern. I wonder why the omega 3 measurements aren’t on the package. That was pretty much his only red flag


#4

ALA is typically found in plant oils, not in fish oil, so yes, it would come from the canola oil. This graph is always fun to look over. Rapeseed is canola, by the way.


#5

Soylent has 2.5g of omega-3. Scroll down to where it says “What’s Soylent made of?”.

Also the oil is an important part of the nutritional value of Soylent. Vitamins A,D,E and K are fat soluble. Meaning you need fat in the meal your currently eating to absorb them. So while yea you can get the fat from your dinner you may not get the vitamins.

I do agree with your doctor about the level of vitamin D. The FDA’s DRI assumes you go outside with at least 25% of your skin exposed to the sun for 15 minutes without any kind of sunblock on. This can be a problem during the winter.

If your worried about calories just drink less Soylent. Properly mixed Soylent is 1 calorie per milliliter.


#6

Huh, that’s odd. We know there’s 56g of canola oil in a day’s worth of Soylent, and:

56g * 1.094 ml/g * .067 tbsp/ml * 1.3 g/tbsp = 5.34g omega 3 from canola oil alone?

What am I missing here?


#7

Possibly @soylent needs to update the site?


#8

Not sure where you got that… official 1.0 site (and that was not said to be changed in 1.1) says:

The oil blend consists of:
50ml canola oil
10ml Icelandic fish oil (anchovy, herring, and mackerel)

50 ml of canola oil is 46.4 g (oil is lighter than water.)

That implies 4.24 g of omega-3’s from canola, in the form of ALA.

ALA, EPA, and DHA are three different omega-3’s, and your body needs all of them. The body can make EPA and DHA from ALA as necessary, but it’s not very efficient:

The capacity to generate DHA from ALA is higher in women than men. Studies of ALA metabolism in healthy young men indicate that approximately 8% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA and 0-4% is converted to DHA (6). In healthy young women, approximately 21% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA and 9% is converted to DHA (7). The better conversion efficiency of young women compared to men appears to be related to the effects of estrogen (8, 9). Although ALA is considered the essential omega-3 fatty acid because it cannot be synthesized by humans, evidence that human conversion of EPA and, particularly, DHA is relatively inefficient suggests that EPA and DHA may be considered conditionally essential nutrients.

(From the LPI site.)

This is why it’s also recommended to get some EPA and DHA from other sources, like fish oil.


#9

The 56g came from the macronutrient overview blog post I linked to, which is nearly a year old now and possibly out of date. The same blog post says there’s only 6.4g of fish oil, so I’m not sure if the more recent 1.0 site is from an updated recipe or is just crudely rounded. My calculations are correct, but just potentially using outdated numbers.

Even with the updated numbers, that’s still much more than 2.5g of omega-3, and they even increased the fish oil amount.


#10

Ah, right, I was aware of the current site and assumed that it’s more accurate, but you may be right, it may be current and rounded.

I think we can only guess, unless given an official response.