You may be wondering how it’s even possible to get health benefits from algae. Isn’t that just the slimy stuff you find in lakes, ponds, and oceans? You may be surprised to learn that there are many different health benefits you can get from algae oil. 

This marine organism is so nourishing, in fact, that it is farmed or grown in laboratories to create supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids. 

At iwi, we know you care about your wellness goals, and we are here to help you achieve them. It may sound strange that algae oil contains fatty acids, many of which are linked to different health benefits. 

We believe in the power of algae omega-3 supplements, and you should, too! 

That’s why we’ve compiled a guide on some information you need on algae oil, omega-3s, and why they are important for you and your health. 

We hope you can learn about the importance of algal omega-3 supplements so you can make better-informed decisions for yourself and your health. 

What Are Omega-3s?

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids with plenty of health benefits. They are critical to the structure and function of the cell membranes in your body, and they can also support heart health, a strong immune system, and proper brain function. 

Your body cannot make Omega-3s on its own, so it is crucial to get adequate amounts of Omega-3s from your diet or supplements.

There are three main types of Omega-3s: 

  • EPA
  • DHA
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

Since ALA is a parent fatty acid, your body can make EPA and DHA from this compound. This is a slow process, and you can only get a very small amount in the end, so it is still best to get these fats from your diet through foods or supplements. 

What Is Algae Oil?

So what exactly is algae oil? It’s exactly as it sounds – oil that is created by algae. We may not think of plants as being rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3, but in fact, algae are the original source… krill and fish only borrow omega-3 by eating algae, the ocean’s power plant! 

Most plant sources of “omega-3” are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which needs to be converted by the human body into the forms of true omega-3 we need for brain, heart, and joint health: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). 

Algae is called a “power plant” because it produces true DHA and EPA — no conversion needed for your body to utilize the essential fats.

Just like farmers who grow vegetables and use agricultural science to produce the best, most nutritious crops, scientists can adjust the amount of omega-3 produced by algae by increasing their exposure to sunlight, oxygen, minerals in the water, and temperature. Science + nature = more nourishment for you and your family. 

Algae oil is extracted, purified, and used in various ways. Besides being used for supplements, it’s also used to feed animals, poultry, and fish. 

So, if you ever go to the grocery store and pick up some eggs, chicken, or farmed salmon that’s enhanced with Omega-3s, it’s most likely that these fats come from algae oil. 

Getting small servings of omega-3s from the foods we eat is a great way to get more of this essential fat, but most people will require supplements as well to achieve their nutritional goals. 

What Are the Benefits of Algae Omega-3? 

Why should you take algae Omega-3 supplements? There are benefits for you, your whole family, and if you’re pregnant - your baby as well! 

Keep reading to learn more about the different research that shows those with higher levels of Omega-3 fats have a lower risk of certain health conditions. 

1. Helping Your Heart 

Research shows that omega-3 supplements may help support healthy blood pressure and maintain proper blood vessel function. 

Researchalso shows that omega-3 supplements can support a healthy cardiovascular system and promote optimal wellness. 

Omega-3, like the kind made by algae, also can support healthy levels of blood fats called triglycerides and good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein). Taking algae Omega-3 can support a healthy cardiovascular system overall. 

2. Keeping Your Vision Clear 

Have you increased your screen time in the past few years? Most of us have, and many people find that working remotely and having more screen time means drier eyes. 

Your body’s highest concentration of DHA is found in your eyes, so it’s no surprise that iwi customers report relief from some annoying symptoms of “computer eyes” when they supplement with iwi algae oil. 

Research is mixed, but some studies show that omega-3s may provide eye health benefits by supporting the health of the retinas.

3. Helping With Your Mood

We know you have a lot on your plate. Help your body and mind with key nutrients that give you what you need to be ready for the day ahead. 

One study found that low levels of EPA and DHA may lead to low mood and difficult emotions. Since most Americans don’t get enough EPA and DHA from dietary sources, supplements may be the best choice to get the daily requirement of these important fats which support a healthy and positive mood. 

If you’re pregnant, your doctor may recommend that you take supplements with DHA and EPA levels to help with your mood later on in your pregnancy and postpartum. 

4. Keeping Your Baby Healthy 

Taking algae Omega-3 supplements can be helpful for your baby in their development. DHA is often associated with your baby’s brain development. 

There are many benefits for both you and your baby when you supplement with algae omega-3. DHA taken during pregnancy has been shown to help in these ways:

  • May support a healthy birth weight of your baby
  • May support your healthy mood postpartum
  • Critical to the development of your baby’s brain
  • Might help support your baby’s motor functions 

5. Helping Your Sleep Quantity and Quality

Research shows that higher levels of DHA are significantly associated with better sleep, including less difficulty falling asleep and fewer sleep disturbances. 

Low levels of DHA cause melatonin deficiency, which is a hormone that helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycles. 

Taking algae omega-3 supplements while pregnant can be extremely beneficial if you’re suffering from poor sleep. 

Where Can You Get Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Although it’s possible to get enough omega-3 fatty acids from what you eat, many people find it beneficial to get support from dietary supplements. 

DHA and EPA 

EPA and DHA are found in fish which eat algae, or which eat other fish which eat algae! Herring, salmon, anchovies, sardines, and other oily fish are the foods most commonly associated with high content of DHA and EPA. All of these fish obtain their true omega-3 from algae.

ALA 

ALA, the precursor fat to DHA and EPA, is found in plant foods like flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Because the human body does not convert ALA into DHA and EPA very effectively (studies show about 17% of ALA gets converted into true omega-3), these foods are typically not a reliable way for most people to obtain the needed amounts of critical omega-3. 

Supplements

Omega-3 supplements

More and more people are finding it challenging to get enough omega-3 from dietary sources alone. 

Between concerns around overfishing, mercury in fish, and microplastics in seafood, many shoppers are looking for other ways to ensure their families get safe, clean omega-3. 

Even with eating plenty of nuts and seeds, because ALA is so poorly converted in the body into EPA and DHA, most plant sources are not a good solution. 

One way to ensure that you’re getting what your body needs is to supplement your diet with algae omega-3: the benefits you need, and none of the worries. 

Recommended Dosage 

If you’re taking algae Omega-3 supplements, how much do you need? 

Doctors recommend having at least 200 to 1,000 milligrams of combined EPA and DHA daily. 

Because it is difficult to meet those needs through diet alone, algae supplements may be the best way to get the right amount of DHA and EPA each day. Always talk to your doctor before introducing any new supplement, especially if you’re taking medications or have any medical conditions. 

What Are the Benefits of Algae Oil vs. Fish Oil?

Of course, the big fish in the room is… fish! Fish oil has been the most popular supplement for omega-3 for decades. What if we cut out the middle fish?

That’s right! Krill and fish, the two sea creatures most famous for their omega-3 benefits, actually do not make omega-3 themselves. They get it from the original source: algae. The polar lipid form of algae present in our supplements even works to maximize your body’s ability to absorb nutrients for even better results. 

Keep reading to learn more about why algae is the future of omega-3: 

The Form of Fat Matters

Let's take a little deep dive into the science of fatty acids. You've heard that "you are what you eat," but the truth is, you are what you absorb. If you've ever had a vinaigrette dressing, you know that oil and water don't mix. That means that your fish oil or krill oil supplements aren't mixing very easily in your digestive system, which is a watery environment. 

This is where iwi algae oil is different. Only iwi's AlmegaPL delivers omega-3 in a polar lipid form, which loves both water and fat. It mixes instantly in both fat and water, leading to 50% higher absorption than any other form of omega-3...even other forms of algae oil! 

That means that you get more out of every milligram of iwi.

Perfect for Everyone 

At iwi, everyone is included… vegans, vegetarians, or keto dieters, and all. No matter what your diet looks like, iwi works for you to provide true, clean omega-3. 

No More Fishy Taste

Perhaps you've tried fish oil or krill oil supplements in the past, but gave up because of the dreaded "fish burps"... hope is here!

Our algae omega-3 supplements can be a great way to get the critical nutrients you need without worrying about the taste "repeating" for you later.

If you don't love seafood, or avoid it because of concerns around marine contaminants, then algae oil can be a great alternative.

The staff at health food stores across the country know: the biggest complaint from customers in the omega-3 aisle is the fishy aftertaste.

Because of the neutral flavor of algae oil, and its superior absorption, iwi omega-3 is easier to tolerate and easier to digest than fish or krill oil.

Avoiding Harmful Toxins

We're encouraged to get more omega-3 for brain health, but seafood poses the risk of mercury contamination...which is bad for brain health! 

At iwi, we care about you and the planet. 

We farm our special strain of algae, nannochloropsis, in pond beds in the desert with salty water from underground aquifers, free from marine contaminants.

Sustainable Methods With Algae 

At iwi, we care about the planet and sustainability — and we are the only photoautotrophy source of algal omega-3. 

Our sustainability starts with our farming practices and making sure that the products we make are safe for you and the planet. 

Perhaps the best benefit of algae oil is that we grow it in our environmentally-friendly farms on land that was thought to be unusable as farmland. Not only does this mean that we avoid contributing to overfishing or taking key species out of the food chain in the ocean, we are helping produce more oxygen. That’s right! Algae produce up to 75% of the oxygen in our atmosphere, so iwi’s open-air beds breathe more life-giving oxygen into the air. 

The production of algae oil is a lot more sustainable than fish oil because algae can grow quickly, and it’s better for our planet in the long run. 

Skip the middle fish and go directly to the source — most fish ultimately get their omega-3 from algae. 

Why Choose Algae Omega-3 Supplements?

We think the reasons why algae omega-3 supplementsare essential are clear. They’re great for your health, the health of your family, and a growing baby. Even more than that, they’re great for the health of the planet. 

There aren’t many risks when it comes to taking Omega-3 supplements, especially when it’s plant-based and made from algae oil. Omega-3 is recognized as safe to take orally and is the most widely-recommended supplement by doctors. 

While algae omega-3 supplements can provide you with many benefits, you should still consult your doctor before starting to use any new supplements. Your doctor can work with you to determine whether the supplement is safe for you specifically and may recommend a dosage. 

It’s also considered safe and recommended to take algae Omega-3 supplements if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Your DHA levels can increase in your breastmilk and give your baby nutrients as well. 

Keeping Healthy With iwi Life Algae Omega-3 Supplements

At iwi, we believe in your health goals and the health goals of our global community. On a larger scale, we care about our planet and keeping it safe through sustainable farming practices. 

Our algae supplements can give you a wide range of benefits you’re looking for without having to worry about upending your dietary habits and keeping the planet safe. 

If you’re looking for a better supplement for yourself and the planet, choose our algae Omega-3 supplements — made with you in mind. 

 

Sources: 

Impact of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on vascular function and blood pressure: Relevance for cardiovascular outcomes | PMC

Omega-3 Supplements and Cardiovascular Diseases | PMC

Triglycerides: Why do they matter? | Mayo Clinic

Retina and Omega-3 | PMC

The role of omega-3 fatty acids in mood disorders | NCBI

Differential Effects of DHA- and EPA-Rich Oils on Sleep in Healthy Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial | PMC

 

 

Reviewed by Dr. Eneko Ganuza 
VP of Research and Development at iwi

 

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