Are Vegans/Vegetarians Deficient in Omega-3?

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1:50
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Published Date:
01/15/2014
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Interviewer: When it comes to Omega-3s, people with a vegan or vegetarian
diet, are they often deficient since we thought, you know, it just came
from animal sources?

Dr. Berzin: Right, okay. So, there are other alternative sources for Omega-
3 from plants. Chia seed, for instance, et cetera. These sources are sort-
chain PUFA's, okay. It's called ELA, for instance, okay. They need to be
metabolized in the human body to the EP and DJ which is the long-chain
PUFAs. The rate of this metabolism is 5%. So, you need, to eat to get 20
times more ELA to get the same benefit of EP and DJ, 15% of the population
do not have the enzymes to convert ELA to EP and DJ. Again, so I think it
could be a potentially a severe deficiency and especially with a rise in
Omega-6 amount in our diet, Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio is of interest. Omega
is inflammatory and you want to make sure that the balance of 6 and 3 is
balanced. So, yeah it is a concern and one of the interesting markets on
this topic is India. There's a majority of vegetarians. They would rather,
eat or get the Omega-3 from vegetarian sources and it's just an example.
But I think even for the same guy that wants a healthy steak at the end of
the day, he would prefer to get his Omega-3s from the source and not from
his 3rd and 4th hand. So, I think it's not exclusive for vegetarian people.
Information

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Dr. Isaac Berzin discusses omega-3 levels in vegans or vegetarians. He has developed an omega-3 from algae. He talks about getting it from that source rather than further down the food chain as in fish or other marine animals.

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