Omega 3 fatty acids - we need to know which and in what proportions


#1

It’s important to know which Omega 3s we’re getting. 2.5 grams is great, but of what?

ALA is pretty much not what we need. EPA and DHA are harder to come by, ALA doesn’t convert easily to EPA, and EPA doesn’t convert easily to DHA. We need EPA to DHA in about a 2 to 1 ratio.

Biological sources of Omega 3 will contain EPA and DHA, while plant sources won’t, making things like flaxseed oil basically useless.

I can’t find any information on which omega 3s are in Soylent, just that there are “Omega 3s”. Please disclose which oils specifically please.


#2

I feel like I remember seeing exact ratios on omega 3 ratios, but I can’t directly confirm it, as I don’t recall exactly where off the top of my head.

As far as EPA/DHA being included, the macro overview confirms:

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.

“1g of each” does imply a 1:1:1 ratio, but I’m not sure if absorption rates or anything else affects the actual uptake ratios.


#3

Well, if EPA and DHA are only possible to get from animals, then I have never had any in my entire life (41 years). I’m kinda leaning towards them not being so essential, if that is in fact the case.


#4

Damn, too much DHA then. When you have EPA:DHA 1:1 then it reduces the efficacy of EPA. We dont’ synthesize EPA and DHA well from ALA, I guess they say this above. But yeah, 1g of EPA is good, but more than 300g of DHA isn’t helping, it’s slightly reducing the point of the EPA.

Many studies show the same benefits of EPA without DHA at all.


#5

I think that’s where

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.

comes in. You can get by with only ALA, but it’s less efficient to do so.


#6

Aha… gotcha. And like most things with nutrition I imagine everyone’s needs are individual as well, so it’s probably hard to pin down into a one-size-fits-all solution.


#7

“Biological sources of Omega 3 will contain EPA and DHA, while plant sources won’t,”

Actually, there are very suitable algae-based sources for EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The problem is only to find a supplier.

Besides, plants are also “biological sources”. Maybe you meant “fish-based sources”? If so, you should know that recent studies do not indicated a benefit from fish-based EPA and DHA.

Source: http://richarddawkins.net/2014/07/fish-oil-supplements-sound-science-or-mostly-hype/