Fish oil is famous for its omega-3 fatty acid content. Yet there are numerous plant foods also rich in omega-3s. Algae oil is the best example, and Mana's got plenty of it.
So, why then does fish oil get more attention than the other sources of omega-3s? The answer is that the omega-3s in fish oil provide different benefits than those from plants. Plant sources typically only contain alpha-linolenic (ALA) omega-3s, whereas fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) omega-3s.
In the text that follows, we will explain what the difference is, why it matters, and why the plant-sourced omega-3s in Mana are superior.
ALA omega-3 fatty acids are essential, as they are the basic building blocks for EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. If you consume a good ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s, the body will convert ALAs into EPAs. EPAs bring a host of benefits; for example, they help prevent cardiovascular diseases in people with elevated triglyceride levels.
If a sufficient amount of EPA omega-3s can be formed in the body, then the excess can be converted into DHA omega-3s. To put the importance of DHAs in perspective, consider that omega-3 fatty acids make up 30% of the brain, and that 97% of these are DHAs.
Mana Has EPAs & DHAs
The following two things are scientifically proven (source: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32012R0432):
- Daily intake of 250 mg of EPAs and DHAs contributes to the maintenance of normal heart function.
- Daily intake of 250 mg of DHAs contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function and vision.
Many people consume too many omega-6s in relation to omega-3s, which makes it difficult for their bodies to produce EPAs, and thus also DHAs.
Almost all nuts, with the exception of walnuts and macadamia nuts, contain high concentrations omega-6s in proportion to omega-3s. The same can be said for olive oil and sunflower oil. When these oils and nuts are heated, the small amount of omega-3s they do contain is oxidized.
In general, anyone who does not eat cold-pressed flaxseed oil or canola oil, raw hemp seeds, ground chia seeds, or walnuts, and at the same time avoids sunflower oil, olive oil, and safflower oil, will either not get enough ALA omega-3s, or will get too many omega-6s.
Chia and flax seeds are rich in omega-3s, while sunflower seeds and almonds are rich in omega-6s.
If you do not get enough ALA omega-3s, your body will not be able to form EPAs or DPAs. The safest solution then, is to consume EPAs and DHAs directly.
As aforementioned, an easy source of EPA and DHA omega-3s is fish oil. The problem with this, however, is that fish tend to consume significant amounts of plastic and are frequently contaminated with heavy metals.
Fatty predatory fish, such as tuna or mackerel, accumulate pollutants to a particularly high degree. This fat is what is processed into fish oil. Of course, some companies filter these pollutants out, but the question remains of whether it is ethical to overfish the oceans in the first place.
In the simplest of terms, fish oil does not make ecological sense, and it is a potential threat to human health.
If we really want to enjoy the health benefits of EPAs and DHAs, we should look to the origin of the food chain, because fish do not produce these fatty acids themselves; they get them from food.
Wakame seaweed salad. Seaweed, or algae, is a food essential to some cultures, most notably in Asia. In western cultures, however, it is rarely served.
What food in particular? Fish get their EPAs and DHAs from algae - the only purely plant source thereof. And fortunately for humans, certain microalgae such as Schizochytrium can be pressed into oil.
Algae is a primary source of EPA and DHA omega-3s.
Microalgae oil has none of the negatives or potential negatives of fish oil. No animal needs to be killed to make it, and it is produced using freshwater turbines, so it is 100% free of pollutants from the ocean.
Microalgae oil is a future-oriented innovation for an ethical diet that supplies an adequate amount of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
This is why we decided to make it a key ingredient in Mana. And since we know of no other food on the meal replacement market that contains it, we believe it is part of what makes Mana unique.
One serving of Mana Powder or Mana Drink delivers 9 mg of EPA omega-3s and 221 mg of DHA omega-3s.