Ahiflower + Algal DHA:
Good for humans, animals
and planet health

14 minute read


Ahiflower® oil is a single, pure, non-GMO ingredient that is grown using regenerative farming practices and is fully traceable.
Ahiflower is a high source of omega-3 SDA. SDA is the most efficient plant-based omega-3 fatty acid precursor for EPA and DHA synthesis.
Algarithm’s algal DHA oil is non-GMO verified, grown in a closed system, and undergoes an environmentally-friendly, chemical-free extraction process.
Algal DHA is just as bioavailable as fish sources.
Combining ahiflower with algal DHA provides the most complete and balanced plant-based omega-3 and omega-6 powerhouse option to support human and companion animal health.
An optimal balance of omega fatty acids in the body can help shift biochemical processes to support anti-inflammatory mechanisms in the areas of:
Cognitive health
Gut health
Maternal health


An increased interest in omega-3 fatty acid options beyond the typical fish oil sources is being driven by the potential decrease in available fish options globally, along with consumer demand for viable vegan choices. Let’s explore how combining a land plant plus a micro-algae can address this interest, while additionally being good for human, animal and planet health.

First up, the land plant. Ahiflower® (Buglossoldes arvensis) oil is grown exclusively in the United Kingdom by a group of independent, trained farmers using regenerative farming practices. It’s a single, pure, non-genetically modified ingredient, derived from plants that are fully traceable. It is expeller pressed and physically refined without chemical solvents on Prince Edward Island in Canada to produce an oil with a unique fatty acid profile, including stearidonic acid (SDA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), plus a small but significant percentage of omega-6 fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an important anti-inflammatory omega that’s only found in plant oils.

A unique consideration of dietary ahiflower is its high source of omega-3 stearidonic acid (SDA). This omega-3 is only found significantly in plants and marine crustaceans. SDA is the most efficient plant-based omega-3 fatty acid precursor for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) synthesis. In healthy adults, it converts up to six times the rate of ALA into EPA (1,2). Increasing EPA/DHA levels in the body has several positive impacts, including supporting anti-inflammatory mechanisms to promote wellness outcomes.
Next, algal omega-3 DHA oil is derived from a strain of wild-sourced micro-algae, initially discovered and isolated from the pristine coastal waters of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada. The algal oil undergoes an environmentally-friendly, chemical-free extraction process to eliminate virtually all traces of taste and odour, harnessing the nutritional benefits of plant-derived omega-3 DHA without an underlying marine smell or taste.

Dietary DHA is a functionally essential fat supporting brain development, along with heart and eye health. The body can only make small amounts of DHA, therefore, when consumed in a preformed state it will boost circulating levels more efficiently than from precursor omega-3 sources. Obtaining the recommended 500 mg of EPA and DHA per day (from foods and/or dietary supplements) does wonders for overall health and wellbeing (3-5). Algal DHA is as safe and equally bioavailable as fish sources for people who prefer plant-based choices.

Wellness outcomes

Nutrition intervention has increasingly been recognized for its ability to help prevent and protect against disease. Combining ahiflower with algal DHA provides the most complete and balanced plant-based omega-3 and omega-6 powerhouse option to support human and animal health.

Cognitive health

Cognitive and brain health is vital to our overall wellbeing. Omega-3 fats are critical in building cell membranes throughout the body and the brain (6-10). In fact, the human brain is 60 per cent fat, with DHA accounting for 40 per cent of polyunsaturated fatty acids. As a result, obtaining optimal DHA through direct preformed sources and more efficient precursors, like omega-3 SDA found in ahiflower, is recommended to support cognitive health.

Good quality and duration of sleep is a critical component to overall cognitive health. Stress, anxiety and modern-day lifestyle factors including digital dependency may lead to sleep disturbances. Sleep disturbance is a risk factor for several health problems, such as hypertension, weight gain and decreased longevity (11-14).
Data suggests DHA assists in the regulation of the production of serotonin and melatonin, which are closely related to the sleep-wake cycle (11-15) and is important for sleep quality (12,13) through its role in regulating melatonin production.
Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid levels are associated with healthy sleep duration (13).
In addition to DHA, research suggests elevated SDA and ALA may preserve the left frontoparietal cortex gray matter structure in cognitively intact older adults, improving their reasoning ability and their ability to generate, transform and manipulate novel information in real time (9).

Gut Health

Our gut microbiota can explain critical features of human biology and plays a larger role in human health than previously thought. Emerging research is detailing how a healthy gut microbiome impacts overall health, including immune health, and how the gut communicates with both prebiotics and probiotics to support and regulate major functions in the body.

The omega-3 composition of ahiflower oil has the potential to improve the live probiotic survival rate into the small intestine up to two-times vs probiotics alone (without ahiflower oil) in a simulated human gut model (16).
In an animal model study, a proprietary emulsion of ahiflower oil in total parental nutrition (TPN) has remarkable anti-inflammatory, insulin sensitizing and gut microbiome balancing effects, more so than fish and soya TPN emulsions. The authors identified a significant “immuno-nutrition” benefit with the ahiflower emulsion tied to ahiflower oil’s systemic anti-inflammatory effect (17).

Another study demonstrated a decreased ratio between Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes during a 12-week intervention period with a supplement containing ALA, SDA and GLA. The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio is widely accepted to have an important influence in maintaining normal intestinal balance (18).

Maternal health

Many authoritative bodies and expert scientific organizations recommend that pregnant people consume an extra 200 mg/day DHA (19). In 2021, The Australian Pregnancy Care Guidelines were updated to “Advise pregnant women that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (800 mg DHA and 100 mg EPA per day) may reduce their risk of preterm birth, if they are low in omega-3 (20).”

Supplementation* with omega-3 fatty acids before, during and after pregnancy is linked to numerous maternal, fetal and childhood benefits regarding human reproductive capacity and the cognitive functionality of their offspring (19-25).

The strongest evidence for omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy is for reducing the risk of preterm birth. Data from the Kansas DHA Outcome Study (KUDOS) found that universal supplementation with 600 mg/day DHA during the last two trimesters of pregnancy led to significant reductions in early preterm birth (22).
Inflammation is a major cause of pregnancy complications, prematurity and neonatal morbidity. Supplementation of 320 mg DHA and 72 mg EPA per day during pregnancy and lactation is beneficial for the mother, neonate and newborn infant during the initial stages of development due to their potential action as modifiers of cytokine secretion (26).

Omega-3s are necessary for optimal functioning of the brain and visual acuity during pregnancy. Clinical studies demonstrate that low consumption of omega-3 fatty acids or low plasma levels of DHA are associated with cognitive and behavioural disorders and infant feeding (5,19,22,27).

Companion animal health

The anti-inflammatory effects promoted by dietary omega-3s are showing promise in animal health as well – specifically in equine research. Fish oil sources, while high in omega-3 fatty acids, can be extremely unpalatable for some horses. Plant-derived oil eliminates the need for the addition of any flavouring components, providing a pure unadulterated source of omega-3 fatty acids for horses.

DHA-rich microalgae supplementation alters circulating fatty acids, modulates metabolic parameters and may reduce inflammation in horses with equine metabolic syndrome (28).

Strong evidence shows that Purina® Omega Match™ Ahiflower® Oil contains a unique fatty acid profile that can be converted through various metabolic pathways, into highly specialized fatty acids and endpoints for horses. This can promote optimal levels of inflammation in horses during the stress and rigors of training, which supports overall performance of the horse (29).

Another study shows DHA and EPA supplementation results in augmented storage pools of omega-3 essential fatty acids in synovial fluid (important for joint movement) and surfactant glycerophosphocholines (important in kidney function). This has the potential to improve the ability of anti-inflammatory mechanisms to resolve inflammatory pathways in these critical compartments involved in equine arthritis and asthma (30).

Final Thoughts

An optimal balance of omega fatty acids in the body can help shift biochemical processes to support anti-inflammatory mechanisms, providing the basis for better health and wellness outcomes. Examples supported by plant-based omegas include cognitive, gut, maternal and companion animal health. Having responsibly grown, sourced and traceable omegas from ahiflower and algal DHA is excellent news for people, animals and the planet.

*Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.


Jane Dummer, RD

There are thousands of self-proclaimed “foodies” positioning themselves as health and wellness experts, but Jane Dummer RD—President of Jane Dummer Consulting—is the real deal. A registered dietitian and respected thought leader in the food industry, Jane holds a Nutrition Science degree from one of the world’s leading food universities. She consults with medium to large food and beverage companies across North America and has made countless media appearances as both a guest and commentator. The author of “The Need for Seeds: How to Make Seeds an Everyday Food in Your Healthy Diet,” Jane is also a writer for Baker’s Journal and a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario. She has served on Scientific Advisory Boards for Danone Canada and the Canadian Foundation of Dietetic Research.


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