Food sources for omega 3 phospholipids are very limited. Consumers only got access to this critical nutrient when krill oil was introduced into the US consumer market in 2004. A second good source are DHA eggs, and a third one is caviar. DHA eggs are still hard to find, but more and more supermarkets carry them.
In the old days organ meats were the main source of omega 3 phospholipids. However, headcheese has completely disappeared from our diet.
Omega 3 phospholipids were extensively studied by researchers in the 1970’s. Science already understood that omega 3 phospholipid was a critical nutrient, if not a potential drug against many diseases. The researchers looked at omega 3 phospholipids from cow brain and spinal tissue. Unfortunately that extensive phospholipid research came to an immediate halt when prions in cow brain and spinal cords were identified at the cause of mad cow disease. The research picked up again only with the introduction of krill oil in 2004.
Omega 3 DHA eggs
Eggs have high phospholipid content, but whether the phospholipids are bonded with omega 3 fatty acids depends on what we feed the chickens. When there’s a lot of corn or soy in the chicken feed the eggs and the phospholipids in the eggs will contain a lot of omega 6. Overconsumption of omega 6 fats is outright dangerous.
On the other hand, if chickens roam free and find their own food such as seeds and grasses, they will consume plenty omega 3 ALA which will end up in the egg bonded to the egg yolk phospholipids. If the chickens are fed omega 3 DHA algae, then omega 3 DHA will end up in the egg phospholipids. If you have the choice between DHA and ALA, then make sure to buy DHA eggs, rather than ALA omega 3 eggs.
DHA omega 3 is at least 100 times more valuable as a nutrient than ALA omega 3. The Gold Circle Farms DHA eggs depicted above contain 150 mg DHA per egg. The Organic Valley eggs depicted below contain 225 mg omega 3 ALA. The conversion in the human body from ALA to DHA is around 100 to 1. So it is fair to equate the 225 mg ALA to 2.25 mg DHA.
Food companies know that only few consumers understand the difference between ALA and DHA omega 3, so they sucker people into buying ALA eggs by advertising them as “omega 3”. ALA eggs are not bad at all, they are actually excellent compared with eggs from corn fed chickens, but they are not the Holy Grail, DHA eggs are.
Omega 3 DHA eggs are the only serious alternative to krill oil for consumers with a seafood allergy. The same is true for vegetarians and people whose diet is limited by their religious dietary laws. Vegans are completely out of luck, because they do not consume any animal products at all.
Phospholipids in fish roe
Caviar and unsalted fish roe are two other omega 3 phospholipid food sources. However, fish roe and caviar are expensive, and one needs an acquired taste to appreciate them. The most common place to find fish roe is as topping on sushi. Be aware that caviar contains a lot of salt. Fish meat also contains small quantities of omega 3 phospholipids.
Phosphatidylserine, or PS for short, is another supplement that is an omega 3 phospholipid. PS is a special kind of phospholipid that helps in the transmission of nerve signals. One manufacturer conjugates (synthesizes) PS with bonded omega 3 DHA. The combination of PS and DHA is very powerful, because both molecules, and especially when bonded, work synergistically in brain and nerves. PS-DHA does wonders for ADHD and ADD.
Coming soon about omega 3 phospholipids:
How much phospholipid is in krill, eggs and fish roe?
How much DHA is in phosphatidylserene?
What kinds of omega 3 phospholipids are in krill oil?
Why are omega 3 phospholipids so important for good health?