Microalgae Oil is High in DHA and EPA Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids because the human body requires them but is unable to produce them so they must be obtained through the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids and consist of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA, which is found in flax seed, walnuts, and soybeans, can be converted into EPA and DHA, however, this conversion is very inefficient. In one study, only 5% of ALA was converted into EPA and only 0.5% was converted into DHA .  Certain microalgae produce high levels of both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and are a good vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids. Although fish oil is well known for having a high content of EPA and DHA, microalgae, such as zooplankton and phytoplankton, are the original source of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. Marine fish ingest the microalgae and store the DHA and EPA in their fat, which is the source of DHA and EPA in fish oil.  Some microalgae contain large amounts of EPA, such as, Nannochloropsis sp. and Spirulina, but EPA-microalgae oil is still limited in it's commercial availability. However, DHA-rich microalgae oil is commercially available and has been shown to have similar health benefits as fish oil.
Several studies have shown that microalgae oil is a potent source of both DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetarians with a low DHA + EPA status, significantly increased both their DHA and EPA levels after daily supplementation with approximately 1g of DHA-microalgae oil for eight weeks.  An additional study, found that DHA-rich microalgae oil administered to rats deficient in both DHA and EPA, was not only able to significantly raise the DHA plasma levels but also raised EPA plasma levels.  These results are interesting because in both studies, either humans or rats were taking microalgae supplements that were high in DHA not EPA. Yet, in both cases, the EPA plasma levels increased after DHA-rich microalgal supplementation. It has been shown that DHA can be retro-converted into EPA through beta-oxidation and this is hypothesized to be the mechanism by which DHA derived from microalgal oil was able to increase EPA levels.
Microalgal Oil is Anti-inflammatory
Inflammation is responsible for an plethora of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, migraine headaches, and diabetes.   Omega-6 fatty acids are another class of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are a major cause of inflammation. The first member of the omega-6 fatty acid family is linoleic acid (LA) and the major dietary source consist of most vegetable oils including corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and olive oil.  Omega 6 fatty acids produce arachidonic acid and subsequently generate pro-inflammatory eicosanoids such as prostaglandin (PG)E2, leukotriene B4, and thromboxane A2, which all mediate the inflammatory response.  It is well known that fish Oil, as well as other omega-3 fatty acids, inhibit the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandins and leukotrienes, decreasing the inflammatory response.  Microalgae oil has been shown to have the same ant-inflammatory properties as fish oil. In one study, rats fed a diet high in microalgae oil, significantly reduced the abundance of arachidonic acid (AA) in the blood, compared to those fed a diet high in corn oil.  This is evidence that omega-3 derived from microalgae inhibits the production of inflammatory molecules in a mechanistically similar way as omega-3 derived from fish oil.
Microalgae Oil is Good for the Heart
Many studies have shown the cardiovascular benefits of DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Numerous epidemiological studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.  Mechanistically, omega-3 fatty acids help prevent cardiovascular disease by increasing the activity of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), an enzyme that hydrolyzes lipids, therefore, decreases the amount of triglycerides.  Similarly, DHA derived from microalgae oil has also been shown to have cardiovascular benefits. Vegetarians supplementing approximately 1g of DHA microalgae oil daily for 8 weeks, lowed their triglyceride levels by 23%. 
Microalgae Oil and Cancer
Several epidemiological studies have shown the fish oil can reduce cancer incidence.    Similarly, omega-3 derived from microalgae oil has been show to play a preventative role in cancer. Rats that were fed a diet high in micoalgae oil were protected against colorectal cancer in a model where they were pharmacologically induced to get cancer.  In another study, rats with mammary carcinoma were fed diets high in microalgae oil or palm oil. The rats that supplemented with DHA derived from microalgae oil showed a reduction in tumor vascularization and a 45% reduction in the mammary tumor size, compared to the control that had no reduction in tumor size. 
- ↑ Chan, Eric J; Leslie Cho (2009-04). "What can we expect from omega-3 fatty acids?". Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 76 (4): 245-251. doi:10.3949/ccjm.76a.08042. ISSN 1939-2869.
- ↑ Anderson, Breanne M; David W L Ma (2009). "Are all n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids created equal?". Lipids in Health and Disease 8: 33. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-8-33. ISSN 1476-511X.
- ↑ Doughman, Scott D; Srirama Krupanidhi, Carani B Sanjeevi (2007-08). "Omega-3 fatty acids for nutrition and medicine: considering microalgae oil as a vegetarian source of EPA and DHA". Current Diabetes Reviews 3 (3): 198-203. ISSN 1573-3998. PMID 18220672.
- ↑ Wen, Zhi-You; Feng Chen (2003-07). "Heterotrophic production of eicosapentaenoic acid by microalgae". Biotechnology Advances 21 (4): 273-294. ISSN 0734-9750. PMID 14499126.
- ↑ Geppert, Julia; Veronika Kraft, Hans Demmelmair, Berthold Koletzko (2005-08). "Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in vegetarians effectively increases omega-3 index: a randomized trial". Lipids 40 (8): 807-814. ISSN 0024-4201. PMID 16296399.
- ↑ Kimura, Fumiko; Shiho Ito, Yasushi Endo, Nobushige Doisaki, Tsuyoshi Koriyama, Teruo Miyazawa, Kenshiro Fujimoto (2008-02). "Long-term supplementation of docosahexaenoic acid-rich, eicosapentaenoic acid-free microalgal oil in n-3 fatty acid-deficient rat pups". Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 72 (2): 608-610. ISSN 1347-6947. PMID 18256488.
- ↑ Arterburn, Linda M; Eileen Bailey Hall, Harry Oken (2006-06). "Distribution, interconversion, and dose response of n-3 fatty acids in humans". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 83 (6 Suppl): 1467S-1476S. ISSN 0002-9165. PMID 16841856.
- ↑ Zaciragić A, Huskić J, Hadzović-Dzuvo A, Valjevac A, Avdagić N, Mulabegović N (November 2007). "Serum C-reactive protein concentration and measures of adiposity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus". Bosn J Basic Med Sci 7 (4): 322–7. PMID 18039190.
- ↑ Simopoulos AP (2002). "Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases.". J Am Coll Nutr. 21 (6): 495-505. PMID 12480795.
- ↑ Danner M, Kasl SV, Abramson JL, Vaccarino V (2003). "Association between depression and elevated C-reactive protein". Psychosom Med 65 (3): 347–56. PMID 12764206.
- ↑ Berquin, Isabelle M; Iris J Edwards, Yong Q Chen (2008-10-08). "Multi-targeted therapy of cancer by omega-3 fatty acids". Cancer Letters 269 (2): 363-377. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.044. ISSN 1872-7980.
- ↑ Song, Cai; Xuwen Li, Brian E Leonard, David F Horrobin (2003-10). "Effects of dietary n-3 or n-6 fatty acids on interleukin-1beta-induced anxiety, stress, and inflammatory responses in rats". Journal of Lipid Research 44 (10): 1984-1991. doi:10.1194/jlr.M300217-JLR200. ISSN 0022-2275.
- ↑ James, M J; R A Gibson, L G Cleland (2000-01). "Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory mediator production". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71 (1 Suppl): 343S-8S. ISSN 0002-9165.
- ↑ Sukenik, A; H Takahashi, S Mokady (1994). "Dietary lipids from marine unicellular algae enhance the amount of liver and blood omega-3 fatty acids in rats". Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 38 (2): 85-96. ISSN 0250-6807. PMID 8067689.
- ↑ Harris, W S (1997-05). "n-3 fatty acids and serum lipoproteins: human studies". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 65 (5 Suppl): 1645S-1654S. ISSN 0002-9165.
- ↑ Khan, Syrah; Anne-Marie Minihane, Philippa J Talmud, John W Wright, Margaret C Murphy, Christine M Williams, Bruce A Griffin (2002-06). "Dietary long-chain n-3 PUFAs increase LPL gene expression in adipose tissue of subjects with an atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype". Journal of Lipid Research 43 (6): 979-985. ISSN 0022-2275.
- ↑ Geppert, Julia; Veronika Kraft, Hans Demmelmair, Berthold Koletzko (2006-04). "Microalgal docosahexaenoic acid decreases plasma triacylglycerol in normolipidaemic vegetarians: a randomised trial". The British Journal of Nutrition 95 (4): 779-786. ISSN 0007-1145. PMID 16571158.
- ↑ Vatten, L J; K Solvoll, E B Løken (1990-07-15). "Frequency of meat and fish intake and risk of breast cancer in a prospective study of 14,500 Norwegian women". International Journal of Cancer. Journal International Du Cancer 46 (1): 12-15. ISSN 0020-7136.
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- ↑ Additionally, several studies using mouse models also demonstrate that fish oil helps prevent cancer. Singh, J; R Hamid, B S Reddy (1997-08-15). "Dietary fat and colon cancer: modulation of cyclooxygenase-2 by types and amount of dietary fat during the postinitiation stage of colon carcinogenesis". Cancer Research 57 (16): 3465-3470. ISSN 0008-5472.
- ↑ van Beelen, Vincent A; Bert Spenkelink, Hans Mooibroek, Lolke Sijtsma, Dirk Bosch, Ivonne M C M Rietjens, Gerrit M Alink (2009-02). "An n-3 PUFA-rich microalgal oil diet protects to a similar extent as a fish oil-rich diet against AOM-induced colonic aberrant crypt foci in F344 rats". Food and Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 47 (2): 316-320. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2008.11.014. ISSN 1873-6351.
- ↑ Colas, Séverine; Karine Mahéo, Fabrice Denis, Caroline Goupille, Claude Hoinard, Pascal Champeroux, François Tranquart, Philippe Bougnoux (2006-10-01). "Sensitization by dietary docosahexaenoic acid of rat mammary carcinoma to anthracycline: a role for tumor vascularization". Clinical Cancer Research: An Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 12 (19): 5879-5886. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-0386. ISSN 1078-0432.
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