Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Critical Brain Nutrients: Mental Health Harms from Dietary Advice - and Potential Solutions - BOOK HERE

Algal-oil supplements are a viable alternative to fish-oil supplements in terms of docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3; DHA)

Ryan L, Symingtona AM (2014) Journal of Functional Foods  DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2014.06.023 

Web URL: Read more and related articles on the ScienceDirect website here


In an open-label randomized pilot study 31 healthy adults were recruited to consume 600 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/d sourced from either algal-oil capsules or fish-oil capsules for a period of 2 weeks. The groups were divided into three categories for analysis: omnivore fish-oil (OF) (n = 10), omnivore algal-oil (OA) (n = 9), and vegetarian/vegan algal-oil (V) (n = 12). After the 2-week supplementation period, the % DHA levels increased significantly (p < 0.05) in all groups. In terms of bioequivalence, when adjusted for weight, the % change in DHA significantly increased (p < 0.05) in group OA compared with group OF. In addition, when comparing all three groups, there was no significant (p > 0.05) difference in the final % DHA levels, despite the significantly (p < 0.05) lower levels of DHA in the V group at baseline. These results indicate that algal-oil supplements are a sufficient and viable source of DHA for both fish and non-fish eaters alike.