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Source: Alltech news release

It's green, it's slimy - it's algae. And it's actually none of those things - at least not the heterotrophic high-DHA omega-3 algae variety produced at Alltech Algae in Winchester, Ky. These algae are off-white, dry and powdery, and unleashing their vast potential for positive change will be one of the topics of discussion at "What If," the 30th Annual Alltech International Symposium in downtown Lexington, Ky., USA, from May 18-21.

With a new format in 2014, the popular yearly event will explore the question of "What If" in sessions focusing on Crop Science, Life Sciences, Africa, Business and Technology, Modern Farming, and The Algae Opportunity.

When many people think of algae, their minds automatically turn to pond scum or the green stuff that washes up on the beach, noted Becky Timmons, technical director of Alltech Algae. But the reality is very different, and the surprising health possibilities of the organisms, that are rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acid DHA, will be explored in depth at The Algae Opportunity session.

"Algae are incredibly powerful tools for positive change, as we look to improve animal nutrition and human nutrition through DHA omega 3-enriched eggs, meat, milk and more," Timmons said. "We're excited to talk with our Symposium attendees about the many "What If?" possibilities that exist for algae in the health and wellness sphere."

High-DHA omega-3 algae can help bring about a host of positives: animals that are healthier and more productive and bring higher profits for farmers, as well as improved human health through DHA-enriched functional foods, Timmons noted. In humans, DHA omega-3 is linked to improved cognitive function and learning ability in children, including benefits for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as reduced risk of coronary heart disease, depression and Alzheimer's disease in adults.

Furthermore, the substitution of algal DHA in fish diets rather than DHA from fish oil can help create a more sustainable aquaculture industry, particularly important as global fish consumption hits record highs.

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