Alternative Omega 3 source to Flaxseed, also Astaxanthin

A few people have issues with flaxseed associated with its phytoestrogenic effect and the ongoing debate as to whether they are ‘safe’ with respect to negative effects, specifically for men - scientific evidence suggests the jury is still out.

I’ve seen Mana use sea algae lipids to provide EPA and DHA.

An even better option it seems would be chia oil:

This link provides quite a bit of info and evidence to support why chia is a better source of omega-3 than flax, so would be interested to hear @JamesCollier 's thoughts on it.

Aside, has Astaxanthin been discussed here yet? With a myriad of benefits, and believed to be the world’s most potent natural antioxidant, maybe it could replace lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin alone in Huel.

Hi @xenonp

This has come up before.

Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds similar in structure to the hormone oestrogen; and some people claim they may also have similar effects on the body to that of oestrogen if consumed in large enough amounts.Some people point to articles which state flaxseed may increase the amount of phytoestrogens; however, these articles have litle basis. Indeed, flaxseed also contains lignans, phytonutrients that can actually lower the effectiveness of oestrogen in the body.

Chia seeds are great; but they are ridiclously expensive and you can’t get them ultra fine-milled (as yet). Do remember that we don’t just include the flaxseeds for their omega-3s - there’s a lot more in them too.

Algae oil is interesting, but again expensive and not without its own concerns. Astaxanthin sounds great, but there’s so little research on it. A ‘replacement’ for lycopene … ? maybe. But certainly not for lutein and zeaxthanin.

Just to mention something you said…

A few people have issues with…

This can be said for pretty much every food and ingredient; we look at the research and data as well as listening to people.

I’m not sure why you say “certainly not” re. lutein and zeaxanthin. They are all carotenoids, and astaxanthin is much, much, much more potent in ROS scavenging, alongside the fact that it’s the only one of these that cannot become pro-oxidant at all.

Surely there is a source of ultra fine-milled chia seeds? A quick Google search allowed me to find a few commercial sources.

Lutein and zeaxthanin have benefits over and above their systemic oxygen free-radical scavenging ability: they, especially lutein, have been shown to slow macular degeneration in the elderly: that’s what I was alluding to.

There is fine milled chia seeds, but not to the ultra-fine mesh we require - not that I have found. And, like I said, they are silly expensive. However, as they increase in popularlity (they are very ‘in’ at the moment), production might increase and prices might come down.

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OK sure re. chia seeds, makes sense.

It has been long known that there is an incredibly strong link between age related macular degeneration and oxidative stress / chronic low-grade inflammation, which is believed to be the major cause of it in the first place. Hence, it is most likely the systemic oxygen free-radical scavenging ability, and of course the ability to cross the blood-retina barrier which is responsible for this therapeutic benefit of these carotenoids. I admit, lutein and zeaxanthin have much more research behind them, but there is no denying that astaxanthin is a much more potent antioxidant. Just out of curiosity, since synthetic astaxanthin has been shown to have much fewer health benefits than natural astaxanthin - do you use synthetic or natural carotenoids in Huel?

All are natural
Some more information here:

I recommend you read this paper. Lutein and zeaxanthin are not just any old antioxidants, they appear to have specific function that I doubt other antioxidants can replace (just like vitamin C cannot replace vitamin E, you need both).