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The importance of OMEGA 3 (DHA/EPA/ALA)


It's getting a little technical here, so hold on;) Omega-3 is polyunsaturated fatty acids and is categorized as an "essential" fatty acid, which means the body can't produce it by itself, why you need it from your diet. (1)

Within omega 3 there are 3 categories:

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)

DHA (docosahexanoic acid). 


The importance of omega 3 is not to be mistaken - and the research of omega 3 is hugely well-documented. It has been scientifically proven, and supported by, for example, EFSA (European Food Safety Authorities) that omega 3 - by a minimum of 40 mg daily intake of EPA and DHA - contributes to the following (2):

  • A normal and well-functioning heart  (both adults and children)
  • A normal brain function (both adults and children)
  • A normal and functioning blood pressure (both adults and children)
  • Normal vision (both adults and children)
  • Normal triglyceride levels (both adults and children)
  • In addition, during pregnancy and lactation, DHA contributes to normal brain development in fetuses and infants.

The above properties are not "small things" but extremely essential functions for a body in balance.


As written above, there are 3 categories of Omega 3; ALA, EPA and DHA - and it is important to understand the difference between these, so you are assured the right amount of "right" sources through your diet. Most people associate Omega 3 with fish - and it is also the primary recommended source of omega 3, but omega 3 is also found in plants and nuts. However, there is a big difference between the types of omega 3 from fish and plants, as well as the body's reaction to these.

The reason why fish are often related to omega 3 is due to their natural high level and direct source of DHA and EPA. It is one of the most natural intense sources because a small amount of oil is needed to cover the daily recommended doses of EPA and DHA. Makes sense?

But not all fish are rich in Omega 3. Since omega 3 is a fatty acid, it requires a fatty fish - and most fish are lean. If you need to secure Omega 3 (EPA & DHA) from fish, it is essential that you eat fatty fish. Including salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and sardines. Below you can see the average Omega 3 (EPA / DHA) levels per 100g (3).

Mackerel raw: 2,3 g / per 100g
Trout (rainbow) raw: 1,3 g / per 100g
Salmon (wild) raw: 1,3 g  / per 100g
Herring raw: 1,9 g / per 100g
Tuna (canned): 0,3g / per 100g

Plants, seeds and nuts are plant-based sources, and do not give you a direct source of EPA and DHA, as fish do. They are rich in ALA, which is also a type for Omega 3, and it is a precursor to DHA and EPA. This means that if you get ALA from diet or a supplement, your body will transform the ALA into EPA and DHA - super smart. It is estimated that 10-20% of your consumed source ALA is converted to DHA / EPA. This means it takes a lot more "mass" before you reach the recommended levels of DHA / EPA on a daily basis. See popular plant-based omega 3 (ALA) sources below, which has the following amount of omega 3 (ALA) per 100g (4).

Flaxseed Oil: 53,3 g / 100 g
Chia seeds: 20 g/ 100g
Walnut oil: 10,4 g / 100 g
Rapeseed oil: 8,69 g / 100 g
Olive oil: 0,6 / 100g

Algae is different from other plant-based omega 3 sources - it contains a direct source for DHA and EPA. How much depends on the type of algae, but there are many good supplements based on algae that can meet the daily need for DHA (6). However, it should be noted that they often contain very small amounts of EPA. Which means the source does not have an equally well DHA / EPA-balance, like Omega 3 from fish does.

Conclusion...? The most effective source of omega 3 (DHA / EPA) is from fish - it's clear that you get the most power versus quantity. That being said, we as humans need all 3 types of omega 3 (ALA, EPA, and DHA) as they all play important roles in our body's balance.


Based on the recommendation of international health authorities, omega-3 should be a minimum of 1% of your daily energy intake, equivalent to about 2.5-3 g of omega 3 daily for adults aged 18 and 60 (7). Of this, it is recommended that at least half, ie. ca. 1.2-1.8 g per day, coming from ALA and a minimum of 300-500 mg from DHA / EPA (8).

As described above, fish is the most efficient source of Omega 3 (DHA & EPA), but there is only one small problem - and that is that we do not eat very much fish.

  • THE NETHERLANDS: Only 14% of the Dutch population meets the standard recommendations for daily/weekly fish consumption. 
  • USA:  Only 20% of the US population eats the recommended daily intake of fatty fish. 
  • GERMANY: 66% of the German population eats fish 0-1 times a week. Only 27% eat fish 2 times or more a week. 
  • SWEDEN: 98% of the Swedish population eat fish 1 or fewer times a week. Only 2% eat 2 times or more a week.
  • DENMARK: Only 25 % of the Danish population meets the standard recommendations for daily/weekly fatty fish consumption.
It is recommended that you at least eat fatty fish twice a week to achieve the recommended level of EPA / DHA (recommended weekly dose of EPA / DHA: 7 days x 500 mg = 3.5 g EPA / DHA). This could fx be something like; 400 g of raw wild salmon or 1.2 kg of canned tuna or 150 g of raw mackerel per week. Are you eating fish in such quantities weekly?

... and what about the heavy metals? Yet another challenge. Heavy metals accumulate in the fat of the fish, which is why oily fish also contain many more heavy metals than lean fish. If you consume large amounts of fatty predatory fish, your level of heavy metals will also increase, unfortunately. But what's wrong with heavy metals? Heavy metals such as mercury and dioxin are related to, for example, brain and central nervous damage - especially during fetal development, which is why pregnant women are advised not to eat predatory fish (9). Unfortunately, it is precisely these types of heavy metals that accumulate in fish and are passed on to us when we eat them. Given this situation, a great dietary supplement like high-quality fish oil is a great addition to your diet.  We recommend that you always look for products with a TOTOX value of less than 10, as this shows how "clean" the oil is.

... are you a vegan or vegetarian? and don't eat fish, it's clear that you need to focus on the plant-based sources that contain natural amounts of omega 3 - and preferably algae, which are rich in DHA. So a good mix of fx flaxseed oil and algae oil on a daily basis. However, it is important to point out that many of the omega 3-rich plants / nuts are often also rich in omega 6, and the daily intake of omega 6 should be limited. We highly recommend researching your options and make sure you cover your daily needs of 300-500 mg of DHA / EPA - vegan or not.



Both adults, pregnant women and children need Omega 3 on a daily basis, and all age groups can benefit from supplementing their diet with an Omega 3 supplement to ensure they meet their daily needs.

As described above, Omega 3 (EPA / DHA) contributes to many essential functions of your body - including a normal functioning brain, heart, and vision.



Below you will find a good selection of high quality omega 3 supplements. We have carefully selected these products as they are based on good quality fish and have a low TOTOX value that reflects purity. In addition, we have a 1000 mg organic flaxseed oil on capsule, as well as a natural vegan Omega 3 gummy for children, made from algae and chia seeds.



This Omega 3 from NOW is made from anchovies and sardines from Norway and Peru. It is cleansed of heavy metals and toxins and has a total TOTOX value of 2, which is very good.

It contains 180 mg of EPA and 120 DHA per 1g of oil. It provides a total level of DHA / EPA of 300 mg per capsule.

The product contains 100 soft capsules with omega 3 oil ( 100 x 1g).

We recommend 1-3 capsules daily.




This Omega 3 oil is made of krill. Krill are small shrimp-like crustaceans, often known as whale food. They naturally contain EPA and DHA, as well as phospholipids and astaxanthin. So this is not only an omega 3 oil, but also rich in other amazing ingredients, as well as Omega 6 and 9. Krill has a naturally low level of heavy metals due to their location in the food chain.

One capsule contains 135 mg of EPA and 60 mg of DHA, as well as 360 mcg of astaxanthin and 450 mg of phospholipids per 1 g of oil.

TOTOX value: 3.7

Recommended daily dosage: 2-4  capsules (195-390 mg DHA/EPA)




Our VITAKIDS Omega 3 is vegan and therefore made from algae and chia seeds. It contains both omega 3, 6 and 9.

These soft little gummies contains NO artificial additives and sweeteners, as well as free of gelatin, MSG and GMO.

We recommend 3 gummies per day, giving 180 mg of omega 3 oil - including 50 mg of DHA and 130 mg of ALA.

A daily dose of DHA contributes to normal brain and heart development in your child




Our FLAXSEED OMG is based on 1000 mg of organic flaxseed oil per capsule.

Flaxseed oil is one of the most effective plant-based sources of omega 3. Over 50% of the oil consist of omega 3 fatty acids. It is a direct source of ALA, so a capsule of 1000 mg of flaxseed oil will give you approx. 500 mg of ALA.

Flaxseed oil is a good supplement to a diet without fish, especially paired with an algae oil rich in DHA.

We recommend 1-2 capsules daily.