Evidence-Based Nutrient Recommendations

Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acid Blood Levels of Vegetarians


by Jack Norris, RD, LD

We’ve updated our article, Omega-3s Part 2: Research, with an analysis of the Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acid Blood Levels of Vegetarians.

Quick summary: The differences in long-chain omega-3 blood levels between vegans, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and omnivores aren’t obviously physiologically significant, especially with regard to omnivores who don’t regularly eat fish. Red blood cell DHA of vegetarians and vegans is roughly 72-75% that of omnivores, but it’s not clear if this has clinical significance.

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  • If you have a question about whether it's okay to cut supplements in half or combine supplements to achieve the dose we recommend, the answer is “Yes.” Be aware that nutrient recommendations are only estimates—it's not necessary to consume the exact amount we recommend every single day.
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