is fish or CLO essential for EPA & DHA? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-18-2007, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I read somewhere that the only sources of DHA & EPA are in fish or fish oil/CLO. Anyone know if this is true or not? We can't do CLO because of my DD's food chemical sensitivities and we rarely eat fish, so I may have to do some supplementing if this is true.
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#2 of 5 Old 10-18-2007, 08:12 PM
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I have seen a vegan supplement of those two that's basically made with algae. I have no idea whether it's in the form the body can use or not. Sorry I'm not more helpful, attack of the mommy brain is pretty severe this afternoon.
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#3 of 5 Old 10-18-2007, 08:24 PM
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I would think there are other sources besides fish. Here is some info I found because I was cusoius about it too--
FYI-It looks like they are selling vegan supplements, but the info seems good.

Limited Conversion
DHA and EPA are not “essential” in our diets, yet we must get enough either through conversion from ALA or from direct sources of EPA and DHA. If sufficient ALA is consumed, healthy people appear to be able to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. Yet it can be a challenge for many of us to produce adequate amounts of EPA and DHA. Thus, many may enjoy benefits from direct sources, and preformed EPA and DHA may improve our health.
1. Include good dietary sources of ALA. These are flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hempseeds, hempseed oil, canola oil, walnuts and green leafy vegetables. Adults aim for 3 to 6 grams per day.
2. Consider including a direct source of EPA and DHA
In theory we should be able to convert the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed to both EPA and DHA. Yet even the Flax Council of Canada concedes that there is little consistent and clear evidence that most of us can efficiently accomplish this conversion. Though our diets may be rich in ALA from flax, EPA and DHA prove to be more effective than ALA in raising EPA and DHA levels. Those who do not eat fish, vegetarians, vegans, women who are pregnant or lactating women, people with conditions linked with poor omega-3 fatty acid status, diabetics, and the elderly may benefit significantly from direct sources of EPA and DHA. High intakes of omega-6 fatty acids, trans fats, or saturated fats inhibit conversion; thus people with diets high in these fats also may need supplemental EPA and DHA.
3. Decrease your intake of omega-6 fatty acids. Diets that are relatively high in omega-6 fatty acids can cut our efficiency of omega-3 conversion in half. Eliminate oils that are omega-6-rich and omega-3-poor: sunflower, safflower, corn, grapeseed, soybean and cottonseed oils. Avoid processed foods containing these oils. Whole foods such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame tahini, tofu, and wheat germ also are sources of omega-6’s; however these are nutrition powerhouses and need not be reduced.

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#4 of 5 Old 10-19-2007, 11:55 AM
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yes, you can get algae derrived supplements and Udo Erasmus' company (Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill--it's a good book) makes an oil that has DHA and is prefectly blended and vegetarian.

it includes evening primrose oil, an oil good for women on many levels, but if you are TTC and have progesterone issues, then EPO is contraindicated. thus, it would be better to use fish oil than udo's oil.

it's called Udo's Perfect Blend DHA btw, and i use it when not TTC. right now, i use it, and i will likely go back to CLO for the first and second trimester and back to the Perfect Blend.
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#5 of 5 Old 10-19-2007, 12:38 PM
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I don't know about the bioavailability of the non-fish oil supplements, but for animal sources I'm pretty sure the deal is that fish and fish oils have much higher levels than anything else. DHA and EPA can, I think, be found in smaller amounts in things like pastured egg yolks and the fat of grassfed ruminants. Nina Planck has written that DHA and EPA are only in fish oil, but then goes on to say that our brains contain large amounts of DHA, and I'm pretty sure that's the case for people who have never eaten fish or fish oil, and the case for other animals whether they eat fish or not. So, that DHA has to come from somewhere, animals other than fish and those that eat fish must have the ability to get it or make it from other sources. I believe I've read that the other animal foods I mentioned above can have varying levels of DHA and EPA depending on what the animal ate. I don't remember what your daughter's food restrictions are.

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