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Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA+EPA Purity
100% Vegan DHA (long chain Omega-3)

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from fish are known to have a variety of health benefits, but eating fish is not the healthiest method for getting these valuable fats.

There are three major omega-3 fatty acids that we get from our diets. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a short-chain omega-3 found in flaxseeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and other plant foods. ALA is an essential fatty acid – this means that the human body cannot synthesize it. When we take in ALA from plant foods, the body can elongate it into long-chain omega-3s: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), most commonly obtained by eating fish, whose tissues accumulate these fatty acids from algae or algae-consuming marine life. EPA and DHA are important for human health, especially our brain. Insufficiency of these valuable fats can cause a multitude of health issues.

Health benefits associated with long chain omega-3 fatty acids:

  • DHA is a structural component of the brain at all ages*
  • DHA is crucial for fetal and childhood neurological and visual development*
  • EPA and DHA may promote healthy cognitive function, memory, and mood*
  • EPA and DHA may help to maintain proper regulation of the inflammatory response*
  • EPA and DHA may help to maintain normal lipid levels and cardiovascular health*
  • Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

For vegetarians and vegans, are omega-3 supplements necessary? Or are walnuts and flaxseed enough?

EPA and DHA are considered “conditionally essential” fatty acids; even though the body is capable of making them from ALA (the “parent” omega-3 fatty acid), they may be essential under some conditions because of inefficient conversion from ALA or insufficient ALA intake.1 Conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA varies based on dietary omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, other dietary fats, alcohol consumption, gender, age and individual genetic differences.2,3 On average, less than 4% of ALA is converted to DHA in men and approximately 9% in women; less than 8% of ALA is converted to EPA in men and up to 21% may be converted in women. Much of the ALA we take in from our diet is burned for energy, not converted to EPA and DHA.4 Because only ALA, not pre-formed DHA and EPA, is present in plant foods, vegans commonly have lower circulating levels of DHA than non-vegans.3,5,6 Unless eating lots of fatty fish, the typical modern diet is low in pre-formed EPA and DHA for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike. Most people eat a diet rich in omega-6 fats, but deficient in omega-3s. Many vegetarians who consume sufficient flax, hemp, chia, walnuts, and greens as a source of ALA may manufacture sufficient long-chain omega-3s on their own. However, even with an ideal diet, conversion efficiency may not be sufficient for many people to achieve optimal long-chain omega-3 status, especially for DHA.

The low long-chain omega-3 blood levels found in vegans also indicate that conversion from ALA may not produce sufficient EPA and DHA to achieve their health benefits.3 It is often the case that consuming more ALA does not guarantee sufficient DHA. For example, ALA supplementation of 2 grams/day (Adequate Intake of ALA recommended by the Institute of Medicine is 1.1 grams/day for women and 1.6 grams/day for men) was shown to produce only a very slight increase in long-chain omega-3 blood levels.7 I have found similarly when testing fatty acid levels in my patients that deficiencies of these fatty acids frequently exist, even in those who eat excellent diets with plenty of ALA-rich foods.

With so many fish oils and vegetarian long-chain omega-3 supplements on the market, what makes Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA+EPA Purity unique?

  • 100% vegan
  • A few drops (0.75 ml) delivers over 250 mg long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (172 mg DHA, 82 mg EPA)
  • Derived from lab-grown algae – no environmental contaminants
  • Awarded pharmaceutical grade certification (GMP)
  • Third party certified for purity and freshness
  • Purified liquid concentrate instead of capsules – capsules can hide the taste of rotten oil.
  • Pleasant citrus flavor, easily hidden in food and drink
  • Carefully stored at low temperature and packaged in dark glass to preserve freshness.

My formula contains EPA in addition to DHA
DHA is certainly the most important omega-3 fatty acid to supplement, because conversion of ALA to DHA is much lower than that of EPA. However, EPA has vital functions as well, and adding a small amount in a supplement helps to assure adequacy. EPA is an important precursor to eicosanoids, molecules that regulate the inflammatory response.8,9

Why take algae-derived supplements instead of fish or fish oil?
Fish is an unfavorable source of EPA and DHA because most fatty fish contain harmful pollutants, such as dioxin and mercury. People also report difficulty digesting fish oils because of the fishy taste and foul odor. The bad taste, indigestion, and burping from rancid oils is not healthy. Purified fish oils are an option, but our oceans are in crisis. The claims about fish benefiting heart health have increased the demand for both fish and fish oils, and this demand cannot be met by the world’s current supply. In 2003, it was estimated that the world’s large predatory fish populations had declined 90% since the 1950s.10 Farmed fish are also problematic — they are fed a diet of smaller, wild fish, driving wild fish stocks down and adding chemicals and pollutants to local waters.11 Algae-based DHA+EPA is a more sustainable option, and it is free of the environmental pollutants that accumulate in the fatty tissues of fish.

Since EPA and DHA have so many crucial functions and health benefits, it is imperative to maintain adequate levels of these fatty acids.

Note: Upon receipt of product, keep refrigerated to maintain freshness.

 
Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 0.75 mL
Servings Per Container:
 
  Amount Per Serving  %DV

Docosahexenoic Acid (DHA)

175mg **

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

88 mg **

* Percent values are based on 2,000 calorie diet.
**Daily value not established.

Other ingredients: Natural flavor, mixed tocopherols, sunflower lecithin, and rosemary extract.
Directions:
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Protect from heat, light and moisture.
  • Shake prior to use.
  • Refrigerate upon receipt.
  • Store at 15-30C (59-86F).
  • Do not purchase if seal is broken.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

References
1. Higdon J: Essential Fatty Acids. In An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals. New York, NY: Thieme; 2006: 78-99
2. Harnack K, Andersen G, Somoza V: Quantitation of alpha-linolenic acid elongation to eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid as affected by the ratio of n6/n3 fatty acids. Nutr Metab 2009;6:8.
3. Davis BC, Kris-Etherton PM: Achieving optimal essential fatty acid status in vegetarians: current knowledge and practical implications. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78:640S-646S.
4. Arterburn LM, Hall EB, Oken H: Distribution, interconversion, and dose response of n-3 fatty acids in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:1467S-1476S.
5. Sanders TA: DHA status of vegetarians. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2009;81:137-141.
6. Kornsteiner M, Singer I, Elmadfa I: Very low n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status in Austrian vegetarians and vegans. Ann Nutr Metab 2008;52:37-47.
7. Fokkema MR, Brouwer DA, Hasperhoven MB, et al: Short-term supplementation of low-dose gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), or GLA plus ALA does not augment LCP omega 3 status of Dutch vegans to an appreciable extent. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2000;63:287-292.
8. Anderson BM, Ma DWL: Are all n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids created equal? Lipids in Health and Disease 2009;8:33.
9. Chapkin RS, Kim W, Lupton JR, et al: Dietary docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid: emerging mediators of inflammation. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2009;81:187-191.
10. Myers RA, Worm B: Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities. Nature 2003;423:280-283.
11. Jenkins DJA, Sievenpiper JL, Pauly D, et al: Are dietary recommendations for the use of fish oils sustainable? Can Med Assoc J 2009;180:633-637.

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