Adequacy - Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids for nutrition and medicine: considering microalgae oil as a vegetarian source of EPA and DHA.

Long-chain EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can be co-preventative and co-therapeutic. Current research suggests increasing accumulated long chain omega-3s for health benefits and as natural medicine in several major diseases. But many believe plant omega-3 sources are nutritionally and therapeutically equivalent to the EPA/DHA omega-3 in fish oil. Although healthy, precursor ALA bio-conversion to EPA is inefficient and production of DHA is nearly absent, limiting the protective value of ALA supplementation from flax-oil, for example.

Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets.

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods.

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