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"The Paleo Solution," Omega 3 and a Vegan Diet

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 24, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I'm reading The Paleo Solution and just got to the section about EFA's. Wolf argues that converting ALA to DHA and EPA will work - as we see in veg*ans - but it's inefficient so we should get our essential fats from animals. He writes something to the effect of - we can convert ALA to survive, but we can't thrive (I don't have the book in front of me).

I just found a link to a journal study that shows Vegan women have similar levels of DHA and EPA when compared to fish eaters, and its argued they get if from converting short chain fatty acid (which I believe is ALA (n-3)) to DHA and EPA.

Despite zero intake of long-chain omega-3s eicosapent??aenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexa??enoic acid (DHA) and substantia??lly lower intake of their plant-deri??ved precursor alpha-lino??lenic acid (ALA), vegan participan??ts converted robust amounts of shorter-ch??ain fatty acids into these long-chain fatty acids.

http://www.ajcn.org/content/92/5/1040.abstract

So on one hand we have Wolf stating that converting ALA isn't optimal, then we have this study stating it is optimal. Am I missing something? Any input is appreciated.

Thanks.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:37 PM

I found that quote on another site, which led me to believe it was from the actual study. Very curious now, do you have a link to the full text? I only read the summaries from the link.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:29 PM

I have access to the full study and could not find the quoted sentence, either. (I didn't actually read the study.)

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3 Answers

2
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 24, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Did you read the full study or the abstract? The abstract doesn't have the text you quoted (and they want money for more info, so I didn't check it). The abstract just differentiates between fish and non-fish eaters, not vegans/non-vegans.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:37 PM

I found that quote on another site, which led me to believe it was from the actual study. Very curious now, do you have a link to the full text? I only read the summaries from the link.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on January 24, 2011
at 07:29 PM

I have access to the full study and could not find the quoted sentence, either. (I didn't actually read the study.)

1
5edbf85deaf83e13b176df023abb154d

on January 24, 2011
at 08:44 PM

Stancel,

Whatever the "walnut diet" is, I expect that there is much more at work than the omega 3s in them with regard to influencing cholesterol, to the extent that cholesterol really even matters.

1
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on January 24, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Here is a study that showed Omega-3's from walnuts had a greater impact at reducing total cholesterol and LDL than fish. However, fish had a greater impact at reducing triglycerides and raising HDL (good cholesterol) than walnuts. It seems that both plant and animal Omega-3's are beneficial in their own way.

http://www.ajcn.org/content/89/5/1657S.abstract

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