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natural source of omega 3 where does omega 3 come from where do you get omega 3 algae and omega 3omega 3 from algae

The original, natural source of omega 3: from algae to your plate

Published Oct 23, 2023 | Updated Feb 8, 2024
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Omega 3 fats are known for their numerous health benefits, including improving cognitive function. While many people turn to fish oil supplements as a primary source of omega 3s, an increasingly recognized and sustainable alternative is omega 3 from algae. Let’s explore why algae are the better option to provide you with the omega 3 boost you need.


The origin story: Where does omega 3 come from?

To understand the original source of omega 3, we need to look to the very beginning of the food chain. Algae, tiny aquatic plants, are the primary producers of omega 3s in the marine ecosystem[1]. Fish, which are often talked about as a rich source of omega 3, acquire these essential fats by consuming algae or other marine organisms that have consumed algae themselves. Numerous scientific studies have established algae as the fundamental source of omega 3 in the marine food web as they found that microalgae are rich in the omega 3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)[2,3]. These fats serve as the building blocks of the marine food chain, accumulating in higher concentrations as they move up the food chain. Therefore, when you consume omega 3 supplements derived from algae, you are essentially going straight to the source, bypassing the potential risks associated with the accumulation of contaminants in fish. Therefore, algae is a natural and sustainable choice for omega 3.


Algae: a natural source of omega 3

Fish oil supplements have long been considered a popular choice for obtaining omega 3s. However, there are several reasons why algae-derived omega 3s are a superior option.

  1. Plant-based and vegan-friendly

    Algae-derived omega-3 supplements are entirely plant-based, making them a suitable choice for vegetarians and vegans. They also eliminate the ethical concerns associated with fishing practices.
  2. Effective solution

    An overview of global data demonstrated that algal-based DHA supplements effectively increase blood levels of DHA, showcasing the viability of plant-powered alternatives and supporting their nutritional benefits[4].
  3. Safety and quality

    As mentioned earlier, fish can accumulate toxins such as mercury and microplastic in their flesh[5]. Algae, used for omega 3 supplementation, on the other hand, are bred in special, secured environments, where they are monitored to maintain the highest quality possible. 

Wondering where do you get omega 3 from algae and how to make sure your daily intake is adequate? brain feed developed a sustainable omega 3 supplement from algae oil which provides you with 500 mg of DHA in a vegan capsule. 


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Becoming a brainiac with algae DHA

A huge database collected all over the world, showed that algae-derived DHA provides people with omega 3[6] and offers a wide range of health benefits, making it the superior choice for maintaining overall well-being. EFSA supports multiple health claims regarding DHA’s benefits on cardiovascular health, cognitive function and eye health for adults, unborn children, breastfed infants and older infants[6,7,8,9,10]. Let’s take a look at DHA’s impact on cognition. EFSA claims DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function and maternal intake contributes to the normal brain development of the foetus and breastfed infants[7,8]. A paper on omega 3s showed that adequate dietary consumption of omega 3 fats is necessary for optimal cognitive performance, making algae-derived DHA an excellent choice for brain support[11]. A study on healthy young women also showed that DHA supplementation was more efficient in improving the omega 3 levels compared to EPA[12].


From algae to a capsule

Algae cultivation and the production of algae oil are carefully monitored by the algae farming company. After that comes the encapsulation process to provide you with a small but powerful omega 3 supplement. During the encapsulation process, the exposure, temperature and humidity of algae oil are controlled to ensure that brain feed’s product can remain at its high quality. The oil itself is cooled down in storage twice during a process known as winterisation, and filtered before, after and in between each cooling down step to ensure the oil is as clear as possible. A soy-derived antioxidant, vitamin E, is added to algae oil to help the quality of the oil and keep the fishy taste away. brain feed’s packaging also provides an additional layer of securing the quality of algae oil stays the same. The packaging contains permanent UV light and moisture barriers which ensure the preservation of DHA. brain feed’s DHA meets the needs of the recommended daily intake required to get the benefits and is perfect for anyone with a plant-based diet as it’s made from sustainably sourced algae oil.


Algae farming

Choosing algae-derived omega 3 benefits your health and also contributes to a more sustainable planet. By opting for algae-based omega 3 supplements you’re supporting a sustainable alternative to traditional fish oil consumption. This reduces the pressure on overfished marine ecosystems, helping to protect the oceans. Overfishing is a global concern, with many fish populations at risk of depletion. Algae, on the other hand, can be sustainably cultivated in controlled environments. A report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) highlights the benefits of algae farming, including a reduced strain on marine ecosystems[13]. Reducing the demand for fish oil can help protect marine biodiversity, allowing ecosystems to thrive. Algae can also grow rapidly and efficiently in controlled environments, using minimal resources like water and land. This makes algae farming a highly efficient and environmentally friendly method for producing omega-3 supplements[13].



Algae-based supplements offer numerous health benefits while allowing you to make a positive impact on the planet by supporting sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Make the switch to algae-derived omega 3 for a healthier you and a healthier planet.

 

References

[1] Horrocks, L. A., & Yeo, Y. K. (1999). Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Pharmacological Research, 40(3), 211–225.

[2] Allen, E. E., & Bartlett, D. H. (2002). Structure and regulation of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid synthase genes from the deep-sea bacterium Photobacterium profundum strain SS9 The GenBank accession numbers for the sequences reported in this paper are AF409100 and AF467805. Microbiology, 148(6), 1903–1913. 

[3] Hu, Z., Wu, P., Wang, L., Wu, Z., & Chen, X. D. (2022). Exploring in vitro release and digestion of commercial DHA microcapsules from algae oil and tuna oil with whey protein and casein as wall materials. Food & Function, 13(2), 978–989. 

[4] Stark, K. D., Van Elswyk, M. E., Higgins, M. R., Weatherford, C. A., & Salem, N. (2016). Global survey of the omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in the blood stream of healthy adults. Progress in Lipid Research, 63, 132–152. 

[5] Bajt, O. (2021). From plastics to microplastics and organisms. FEBS Open Bio, 11(4), 954–966.

[6] European Food Safety Authority. (2010). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and maintenance of normal cardiac function (ID 504, 506, 516, 527, 538, 703, 1128, 1317, 1324, 1325), maintenance of normal blood glucose concentrations (ID 566), maintenance of normal blood pressure (ID 506, 516, 703, 1317, 1324), maintenance of normal blood HDL-cholesterol concentrations (ID 506), maintenance of normal (fasting) blood concentrations of triglycerides (ID 506, 527, 538, 1317, 1324, 1325), maintenance of normal blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations (ID 527, 538, 1317, 1325, 4689), protection of the skin from photo-oxidative (UV-induced) damage (ID 530), improved absorption of EPA and DHA (ID 522, 523), contribution to the normal function of the immune system by decreasing the levels of eicosanoids, arachidonic acid-derived mediators and pro-inflammatory cytokines (ID 520, 2914), and “immunomodulating agent” (4690) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 8(10), 1796. 

[7] European Food Safety Authority. (2011). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and brain, eye and nerve development (ID 501, 513, 540), maintenance of normal brain function (ID 497, 501, 510, 513, 519, 521, 534, 540, 688, 1323, 1360, 4294), maintenance of normal vision (ID 508, 510, 513, 519, 529, 540, 688, 2905, 4294), maintenance of normal cardiac function (ID 510, 688, 1360), “maternal health; pregnancy and nursing” (ID 514), “to fulfil increased omega-3 fatty acids need during pregnancy” (ID 539), “skin and digestive tract epithelial cells maintenance” (ID 525), enhancement of mood (ID 536), “membranes cell structure” (ID 4295), “anti-inflammatory action” (ID 4688) and maintenance of normal blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations (ID 4719) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 9(4), 2078.

[8] European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (2009). DHA and support of the cognitive development of the unborn child and breastfed infant ‐ Scientific substantiation of a health claim related to DHA and support of the cognitive development of the unborn child and breastfed infant pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 7(4), 1–14.

[9] European Food Safety Authority. (2011). Scientific Opinion on health claims already evaluated (ID 215, 568, 674, 712, 1398, 1633, 1974, 4191, 4192, 4193, 4236, 4335, 4698, 4704) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 9(6), 2203. 

[10] European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (2009). DHA and support of the visual development of the unborn child and breastfed infant ‐ Scientific substantiation of a health claim related to DHA and support of the visual development of the unborn child and breastfed infant pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 7(4), 1–12.

[11] Muldoon, M. F., Ryan, C. M., Yao, J. K., Conklin, S. M., & Manuck, S. B. (2014). Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Optimization of Cognitive Performance. Military Medicine, 179(11S), 95–105.

[12] Ly, R., MacIntyre, B. C., Philips, S. M., McGlory, C., Mutch, D. M., & Britz-McKibbin, P. (2023). Lipidomic Studies Reveal Specific Circulating Phosphatidylcholines as Surrogate Biomarkers of Omega-3 Index. Journal of Lipid Research, 100445.

[13] Farmed Seaweed (n.d.). World Wildlife Fund. https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/farmed-seaweed

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