Algae-Based Omega Deemed Safe in Study, May Soon Be GRAS

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Jerusalem, Israel—A new peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Toxicology has shown an algae-based omega-3 oil to be safe.

According to the ingredient supplier, Qualitas Health, this is an initial step to achieving GRAS status in the United States. This study is also the first to test the safety of an omega-3 oil extracted from Nannochloropsis oculata.

The study itself consisted of a variety of tests on the algal omega (Almega PL), including an in-vivo 14-day maximum tolerated dose (MTD) study, an in-vivo 90-day subchronic oral toxicity study and in-vitro genotoxicity studies. Dosages used in these tests ranged from 250 to 2,500 mg/kg. All test results showed no signs of genotoxicity or pesticide residues, with the researchers concluding that it was safe for human consumption at 1,250 mg/day.

David Hart, vice president of marketing at Qualitas, expressed his excitement over the study, explaining that while several in-house studies had already taken place showing Almega’s safety, having a safety study appear in a peer-reviewed journal was a major milestone. This builds off a July 2012 study testing Almega PL’s bioavailability against that of krill oil. The results showed similar levels of bioavailability from both oils, something that Hart attributes to the presence of both phospholipids and glycolipids in the supplement.

In addition to its efficacy, Hart also believes that the presence of algae-based omega supplements is important both as an option for vegans as well as due to sustainability. His company’s algae is harvested from farms in Texas using natural sunlight and a patented wet extraction process to save energy, with no impact on marine ecosystems at all.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2015