Every morning for years, I've taken a tablespoon of ground flax seed stirred into a cup of water, along with my other supplements. Gotta get those omega-3's if I want to slow the onset of Alzheimer's. It runs in my family, and I'm already forgetful enough as it is. When the folks from Ascenta, a natural health products company, contacted me about reviewing their NutraVege omega-3 supplement, I jumped at the chance.
NutraVege comes in oil form, and it derives its omega-3 source from the echium plant. According the company, echium oil contains the omega-3 Stearidonic acid (SDA), which readily converts to EPA. EPA is what alpha-linolenic acid must be converted into in order to play a biological role in the body. Echium oil converts to EPA at a rate of approximately 20 percent compared to 3.28 percent for flax.
In other words, echium oil provides a better source of essential omega-3's. And that sounds pretty good to me.
The recommended dose of NutraVege is two teaspoons daily, which equals about 80 calories. I only take in 30 calories from my tablespoon of ground flax seed. So that's one downside to the product. I'm short and tiny, and if I want to stay this size, my daily calorie intake isn't supposed to exceed 1697 calories per day. And I'm a girl who likes to eat. I prefer my precious calories in food form, but I realize the importance of taking in a good source of omega-3's.
The oil is citrus flavored and pretty darn tasty. But it does feel a little strange drinking a shot of straight-up oil. However, I'd buy more if I could afford it. Unfortunately, the list price for NutraVege is $34.99 for a 6.8-ounce bottle. That's a little steep on a newspaper reporter's budget. But you have some extra money to spend on supplements, NutraVege seems to be a better option than flax oil or seed.