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Rates of ALA conversion to EPA/DHA


Guest xzebrasx
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I see a lot of sports nutrition specialists recommending people take 6-10 capsules of fish oil a day to cover their EPA/DHA needs. "Standard" fish oil pills contain roughly 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA, so 10 pills will yield just a little over 1g of both. My question is this - how much ALA does it take to get a similar amount for a vegan? I know that there are plenty of studies showing different conversion rates (5% up to 36% or so), but is there any consensus on this issue? An intake of 25g of n-3 and 25g of n-6 (thus a ratio of 1:1) at a conversion rate of as low as 5% would still yield approx. 500mg of both... or not? Can anyone shed some light on this?

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Research suggests that the conversion from SCn-3 to LCn-3 adjusts if the persons do not consume dietary source of LCn-3. The conversion rates measured in labs often give a false picture since they don't consider the fact that the body might not need more LCn-3 and therefor does not desaturate ALA.Just some thoughts.

25 grams of n-3 should be plenty. If you are really worried maybe you should invest in some algea capsules.

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Research suggests that the conversion from SCn-3 to LCn-3 adjusts if the persons do not consume dietary source of LCn-3. The conversion rates measured in labs often give a false picture since they don't consider the fact that the body might not need more LCn-3 and therefor does not desaturate ALA.Just some thoughts.

25 grams of n-3 should be plenty. If you are really worried maybe you should invest in some algea capsules.

 

If only I had the money, I'd buy the supplement and not create threads like this one

 

One concern with a high intake of ALA is that it might be harmful to the eyes in the long-run, I hear. Although it wasn't specified what is considered a "high" intake. It's mentioned in the article about Omega-3s, on veganhealth.com

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Research suggests that the conversion from SCn-3 to LCn-3 adjusts if the persons do not consume dietary source of LCn-3.

 

Yes I think it probably works the way your body treats iron. For an example of a likely similar body process:

 

From what I have read and heard from doctors (Dr. Neal Bernard was discussing this on a show last weekend, as a matter of fact), if your diet is lower in iron, your body produces more ferritin, which is a protein that increases storage and release of iron. If your diet is high in iron, your body produces less ferritin, to cut down storage.

 

This is why non-heme iron (plant-based) might actually be superior to heme iron (animal sourced) while most critics opine that non-heme is inferior. Critics often cite that non-heme iron is less absorbed by your body so it is inferior to animal based iron which is more easily absorbed. But actually it is not less absorbed; it is just more sensitive (its absorption can be amplified or retarded by body chemistry), therefore your body can better control it, as I wrote in the first paragraph. Whereas, your body can not control heme iron absorption as easily, since it is much less sensitive to the body's chemistry, so if you eat too much heme iron, your body will have to deal with the higher amount since iron is toxic if you get too much and your body can not easily retard the absorption of heme-iron. But if you eat too much non-heme iron, your body just retards the absorption through its own chemistry and then it does not have to deal with the excess or if your diet is low, it amplifies the absorption.

 

I do not know on DHA specifically but I would assume your body's chemistry handles it similarly, therefore plant based ALA is probably easier to managed along similar chemistry processes than actually consuming EPA from an animal source like fish which would not be as controllable but this is just a guess based on the fact that our bodies work as a system to regulate resources like that and my lay person understanding of how the body handles heme and non-heme iron.

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  • 2 weeks later...
This is why non-heme iron (plant-based) might actually be superior to heme iron (animal sourced) while most critics opine that non-heme is inferior.
This is very interesting, where did you hear about this?

 

 

I have read it in Dr. McDougall stuff before and Dr. Neal Bernard briefly discussed it on a radio show recently.

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