Are Vegan Omega 3 Supplements as Good as Fish Oil?


Omega 3 fats come in a few different main forms.

ALA is the type you’ll find in most plant sources of omega 3s, and in most vegan recipes with omega 3 fats in them.

It’s the hardest to absorb in the body, and has a low conversion rate to more useful forms like DHA and EPA.

However, supplements are another story.

Comparing Vegan Omega 3 Supplements to Fish Oil

deva liquid omega 3s

While there are some vegan omega 3 supplements that mainly have ALA, the best vegan omega 3 supplements are made from algae.

More specifically, algal-oil.

These algae-based supplements give you DHA and EPA, the 2 best forms of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids.

For non-vegans, fish oil supplements, or even fish itself, are great sources of DHA and EPA. They’re the gold standard.

So it’s reasonable to wonder if vegan omega 3 supplements are as good as fish (or fish oil capsules).

Luckily, I came across a study that looked at this exact question.

Here’s what you need to know about the study:

  • 32 healthy men and women were put in randomized groups.
  • One group was given 600 mg of DHA per day from algal-oil supplements.
  • The other group was given the same amount of DHA in the form of fish (cooked salmon).

They found that DHA from algal-oil capsules were just as effective as getting it from fish.

That makes sense intuitively, since fish get their omega 3s from algae in the wild, but it’s nice to have data backing it up.

In both groups, the plasma levels of DHA went up by about 80%.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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