Omega 3: a new market around the plant?
Did you know that less than 20% of the world’s population consumes the recommended Omega 3 doses of 250 mg/day? And for good reason, eating habits are sometimes not enough to meet daily requirements in essential fatty acids. It is at this precise moment that the need for supplementation is felt, but do these supplements meet the expectations of consumers for all that? Zoom on a new alternative, the vegetable.
Between obstacles to be raised and opportunities to be seized, this article will certainly inspire you for your future products to develop.
The interest of supplementing with Omega 3
Omega 3 plays an important role in supporting normal immune function. On the one hand, they would limit the hyperactivity of T lymphocytes to avoid the risk of inflammation. And on the other hand, they would improve the production of B lymphocytes to better fight against infections.
Increases physical performance
Omega 3 has many effects on sports performance, muscle recovery and cardio-respiratory fitness. For example, studies have indicated an improvement in physical performance thanks to EPA and DHA, which would help reduce heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise. They have also shown a better recovery of the heart rate after exercise and an attenuation of inflammation caused by the effort.
They are recognized as essential nutrients for the development and maintenance of brain function throughout life. In fact, Omega 3s act on attention, learning, cognitive health, and more recently have shown positive effects on reducing the symptoms associated with mood disorders. A study dating from 2014 linked their roles on prenatal depression, Omega 3 supplementation would have helped women maintain a good mood during and after pregnancy.
An adequate daily intake of omega 3 improves the duration and quality of sleep in adults, children and adolescents.
Low levels of DHA are also associated with lower levels of the hormone melatonin, which helps DHA contribute to quality sleep.
At each stage of life, his need for Omega 3
Thus, omega 3s are essential at every stage of life.
However, we know that with the growth of the world’s population and the decrease in our resources, it will be difficult to meet the need for omega 3 through our diet alone.
What are the obstacles to this supplementation?
A question of sustainability
Associated with fish oil, omega 3 supplements do not promote the sustainable development of our animal resources.
A lack of awareness
There is a lack of awareness about the benefits and importance of omega 3 on our health but also the consequences of a deficiency.
An association with fish
A fishy aftertaste and smell that leaves something to be desired. Moreover, this animal composition does not meet the needs of vegetarians.
Consumers cannot directly see or feel health effects directly and quickly.
A sustainable and plant-based solution!
Why focus on fish when it does not synthesize omega 3 by itself?
In reality, we have to go back to the source of the fish’s diet, which is none other than microalgae. They alone are capable of synthesizing EPA and DHA from plants.
Among the non-oceanic microalgae is spirulina (a cyanobacterium classified as blue-green algae). But also Arthrospira which is an interesting source of omega-3. Among oceanic microalgae, aurantiochytrium holds the record for DHA (39% DHA in the oil extracted from this microalgae), while 50% of the total lipids of red microalgae are EPA.
The strength of these algae is that there is no difference in the bioavailability of omega-3s from algae and fish, so they act in the same way in the human body and offer the same health benefits.
Moreover, they are algae cultivated under controlled and purified conditions, so there is no risk of pollution and environmental contamination of them.
There is no doubt about the future of plant-based food supplements, as it is an alternative in line with the concerns and needs of consumers, that is, healthy, ethical, sustainable, with a low ecological footprint, and of high quality.
Thus 62% of omega-3 consumers prefer them in plant form. Enough to engage you in the development of a new product for your consumers.