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Omega-3 from algae - the better choice for the oceans

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for life. They play an important role in the production of hormones, the prevention of inflammation and the formation of the body's own defense cells. They also support cardiovascular health and are important for eyesight. An insufficient intake of these fatty acids can therefore lead to physical and mental impairments.

Table of contents:
  • Fish oil vs. algae oil
  • Pollutant and antibiotic exposure in fish
  • What is the benefit of omega-3 products from algae
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil harm our oceans
  • Conclusion

When we talk about omega-3, this includes the following three fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). ALA is one of the essential fatty acids and must therefore be taken in with food. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA can be produced from this fatty acid, but the conversion rate is only 5-10%. Therefore, the intake of DHA and EPA through food is also extremely important.

ALA is found in various vegetable oils such as rapeseed, walnut and linseed oil. DHA and EPA are mainly found in fatty cold-water fish and algae respectively.

Fish oil vs. algae oil

Fish consumption is often recommended to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. However, the origin of these healthy fatty acids lies in the plant world: algae, grasses and seeds. However, the only plant-based source of omega-3 comparable to fish is algae. This is because algae, like fish, have an optimal content of DHA and EPA. This is how fish get their omega-3 fatty acids: they eat the algae.

However, the detour via fish has some significant disadvantages. What many people don't know: The omega-3 content of fish can also vary enormously depending on the fish species, aquaculture or wild catch. Only cold-water fish rich in fat, such as salmon or tuna, have a high omega-3 fatty acid content. The problem here, however, is the overfishing of the oceans and the resulting destruction of marine habitats.

Pollutant and antibiotic contamination in fish

Wild fish also absorb a lot of pollutants in the sea during their lifetime. These include heavy metals such as mercury, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and microplastics, which can then accumulate in the fish flesh. The content of harmful substances in many fish species is so high that pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should refrain from eating fish.

However, conventional aquacultures are not an alternative either. The fish from the farms are often contaminated with antibiotics or other medicines and lead a life in factory farming. The fish feed used (= fishmeal) is also required in large quantities, resulting in the capture of many marine creatures.

What is the advantage of omega-3 products made from algae? In contrast, the microalgae Schizochytrium sp. is cultivated in a controlled environment (usually in closed systems) and is therefore free from all environmental influences such as heavy metals and microplastics. The algae are harvested in a resource-saving manner and the algae oil is then extracted.

Note: The algae oil used in our product naturally smells a little algaey or fishy.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are damaging our oceans
Around 70% of fish species worldwide have been completely exploited or have declined sharply.

Here is an overview of the most important facts about overfishing:


Each person consumes around 20 kilograms of fish per year - that's twice as much as 50 years ago. Many fish species are threatened with extinction. The more species are lost from the marine ecosystem, the more vulnerable it becomes to external stress.
Between 1970 and 2010, fish populations halved.
Around 80 million tons of fish are taken from the sea every year, with bycatch accounting for almost half of this.
As already mentioned, for every 80 million tons of fish there are almost 40 million tons of bycatch. This is because some of the huge trawling and fishing nets reach right down to the seabed, causing corals, mussels and starfish to get caught and torn off. But other animals also get caught in the nets and die every year. For example, around 300,000 whales/dolphins, 250,000 sea turtles and 300,000 seabirds die every year.

Conclusion

From a health perspective, algae are an ideal substitute for fish oil when it comes to providing omega-3 fatty acids. This protects fish stocks in the oceans, which also benefits the welfare of many underwater animals.

Sources:
https://utopia.de/ratgeber/ueberfischung-der-meere-gruende-und-auswirkungen/