The reason why some ponds and lakes have a greenish hue to them is likely that they are rich in algae. This organism thrives in areas with ample sunlight and the right temperatures; some types prefer cold waters, others like warmer ones. There are about 40,000 species of algae.
Some of these are microscopic, single-celled ones called microalgae. Others are more well-known, like kelp and seaweed. All species depend upon UV light and carbon dioxide to grow. Algae thrive in natural habitats, but they can also be cultivated in laboratories. Keep reading to learn more about algae oil, its health benefits, and side effects.
Why do people cultivate algae for oil?
Some types of microalgae are rich in Omega-3s, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. The eyes and brain have high levels of DHA, which make signaling molecules. These compounds keep various organs healthy and help the body manage inflammations. Algae oil is also a large component of vegan vitamins.
Both EPA and DHA thrive in fish and marine life. Herring, salmon, anchovies, sardines, and other oily fish have the highest amounts of Omega-3 acids. Since fish cannot produce the acids on their own, they get it by eating algae; in effect, consuming algae oil means getting one of the primary sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to this, it is easier to increase the amount of Omega-3s in algae by modifying their levels of exposure to various elements. Studies show that algae produce different levels of the acids depending on how much light, oxygen, sodium, and glucose they receive. This makes it easy for researchers to cultivate algae oil with elevated levels of nutrients.
The use of algae oil goes beyond adult human consumption. It is an important source of Omega-3s in vegan supplements and infant formula. It is also used for enriching animal and fish feed and producing healthier fish and livestock.
What are the health benefits of algae oil?
There is some evidence that people who have higher levels of Omega-3 fats are less likely to contract certain health problems. Furthermore, blood DHA levels are higher in people who consume algae oil. It must be noted, though, that most research looks into the health of people who get their Omega-3 acids from fish.
Though this is the case, algae oil is still a good source of DHA. This is instrumental in reducing triglyceride levels by about 25 percent. Taking about 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of algae oil every day improves cholesterol levels and inhibits inflammation. Omega-3 may help control symptoms of arthritis, asthma, and colitis.
These acids also contribute to eye health; taking algae oil can help decrease dehydration in the eyes. It may also fight age-related macular degeneration, or AMD; however, more research is needed for these findings.
Furthermore, people who receive DHA and EPA supplements see a marked improvement in their moods and a decrease in overall fatigue. The higher intake of Omega-3s greatly improves symptoms of depression.
Algae oil is especially valuable and is one reason why people grow this organism in controlled environments. Algae oil is abundant in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have plenty of health benefits. For vegans and people who are not fond of fish oil, algae oil is a great alternative.
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