Is algae oil a good vegan source of omega-3?
Omega-3 is a form of important fatty acid beneficial to health that should be included in our diet because our body can’t synthesize Omega-3. DHA is an Omega-3 fatty acid found in algae.
Sometimes we interchange the words algae oil with algal oil. Omega-3 algae (algal) oil consists of the blue-green algae, brown algae, chlorella, and about 40,000 species from single-cell microalgae to seaweed and kelp.
These algae and seaweed rely on UV light and carbon dioxide for energy. Omega-3 algae (algal oil) is rich in DHA (docosahexaenoic) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic). Algae oil has been shown to reduce diseases associated with the brain, protective to the heart, prevent certain cancers, and help maintain the health of the eyes and skin.
Fish oil or algae oil for muscles and skin?
Fish oil contains Omega-3 fats through eating the plankton and microalgae. When we consume the fish that have consumed the plankton with microalgae then we are provided with the beneficial Omega 3 fats.
When we directly consume the algae in oil form we are getting an abundance of these healthy fats. Also, since algae oil sources are lower on the food chain than fish oil, algae have fewer to no toxins, such as heavy metals.
Algae oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Algae oil improves skin elasticity so it’s becoming the go-to for anti-aging skincare regimes, and effectively used by athletes for enhanced muscle recovery.
How are Omega-3 fats extracted?
The production of algae oil biomass is more sustainable and friendly to the environment than fish. Algae oil production is more efficient with higher yields than fish oil.
Typically the extraction of oils from algae is done in the same manner as vegetable oils, by rupturing the cell wall to extract the oil. Most extraction processes use a hexane solvent to refine out the algae oil. Thankfully there are now a few companies eliminating the practice of using hexane for extraction by opting for solvent-free processes.