As the new year begins with new changes to nutrition labels and other new trends, a new oil has been gaining traction and some people swear by it: algae oil. Normally when you think of algae, it’s a plant found in various waterways including lakes, ponds, and oceans. However, scientists have been looking at any additional potential uses for algae. They recently discovered algae is plentiful in omega-3 fatty acids. There are many different variations of algae, including some microalgae, kelp, and seaweed. Like any other species, it relies on sunlight or ultraviolet rays and carbon dioxide to survive. Listed below are some things you need to know about algae oil, including its nutrients, benefits, dosage, and side effects.
Algae Oil and Omega-3:
While you can find omega-3 in almost all species of algae, microalgae have a particularly higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. A particularly surprising fact of algae is it contains the same level of omega-3 found in some fish. How is this achieved? There are certain methods scientists can use to manipulate sunlight exposure, oxygen levels, etc. to increase the level of omega-3 fatty acids. Algae oil can be bought in two forms: a supplement and cooking oil. Algae oil is great for sauteing or roasting when it comes to cooking. A key difference between the cooking oil and the supplement is the lack of omega-3 in cooking algae oil, since the fats are not resistant to heat.
Possible health advantages:
There are many possible health advantages that are associated with omega-3 fatty acids. Some of them include but are not limited to the following: aid in heart and eye health, decrease depression, and inflammation. The Omega-3 found in algae and other sources may also decrease blood pressure and increase blood vessel function, which can possibly reduce the risk for a heart attack or stroke. They have also been shown to reduce triglyceride levels, or unhealthy fats. For people suffering from depression, lower levels of EPA and DHA in their bloodstream shows a decrease in depression symptoms. In the eyes, some research has shown that omega-3 decreases the amount of tears you produce, which can help with tired eyes or dry eye symptoms.
If you are planning to take algae oil as a supplement, it’s crucial you visit a doctor before consuming algae oil. While there are many advantages to taking the supplement and has been shown to have fewer side effects than fish oil omega-3 supplements, anytime you take any supplement your body may have a reaction. If you plan on using it as cooking oil, it’s a great substitute for oils that have higher cholesterol levels and saturated fats.