Fish vs marine algae omega 3
What is the difference?
In a number of my previous articles I have talked about the wonder nutrient that is omega-3. Heavily researched for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body, this essential fatty acid can be supportive in a range of inflammation-related conditions, including menopause, depression and arthritis, and can be a useful addition to reduce pain and aid recovery. Omega-3 oil supplements come in two main forms: fish and marine. But which is the best one to choose? This is entirely dependent on your preferences. Let’s look at the main differences between the two to help you decide:
Fish and marine omega-3 oils are created from different sources; marine oils are extracted from algae, as algae is naturally high in EPA and DHA (the active forms of omega-3 - to read more about the types of omega 3, click here) and is a cleaner and richer source of omega-3. It is nature's original source of omega-3!. Fish oils are sourced from fish, such as cod and krill; omega-3 is found in such high amounts in fish because they feed on the omega-3-rich algae throughout their lives (1).
Bioavailability simply means how well our bodies can absorb and utilise nutrients - the higher the rate, the more we can use. Although robust research is limited in this area, it has shown that marine omega-3’s bioavailability is comparable to that of fish oils. You can also get some omega-3 in the form of ALA from other food sources such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts and Brussel sprouts, however the body’s conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is not very efficient, so you need to eat a lot more of these foods to get the required amounts (2).
Marine omega-3 oils trump fish oils in terms of sustainability. It is common knowledge that our seas are being overfished, resulting in imbalances in the oceans ecosystems and contributing to climate change. By sourcing our omega-3 directly from the source (algae), we cut out the middle man - or should I say middle fish! Algae can be grown very quickly in comparison to fish too, making algae-based omega-3 supplements a much more sustainable choice (3).
Currently, marine-based omega-3 oils are generally more expensive than fish-based ones; this is most likely due to the effects of supply and demand, as fish oil is most commonly bought and used. However, the sharp rise in veganism across the globe may result in reduced costs of marine omega-3 over time, as people are looking for animal-free alternatives to their usual supplements (4).
Finally, it has been reported that there are significant taste differences between fish and marine-based omega-3 oils. Fish oil often has a strong fish flavour, which some people cannot tolerate; there is also some evidence that due to this, fish oils may cause more digestive complaints. As algae oil tends to have a much more neutral flavour, many people prefer it over fish oil (5).
As you can see, both fish and marine oils are an effective choice in terms of bioavailability. While fish oils are currently more affordable, marine oils may be preferable as they are more sustainable to produce and are more neutral in flavour. Ultimately, the choice is yours - the most important thing is ensuring you are getting enough of these wonderful essential fatty acids.
DEFLAME contains high-quality omega-3 sourced from marine algae along with other powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients like curcumin from turmeric, ginger and indian frankincense, and uses liposomal technology, proven to increase bioavailability by up to 800%. To read more about DEFLAME, head over here.