This week campaigner and food writer Heather Mills asks if a vegan diet is suitable for everyone When I first became a vegan I believed veganism could help everybody. But there are a number of factors you must be aware of before you go down the vegan path.
We know that vegans must take vitamin B12 to supplement their diet. However, following this way of life may mean you can’t convert short-chain fatty acids, such as flaxseed, into a long-chain fatty acid such as those found in oily fish. Oily fish such as salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acid but this can be found in vegetable oils and nuts too (especially walnuts).
Depending on your digestive system and ability to produce enough enzymes, you may be one of the small percentage at risk of not getting enough DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) too. Vegetable-based omega-3s come from ALA (alpha-Linolenic acid) which are then converted to a long- chain fatty acid such as DHA or EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
I became concerned about people who couldn’t make this conversion, especially when it comes to the area of mental health and brain function. Then I discovered that omega-3 does not come from the fish itself, it comes from the algae the fish eat. I then wondered why are we killing billions of fish to squeeze oil out of them to put into capsules when we could just eat the algae directly?
The next problem I found was not all algaes are equal. Many have low levels of DHA. I decided to scour the world for the best algae and invested millions towards helping to solve the problem. This was motivated by a friend with serious mental health problems who wanted to go vegan.
Now 12 years on we have come up with the perfect DHA algal oil vegan capsule called V-Mega 3. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of. If you’re still not convinced, imagine how much taking these will help marine ecosystems from all the overfishing.
It’s one thing to discuss enjoying a piece of fish on a plate but there is no discussion to be had over whether you should you take the original omega-3 source from the algae or the secondary source from the fish. For more information visit vbites.com