Good news for vegetarians: plant-based omega-3 acids have the same health benefits-such as protecting us from heart disease-as the fish oils.
Alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, is just as beneficial and protective as the EPA and DHA fish oils, say researchers.
Understanding the benefits of plant-based oils is still a relatively new area of research, which got going only around 10 years ago, say researchers from Penn State University. Even now, most studies concentrate on the fish oils.
The ALA omega-3s are found in flaxseed and its oils, vegetable oils, some nuts, and in some fortified foods.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for health, and are especially important in preventing cardiovascular disease, but we don't produce them naturally, and so need to take them from the food we eat.
(Source: Advances in Nutrition, 2014; 5: 863S)