Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #10

All Plant Based Supplements are as Good as Animal Supplements

The primary example here is that of omega-3’s. It’s very important to realize that not all omega-3 fats are the same, and that the type and source of your omega-3 will make a big difference in the health benefits it provides.

There are three types of omega-3 fats:

• DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)
• EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
• ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid)

Many people do not realize that most of the well-known health benefits associated
with omega-3 fats – such as
mental health, stronger bones and heart health -- are linked to the animal-based omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA), not the plant-based omega-3 fat (ALA).

ALA, which is the type of omega-3 found in
flaxseed and nuts, is converted into EPA and DHA in your body, but only at a very low ratio.

So even if you eat large amounts of ALA, your body can only convert a relatively small amount into EPA and DHA, and only when sufficient enzymes are present.

This does not mean plant-based omega-3 fats are intrinsically harmful or that they should be avoided, only that you ideally want to include an animal-based form as well. Personally, I regularly include omega-3 (ALA) plant-based foods, like flax and hemp, in my diet, but these are always combined with animal-based omega-3 fats.

But in order to reap its most important health benefits, your omega-3 needs to be from an animal source. For more information on this topic, please read through my previous article,
Are You Getting the Right Type of Omega-3 Fats?

For our omega-3 fatty intake, we daily use Mercola's Krill Oil.

Mercola's Medical Myth #9