DHA is an important omega 3 with a wide range of benefits and is especially important for prenatal wellbeing. Since vegans avoid fish, obtaining DHA through diet can be hard. Deva’s algae-based DHA supplements to the rescue - and it’s not just for vegans.
- ✓ Vegan-friendly
- ✓ Small, easy to swallow
- ✓ Lemon flavour
- ✓ Inexpensive
- ✓ Gluten-free
- ✓ Dairy-free
- ✘ Only 200mg DHA per-capsule
- ✘ No EPA or other omega 3s
- ✘ Contains carrageenan
Who should take Deva Vegan DHA?
DHA is strongly recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. With 200mg of DHA, Deva Vegan DHA has slightly less than the amount we recommend, but you can of course take more than one.
DHA has so many health benefits that it should shared with the rest of the adults in the household, making this a great multi-tasker.
Not recommended for: People concerned about carageenan, e.g. those with digestive tract issues.
Vegans should not miss out on the health benefits of Omega-3. Great to have in any household.
Deva Vegan DHA contains no animal-derived ingredients, which obviously makes is a great option for vegans and vegetarians, but with small pills and a lemon flavour, it’s potentially a good idea for anyone. Although Deva does not specifically market this product as a prenatal supplement, since it contains Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) it’s worth considering for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
DHA is just one of many recommended prenatal and preconception vitamins. Check out our comprehensive guide to prenatal and preconception vitamins for women and men for more information on the various vitamins you should consider if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby.
The big advantage that this product has over many alternative DHA supplements is that it is algae-based, as opposed to being obtained from fish oil. There are several reasons why this matters:
- Being free of animal-derived ingredients, it’s a suitable supplement for vegans and vegetarians.
- Since no fish are harvested for this product, there are no specific concerns around sustainable fishing.
- Some people find the taste and odour of fish oil quite offputting, so having a DHA supplement that does not contain fish oil could be great even for non-vegans.
A review of the ingredients list indicates that Deva Vegan DHA is gluten-free and dairy-free, in addition to being vegan.
Deva also put some effort into making this easy to consume. Small softgels are easy to swallow, and the lemon flavour would be pleasing to most.
DHA vs. ageing
DHA has many remarkable benefits for everyone, but it is especially good for arresting cognitive decline often associated with ageing.
In one academic study  it was shown that 900mg supplementation of DHA over a 24 month period provided measurable benefits to learning and memory function in patients aged 55 and above.
Like any product, there are some downsides to Deva Vegan DHA. The biggest issue is an important cautionary note: Deva Vegan DHA contains carrageenan.
Carrageenan is a seaweed that has been used in traditional cooking for hundreds of years. It is commonly found in vegan supplements as an alternative to gelatin. There are different opinions on the relative safety of carageenan, and even regulators have different positions on it. But it does seem like those with digestive tract issues may want to consider avoiding carageenan if possible. This presents a challenge for vegan who would want to also avoid animal-based gelatin. Ultimately individuals should weigh the relative concerns and make a decision that suits them best. Perhaps one approach may be to try a small purchase of Deva Vegan DHA, and if there are any digestive issues, discontinue consumption and think about trying something else.
Another issue with Deva Vegan DHA is that, it is DHA only. DHA is not the only omega 3 with health benefits, in particular it would be desirable to include some EPA with DHA.
Furthermore, with only 200mg of DHA per softgel, we would recommend that those taking Deva Vegan DHA for prenatal use should take two pills daily to hit our recommended daily intake of 300mg DHA.
Getting the most out of any supplement requires adherence - i.e. to get the most out of it, you have to stick to it and take it regularly, ideally every day. Vitamins that just sit in a bottle don’t do any good. If you are someone who tends to forget to take your vitamins, try Intrepid Pillbox: the app for busy active people who want to get the most out of supplements with minimal effort.
Besides sticking to it, to get the most out of Deva Vegan DHA, it’s a good idea to take it with meals. There are two reasons for this:
Deva Vegan DHA is made from algae, and although the lemon flavour helps many consumers enjoy the taste, some people find the algae taste/odour a bit off-putting. Therefore, it may help to take it with food to mask the taste and smell.
Although Deva Vegan DHA does not require refrigeration, chilling the softgel pill will dull the smell and taste, which might make it easier to consume for some people.
Academic research has shown that consuming DHA together with a meal that contains at least 44g of fat improves absorption three-fold  - which means if you take Deva Vegan DHA with a meal that contains some fat, your body actually absorbs more of the DHA from the Deva softgel pill. That’s a major improvement in efficiency, so it’s well worth making it a habit to take Deva Vegan DHA together with a meal that’s likely to be higher in fat content.
One alternative to consider is Ocean’s Mom DHA. Although it is marketed as a prenatal supplement, Ocean’s Mom DHA is suitable for use by anyone. It is, however, derived from fish oil, so strict vegans might prefer to avoid it.
DHA has many health benefits, especially during pregnancy. Prenatal supplements are important because pregnancy is a critical stage for the development of a baby, but often when a baby is on the way, the wellbeing of mom-to-be (and dad-to-be, and hey, even grandparents-to-be) can sometimes be overlooked. The problem is more acute for vegans who will often be lacking in certain nutrients, including DHA.
That’s why vegan-friendly DHA supplementation is extremely valuable. There are some downsides to Deva Vegan DHA, but it’s definitely worth considering. It will be a great choice for many people.Buy it now ≫
Here at Intrepid Wellbeing we prefer to source information from high quality, academically rigorous sources. These are the references we used to develop this article:
- Yurko-Mauro K, McCarthy D, Rom D, Nelson EB, Ryan AS, Blackwell A, Salem N Jr, Stedman M; MIDAS Investigators. Beneficial effects of docosahexaenoic acid on cognition in age-related cognitive decline. Alzheimers Dement. 2010 Nov;6(6):456-64
- Lawson LD, Hughes BG. Absorption of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid from fish oil triacylglycerols or fish oil ethyl esters co-ingested with a high-fat meal. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1988 Oct 31;156(2):960-3.