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.
Did you read the full study or the abstract? The abstract doesn't have the text you quoted (and they want money for more info, so I didn't check it). The abstract just differentiates between fish and non-fish eaters, not vegans/non-vegans.
Here is a study that showed Omega-3's from walnuts had a greater impact at reducing total cholesterol and LDL than fish. However, fish had a greater impact at reducing triglycerides and raising HDL (good cholesterol) than walnuts. It seems that both plant and animal Omega-3's are beneficial in their own way.
Whatever the "walnut diet" is, I expect that there is much more at work than the omega 3s in them with regard to influencing cholesterol, to the extent that cholesterol really even matters.
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