Everything has omega-3 8. November 2007 William Davis (5) Walking the supermarket aisles, you may have lately noticed that numerous new products are appearing sporting "omega-3s" on the label. Some products simply contain alpha-linolenic acid, a tiny amount of which is converted to the biologically active omega-3s, EPA and DHA. Natural Ovens' Brainy Bagel, for instance, carries a claim of "620 omega-3." I find this confusing and misleading, since people will often interpret such a claim to mean that it contains 620 of EPA and DHA, similar to two capsules of standard fish oil (1000 mg capsules). Of course, it does NOT. I find this especially troublesome when people will actually stop or reduce their fish oil, since they've been misled into thinking that products like this bread contain active omega-3 fatty acids that yield all the benefits of the "real stuff." Other products actually contain the omega-3, DHA, though usually in small quantities. Breyer's Smart with DHA is an example, with 32 mg DHA per container. I find products with actual DHA (from algae) a more credible claim. However, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has looked at the actual contents of DHA in some of these products and found some discrepancies, including amounts of DHA less than the labeled amount and claims of omega-3 wihtout specifying DHA vs. linolenic acid. (It's probably linolenic acid, if it's not specified.) All in all, the addition of DHA to food products is a nice way to boost your intake of this healthy omega-3. However, keep in mind that these are processed, often highly processed, foods and you will likely pay a premium for the little boost. For now, stick to fish oil, the real thing. For a brief summary of the CSPI report and a link to the Nutrition Action Newsletter, see Omega-3 Madness: Fish Oil or Snake Oil.