See the bottom of this page for the ingredients highest in omega 3 ALA
What is omega3 ALA?
It is a fatty acid that is essential for human health and cannot be created by our bodies and so must be obtained from our diets.
The food composition data shows that omega 3 is present in many foods in an 'undifferentiated' form but most of the research has focused on ALA and EPA/DHA forms for specific health benefits.Why does it matter to me?
- There have been a significant number of human studies into the benefits of this fatty acid providing strong evidence that consumption of omega 3 is highly beneficial.
- Studies have shown that omega 3 is critical to skin health.
Omega 3 ALA and EPA/DHA
- Human studies have also shown that increasing omega-3 ALA by a tiny amount (1 gram) per day is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of heart disease (specifically coronary heart disease).
The omega -3 obtained from sources such as flaxseed oil can be converted by an enzyme in the body to the usable and powerful form of omega -3 EPA/DHA which is obtained in the highest amounts from oily fish, (interestingly woman are better at this conversion probably due to estrogen).
Omega 3 ALA is found in the highest amounts in seed oils and we need to convert this to the more powerful EPA/DHA form.How much do I need?
In women approximately 21% of dietary ALA is converted to omega 3 EPA and 9% is converted to omega 3 DHA.
In men approximately 8% of dietary ALA is converted to omega 3 EPA and 0-4% is converted to omega 3 DHA.
The RDA (average daily intake to protect health for 98% of the population) for omega 3 ALA is an AI (adequate intake) of 1.1g per day for women and 1.6g per day for men, this is due to a lack of comprehensive data to arrive at an RDA.
More may be required to fully protect health particularly for men as the conversion rate to EPA/DHA is lower, members of checkyourfood.com can set their own RDAs in their account settings.
Recent evidence has shown that omega 3 supplements may provide only minimal benefit, as the omega 3 from food is combined with many other nutrients, which contribute to the overall benefit of a diet rich in omega 3's. See link below to the Science Daily.
RDA information for omega 3 ALA:
The RDA for omega 3 ALA is only applicable if you have no source of omega 3 EPA/DPA as this would replace the need for omega 3 ALA in your diet.
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