Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil – Most people have heard a lot about the benefits of fish oil and flax seed oil. Some will swear by one or the other and some swear by both.
If you’ve seen the articles and read all the claims you might be thinking these supplements are the world’s answer to disease, as it exists.
Let’s take a closer look into what actual research has to say about these supplements.
We’ll define the differences between flax and fish and you can decide if you should be taking one or the other or both.
Of course, both are already known for their positive health benefits.
The main reason people take fish oil or flax seed oil supplements is for their omega 3 fatty acids. We require these elements in our diet because our bodies are unable to manufacture them.
When we’re omega 3 fatty acid deficient, many complications can arise like:
There are no recommended amounts of EPA or DHA intake, however, we know that there are certain populations are definitely at risk for developing diseases stemming from a lack of them.
These groups include those who are trying to lose weight and avoid fat, people with digestion problems, vegetarians, and pregnant women.
Studies (like the one performed by Mozaffarian et al) revealed that higher amounts of EPA and DHA circulating in your system is also associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular issues.
This was found to be true of those people who WERE NOT taking any supplements. What it means is that those people managed to get their omega 3 fatty acids from eating whole foods.
We know that science is not perfect. However, people from around the world who are living long healthy lives tend to be the ones eating seafood.
There are a lot of supporters of flax seed oil out there.
It doesn’t grab the spotlight like the fish oil but it has shown some positive promise in terms of cardiovascular disease, cancer, dry eye, recovery, brain function, and nearly everything else there is.
People who tout flaxseed oil are quick to point out that your body can take the ALA contained in the flaxseed and convert it into more valuable fatty acids like EPE and DHA.
How it does it is by desaturases and elongases (actions of the enzymes). The end result is some of the ALA you are consuming will actually be converted into DHA and EPA.
Both of these oils provide us with their benefits through the omega 3 fatty acids. How much and what type you’re actually getting varies.
Fish oil itself contains both EPA and DHA directly. Read the label on the back of the fish oil bottle and you’ll find the DHA and EPA amounts per serving listed.
Flaxseed oil also contains some valuable properties as well. It contains lignans (plant chemicals) that have very profound anti-cancer effects.
You can get these lignans from ‘Lally Naturals Organic Flaxseed Oil‘ as well as ALA.
You can give your diet an omega 3 boost from flaxseed oil by by taking alpha-linolenic acid.
However, this is just a backup and never a substitute for omega 3s found in regular fish and fish oils (due to the conversion factor).
So in the question of ‘Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil’ – You decide!