Ask Dr. Mike: Omega-3s for Vegetarians & Does the Grapefruit Diet Really Work?

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans. Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

Many years ago my mom went on the grapefruit diet and I remember that she lost some weight. Is there any science behind this diet?

There's no human clinical studies done on the grapefruit diet. However, there is an animal model study that was published in The Public Library of Sciences on October 2014. In the study, mice were selected to receive one of the following (or a combination of these ingredients): metformin, and/or sweetened grapefruit, sweetened water, naringin.

Researchers found mice that were fed a high fat diet and grapefruit juice experienced an 18.4 percent decrease in weight and a 13-17 decrease in blood sugar levels. That's pretty impressive.

I was told that the traditional sources of omega-3s for vegetarians like flax may not provide EPA and DHA like fish oil. If that's true, why? And what are my options?

The vegetarian sources like flaxseeds, provide the shorter chain of omega-3s and in order to really benefit from omega-3s you need to have the longer chains (EPA and DHA).

If you're going to rely on a vegetarian source for your omega-3s your body has to convert those shorter chains (polyunsaturated fats) into the longer chains (DHA and EPA). Even though your body can do that, it's just difficult to do.

If you are a vegetarian, the better choice for omega-3s is an algae source.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.