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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish Oil Grows on Trees!

written by Vin Kutty

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vegan fish oil omega-3

New SDA soybean oil has Omega-3 normally found in fish oil. Is it OK to eat?

I spend more time than I ought to, reading science journal and websites. And I came across this headline: Fishy Fat from Soy Headed to US Dinner Plates.

Turns out that scientists (mad?) genetically engineered soybeans. Again.

They mixed genes from a type of mold and a primrose plant to create a fancy new genetically modified soy plant that makes a fatty acid called Stearidonic Acid or SDA.

No, no, I’m not foamed at the mouth about genetically modified foods. Other angry people do a much better job of expressing that foam.

Regular readers know my beef: too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3. Now THAT’s foam-worthy!

Why Create This New Soy Variety?

SDA is an Omega-3 fat. It’s found in small quantities in fish oil. SDA is usually less than 3% of fish oil. So it’s a minor component.

OmegaVia has 2.83% SDA. We didn’t add it – it just naturally comes with fish oil. Matter of fact, it is part of the 150 mg of ‘Other Omega-3’ listed on our label.

Why Should We Care About SDA Omega-3?

Well, I’ve beat this horse to death, but plant-derived Omega-3 likes ALA from Flax is useless. Your body will convert only 1 to 5% of it to usable EPA or DHA Omega-3, the types found in fish oil.

But, SDA is a precursor to EPA Omega-3. And your body will convert about a third of SDA into EPA. Nifty!

And SDA grows on trees! And now Soy.

SDA is also found in the seed of the Echium plant. Echium seeds have lots of SDA. Some Echium growers have started marketing their oil as an alternative to Flax and Fish oils.

I’d really like to see Echium become more popular because it has a usable form of plant Omega-3, that vegetarians could really use.

But back to our new soy and its SDA.

I’m guessing this is what went through the scientists’ heads:

  1. Americans don’t get enough Omega-3.
  2. Our oceans could run out of fish.
  3. So why not engineer our soy plants to make more usable Omega-3.
  4. It helps fix a desperate nutrient deficiency.
  5. And we’ll patent the plant. And charge more for soybean oil that people use to cook with.


But there’s only one catch. And that’s the soybean oil. It’s a poison. Chronic toxin to be exact.

There are two kinds of toxins. Acute toxins like Cyanide – stuff that kills you lickety-split. And Chronic toxins like mercury, which causes systemic damage to your body after repeated exposure to low concentrations over long periods of time.

Whoa there, lil fella, you say, you comparin’ Soybean oil to Mercury?

I sure am.

Soybean oil (and corn oil for that matter) is more than 50% Omega-6 fats. A particularly dangerous Omega-6 fat called Linoleic Acid. This fatty acid is necessary in small amounts and chronically toxic in large amounts.

Excess Linoleic Acid may be responsible for so misery I could write a separate blog just about that. Well, several smarter people have beat me to it.

People like Evelyn Tribole, Susan Allport, Dr. Emily Deans to name a few. Dr. Barry Sears of the Zone Diet has repeatedly mentioned the dangers of getting too much Omega-6.

(PS: Dr. Deans’ blog is so good that I frequently worry that she’ll stop writing!)

Their combined message is this: For thousands of years, we ate a diet low in Omega-6 and that’s what your body needs – a little bit of Omega-6. But with modern mass-produced agriculture and its industrial seed oils like corn oil and soybean oil, all that changed.

We’ve gone from eating equal parts Omega-3 to Omega-6 to eating 20-times more Omega-6. This causes problems.*

So, yes, I am comparing soybean oil, corn oil and most other ‘vegetable’ seed oils to Mercury.

Bottom-line on Linoleic Acid (Omega-6): excess causes health problams.* And that’s why I have not purchased soybean oil to cook with in decades. And I hope an obese teenager on a skateboard runs me over if I ever do!

So is adding a little SDA to soybean oil like a rattlesnake that comes with a free shot of anti-venom?

You would think. But this one’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Here’s why:
Typical soybean oil has 8% Omega-3 in the form of ALA, the kind in Flax.

Too much Omega-6 has been linked to obesity

This new SDA soybean oil will have 20 to 30% SDA plus slightly higher levels of ALA. That makes this soybean oil almost a third Omega-3 fats. If McDonald’s and Burger King started making fries with this new oil, childhood obesity, and other issues may be markedly reduced.*

Don’t hold your breath – SDA soybean oil may not hold up to deep frying. I hope it does.

But I still will not touch the stuff.

Not because it is genetically modified. But because it still has a ton of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid in it. Even with all that SDA, the Omega-6 is a heart-stopper.

When this product hits the market in 2012, the marketing behind it will be fierce.

The marketing will work. And millions of well-meaning Americans, will buy this heart-stopping stuff by the gallon. And they’ll be putting their own and their family’s health at risk. May be at less risk than before, but risk nonetheless.
Fish Oils are the best source of EPA and DHA Omega-3
Just save yourself the grief. Go with olive oil, coconut oil or even butter from grass-fed cows. Of the three, Olive oil is the highest at 9% Omega-6. Butter has 3% and Coconut oil, my all-time favorite oil, has 2% Omega-6.

Sure beats 51% Omega-6.


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



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