We recently launched our vegan omega-3 food supplements. Here’s why they’re important, when you might need an omega-3 supplement, and why we decided to introduce them.

 

Benefits of omega-3 fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of essential unsaturated fat that play an important role in brain development, cell structure, and hormone production. They’re also linked to reduced inflammation in your body. So it’s really important to get enough — either from food or from a supplement.

When to take an omega-3 supplement

It can be difficult to get enough omega-3 if you don’t eat oily fish regularly or if you follow a plant-based diet. Plant-based foods do contain omega-3s but they’re in the form ALA — a form your body finds hard to use. So if you’re worried you’re not getting enough, a supplement might be right for you.

It’s also possible to measure your omega-3 levels with a blood test. This can help you decide if you need an omega-3 supplement or not.

How much omega-3s do you need?

There are no established UK guidelines on how much omega-3s you need in your diet. Most organisations suggest a minimum of 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA each day for adults.

One or two portions of fish a week has about 450mg of EPA and DHA. So a supplement with about this amount is usually enough.

On top of checking the dose, it’s also important to make sure your supplement contains both EPA and DHA. Some vegetarian supplements only contain ALA which your body can’t use as well.

What’s in our omega-3 supplements?

Form
Our vegan omega-3 supplement is made from a type of algae (Schizochytrium sp.). This is a great source of both EPA and DHA — forms of omega-3s your body finds easy to use.

Interestingly, the reason fish are such a great source of omega-3s is because they eat algae. So by choosing an algae-based omega-3 supplement, it’s a much more sustainable option than fish oil — the less environmental impact the better!

Ingredients
We only use the highest quality, ethically sourced ingredients. Plus our omega-3 supplement doesn’t contain any additives or anything which can limit your body from absorbing it. They’re also free from gluten, wheat, lactose, yeast, sugar, and soy. They also don’t contain any genetically modified organisms (non-GMO).

Why we chose vegan omega-3 supplements

At Thriva, low omega-3 levels are very common — over 85% of the people who have been tested aren’t getting enough! This is why we made sure to include omega-3s in our first supplements range. And because vegans and vegetarians are particularly at risk of having low omega-3 levels, we made sure to find a high-quality vegan source of omega-3. We want our supplements to cater to everyone, especially those most in need.

On top of this, we’re always trying to improve our carbon footprint and minimise our impact on the world. Algae oil is more sustainable than oil from farmed fish.

 

Why are vegan omega-3 supplements more expensive?

Algae oil is highly in demand and scarce. This pushes the cost of the raw materials up for our vegan omega-3 supplements — meaning they’re a bit more pricey. It still only works out at £0.44 per day, worth it if you do need the extra boost.

 

References:

Harris, W. S. (2014). Achieving optimal n–3 fatty acid status: the vegetarian’s challenge… or not–. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 100(suppl_1), 449S-452S.

Foran, S. E., Flood, J. G., & Lewandrowski, K. B. (2003). Measurement of mercury levels in concentrated over-the-counter fish oil preparations: is fish oil healthier than fish?. Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine, 127(12), 1603-1605.

Riediger, N. D., Othman, R. A., Suh, M., & Moghadasian, M. H. (2009). A systemic review of the roles of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(4), 668-679.

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Commercial Manager at Thriva - with a background in public health