cant increases in DHA content (Baker, E.J., et al., http://dx.doi.
org/10.1016/ j.plipres.2016.07.002, 2016). There is a positive
linear relationship between ALA consumption and the amount
of EPA in plasma phospholipids: For each 1 g increase in ALA,
there is a 10% increase in EPA content (Fig. 3). In contrast,
there is little or no change in DHA levels in plasma phospholipids with increasing ALA consumption.
“Chia could be a way of increasing the EPA content of
blood and cells a little bit, but it would not be as effective as
eating more oily fish or taking a fish oil supplement,” says
Philip Calder, professor of nutritional immunology at the
University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom “Where
studies have compared ALA with EPA plus DHA for functional
effects, ALA is always much weaker, on a per-gram basis. As a
Omega- 3 and omega- 6 fatty acids compete for the same
enzymatic pathway to produce longer-chain fatty acids. For
much of human evolution, the dietary ratio of omega- 6 to
omega- 3 fatty acids was about 1: 1. However, modern Western
diets have omega-6:omega- 3 ratios ranging from 10–25: 1, driv-
ing preferential elongation of omega-6s over omega-3s. Thus,
the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA might be enhanced if
LA intake is decreased at the same time that ALA consumption
is increased (Baker, E. J., et al., http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/
j.plipres.2016.07.002, 2016). Chia has an omega-6:omega- 3
ratio of approximately 1: 3.