I'm reading The Paleo Solution and just got to the section about EFA's. Wolf argues that converting ALA to DHA and EPA will work - as we see in veg*ans - but it's inefficient so we should get our essential fats from animals. He writes something to the effect of - we can convert ALA to survive, but we can't thrive (I don't have the book in front of me).
I just found a link to a journal study that shows Vegan women have similar levels of DHA and EPA when compared to fish eaters, and its argued they get if from converting short chain fatty acid (which I believe is ALA (n-3)) to DHA and EPA.
Despite zero intake of long-chain omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and substantially lower intake of their plant-derived precursor alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), vegan participants converted robust amounts of shorter-chain fatty acids into these long-chain fatty acids.
So on one hand we have Wolf stating that converting ALA isn't optimal, then we have this study stating it is optimal. Am I missing something? Any input is appreciated.