Flax Seed Oil vs. Fish Oil

August 24, 2013 — 2 Comments
Fish oil and Flax oil can both be utilized to benefit the human body in great ways!

Fish oil and Flax oil can both be utilized to benefit the human body in great ways!

These days, everyone has heard of either flax seed oil or fish oil- better known as omega-3 supplements, or essential fatty acids (EFA) if you wanna get fancy.

Both hold their purpose in the human body, but which is better? Well, the short answer is that fish oil is a superior source of omega-3 fatty acids. Does that mean that flax seed oil doesn’t serve a purpose? Absolutely not.

Flax seed oil is known to be rich in a certain fatty acid called ALA, as you can see here.

Flaxseed and other plant-based foods including walnuts, canola oil, and soybeans are rich in an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA.

With that said, however, flax seed oil does not contain the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA

But flaxseed lacks the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have shown cardiovascular benefits in past studies

ALA (flax) versus EPA and DHA (fish)

With all the studies done on ALA and EPA and DHA, it’s still a little inconclusive whether or not ALA delivers the same positives as its 2 counterparts.

According to this article from WebMD, a study was performed on firefighters, with different sets of groups given ALA, and EPA / DHA supplements. Obviously, the respective levels of each fatty acid rose with the group given that particular fatty acid. Really, ALA also rose in the EPA / DHA group, but at mugh higher doses, according to that particular study. It should be noted, however, this article is from 2008, and more recent studies have been done.

So what’s the answer? Well, there is no straight answer, as both supplements can benefit the human body. It is pretty evident, however, that flax seed oil and fish oil, are not the same, according to this other article from GeneSmart.com about flaxseed oil and fish oil.

The Omega 3s found in flaxseed oil vs fish oil are not the same and they impact our bodies differently when we consume them.

With all this said, it is not necessary to choose one over the other. Flax seeds serve a great purpose, but so does fish oil supplementation.

That’s right, don’t throw out your flax seeds just yet. While it is not a substitute for omega 3 from fish, flax seeds can play a role in the Gene Smart Program, and it has to do with a critical bioactive. It’s just not an omega 3. Rather, it’s fiber. Flax seeds are very rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber

The Verdict about Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil

Both flaxseed oil and fish oil are great for you but benefit you in different ways.

Personally, we like to supplement with both fish oil and flax oil, as they impact our bodies differently. So, it’s not a case of “which do I take?” It’s a case of “how much of each should I take?”

That, however, is a horse of a different color, and we will discuss that at a later time.

Lush Sleutsky

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Trying to provide the most current, accurate information. No tricks - no smoke & mirrors. We all want to learn more and more and keep progressing! There is no need for tricks or sales tactics. We want to gather, learn, share, and debate any and all fitness related info for the betterment of our minds and our bodies...

2 responses to Flax Seed Oil vs. Fish Oil

  1. Hello, after reading the article I know about ALA VS. EPA & DHA – Flax seed and other plant-based foods including walnuts, canola oil, and soybeans are rich in an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA.
    EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, fish oil supplements, and some fortified foods.
    Both ALA & EPA, DHA are supplemented with fish oil and flax oil. It impacts our bodies differently. So, it’s not a matter which do I take? But it’s a matter how much should I take?
    Thanks for a very good article & some important information.

    • @David

      Yes it is basically a matter of how much you should take. Flax oil contains EFAs, same as fish oil, and flax oil contains 1 different acid than does fish oil, which is ALA as you said, so it would not hurt to take both, minding your doses of each supplement. Thanks for stopping by and good luck to you!

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