Omega 3 question

Darkmetman86

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Hi all,

I have a question regarding omega 3 ALA absorption I hope someone can help me with please? I consume soaked chia (2 tbsp) and ground flax (1 tbsp) virtually everyday in a smoothie with 1.5 cups of oats. So my question is, seeing as oats are full of soluble fiber which is helpful at reducing fat absorption, does this mean all fats or just sat fat and cholesterol? I have tried finding some articles/studies to answer this question but to no avail, they only mention fat in general terms or sat fat etc.

The reason I ask is because I recently took a omega 3 index test and my results were pretty shocking considering how good my diet is 99% of the time. I had very low ALA, EPA and DHA, high AA and sat fat. I've read/heard that these tests are not particularly reliable or even relevant as there is very little evidence for a number of questions related to the omega 3 area of study. Plus the company that did the analysis are a supplement company with a omega 3 product available which makes me even more suspect.

But anyway, any thoughts or credible information would be appreciated.

Many thanks,
 

Lou

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Huh. Good question. I usually put just one tbsp of ground flax seed in my morning oatmeal. I thought that was the best strategy. maybe not.

I know that you can order an omega 3 test when they do blood tests. but it is not part of the typical screening. I was going to ask my doctor for one next time I see him. You might do that too and then we can meet back here and compare results.
 
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Darkmetman86

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Hi Lou,

Thanks for your reply, you would think if mixing oats and omega 3's was an issue then it would be mentioned somewhere, I guess I'm just trying to work out if there's anyway my omega index tests could be accurate but I think they're just BS to be honest.

I don't think in the UK you can can omega 3 tests done via our public health service, hence why I did a private omega 3 index test. I've read though that these are not particularly reliable, accurate or relevant so are probably a waste of money. Whereas a tissue sampling and analysis would be a better option or even a specific type of screening that measure omega 3 uptake in the brain (can't remember the name) but I doubt these are available privately let alone on our NHS.

Thanks
 

Whoa182

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The conversion process into EPA and DHA can vary depending on age, sex, and genetics, and perhaps calorie intake. Women are better than men at converting ALA into EPA and DHA due to higher levels of the enzyme required for conversion and estrogen. Having a diet lower in LA can also help.

"Studies of ALA metabolism in healthy young men indicate that approximately 8% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA and 0-4% is converted to DHA (6). In healthy young women, approximately 21% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA and 9% is converted to DHA " https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids

You could try to increase your sources of ALA and reduce LA, and this may increase EPA. I wouldn't worry too much about DHA... although it is important, if you have an otherwise healthy diet (lots of veggies and fruits), your risk from heart disease is much lower, so no further benefit may be derived from higher DHA.

There is also the fact that by increasing DHA in the diet, these are incorporated into cell membranes so there is a higher level of lipid peroxidation and perhaps faster aging. The only caveat I'd add to that is that there might be a 'net benefit' for people taking DHA who are prone to inflammatory disorders, high levels of CVD unrelated to diet in the family. EPA appears to be more beneficial for preventing psychiatric problems.

Algal oil is as effective as fish oil for increasing DHA, so if you're concerned about getting enough, you could just take an algal oil supplement.
 
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Paul K

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Hi all,

I have a question regarding omega 3 ALA absorption I hope someone can help me with please? I consume soaked chia (2 tbsp) and ground flax (1 tbsp) virtually everyday in a smoothie with 1.5 cups of oats. So my question is, seeing as oats are full of soluble fiber which is helpful at reducing fat absorption, does this mean all fats or just sat fat and cholesterol? I have tried finding some articles/studies to answer this question but to no avail, they only mention fat in general terms or sat fat etc.

The reason I ask is because I recently took a omega 3 index test and my results were pretty shocking considering how good my diet is 99% of the time. I had very low ALA, EPA and DHA, high AA and sat fat. I've read/heard that these tests are not particularly reliable or even relevant as there is very little evidence for a number of questions related to the omega 3 area of study. Plus the company that did the analysis are a supplement company with a omega 3 product available which makes me even more suspect.

But anyway, any thoughts or credible information would be appreciated.

Many thanks,
Hi!
I completed a degree in nutrition & dietetics / biology. I can tell you that it is best to eat fats with a fatty meal for better absorption. In terms of conversion of plant based omega 3s to their usable forms in the human body the conversion is typically around 5-10% AFTER the fats are absorbed. You may not be absorbing the fats 100%. Some people are better at converting the omega 3s into their usable forms than other.

Oats have b-glugans in them that stop bile re-absorption in the intestine. Bile is used to digest fats that we eat, after bile binds to the fats we eat they are transported outside of the intestine then the bile is reused/re-absorbed. The body wants to naturally be as efficient as possible and conserve resources naturally. The b-glucans in oats stop some of the bile from re-absorption. This forces the body to produce more bile by converting cholesterol to bile. This then lowers your cholesterol because your body "uses" it up. During this process of oats + other high beta glucan foods may lower your ability to absorb fats (nothing is guaranteed).

Since you are trying to increase your uptake of the fats, eat it with a more fatty meal lower in b-glucans.
 

Lou

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Since you are trying to increase your uptake of the fats, eat it with a more fatty meal lower in b-glucans.

Thanks I think I understood half of that.

So no more flax seed in oatmeal? Flaxseed in guacamole?
 

Paul K

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Thanks I think I understood half of that.

So no more flax seed in oatmeal? Flaxseed in guacamole?
sorry didn't mean to sound confusing, yeah just eat it when you are eating fattier things, try to enjoy it. Maybe add a source of fat in a smoothie if you want to. Flax isn't the greatest tasting seed so it would probably ruin your guacamole. Also remember flax always needs to be ground up, whereas chia seeds don't. I personally never eat/ or like flax at all brutal tasting seed, i'd pay extra for the chia any day. You can make a coconut/chia jello as well, coconut is high in fat
 
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Lou

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sorry didn't mean to sound confusing, yeah just eat it when you are eating fattier things, try to enjoy it. Maybe add a source of fat in a smoothie if you want to. Flax isn't the greatest tasting seed so it would probably ruin your guacamole. Also remember flax always needs to be ground up, whereas chia seeds don't. I personally never eat/ or like flax at all brutal tasting seed, i'd pay extra for the chia any day. You can make a coconut/chia jello as well, coconut is high in fat


Hmm. interesting. oh you know sometimes I have a breakfast smoothie. ground flax, peanut butter, soy milk, and a banana. That should work great. I have both chia and hemp seeds in stock. I think i had a good reason to prefer flax. Maybe the amount of omega 3. but I can't remember. Maybe I'll check later.
 
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Lou

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I don't understand this statement. Is this what you meant to say? If it is, would you mind translating it? It sounds like "the more fat the better" ... the way I'm reading it...?
I think he meant it is better to eat omega 3's with other fats.
 

Paul K

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Yes it is better to have the Omega 3 supplements with fatty meals or just with meals (meal doesn't have to be that fatty just a small amount of fat)