Flaxseed Oil vs Fish oil – What Are The Main Differences

The health benefits of fish oil have been reported from clinical trails conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA). From The AHA research, it was concluded that fish oil supplementation can greatly reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Fish oil was shown to lower bad cholesterol, LDL while increasing good cholesterol, HDL.

Research studies suggested that fish oil can be helpful for treatment of the following conditions:

  • macular degeneration and eye diseases,
  • depression, arthritis,
  • diabetes,
  • cancer,
  • and inflammation.

Fish oil can be found naturally in certain fish, such as: salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovies and tuna. It is believed that regular consumption of fish, can supply the body with Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, which cannot be manufactured by the human body. To realize the health benefits of essential fatty acids, the American Heart Association has recommended eating fish at least twice a week or through oral dosages of fish oil supplements.
The benefits of flaxseed oil have been compared to those of fish oil. Flaxseed is natural oil, also known as Linseed. It is commonly used to maintain the whole body with a general sense of well being. It is the richest natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil supplies that body with the essential fatty acids that are required for optimal health of systems within the human body.

Flax Seed Oil contains not only the Omega-3 of fish oil, but it also supplies the body with omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids (remember – omega 3 is good, omega 6 is bad, omega 9 is neutral). It provides approximately 50% more omega-3 oils than fish oil. This has led to a great health debate, fish oil versus flax seed oil, which is better?

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are the main health benefit of fish oil and flaxseed oil. Research evidence has shown how vital Omega-3 fatty acids are for good heart health.

Flaxseed has shown the same anti-inflammatory benefits as fish oil. Inflammation is considered to be one of the leading causes of heart disease and cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent premature death of healthy cells. Additionally, Omega-3 help to maintain good healthy cells, which prevents diseases that are caused by cellular damage.

The main problem with flaxseed oil is that it contains the fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). And only this ALA is then converted into Omega-3 by our bodies. When it comes to fish oil it already contains omega 3. Tre problem here is that some people who are already suffering from poor health or those with certain medical conditions may have difficulty in converting the ALA to Omega-3 and can therefore not fully benefits from the health benefits of flaxseed oil.

For them fish oil is the obvious winner of the flaxseed oil vs fish oil debate.

The main problem of the fish oil is possible pollution. It is made out of fish that swim in our polluted seas and are on the top of the food chain – they are the final stop for things like mercury etc… Not good. If fish oil is molecularly distilled then you can be sure that it is 100% pure and safe (but its effect is somewhat diminished by this) but when it’s not it can contain traces of heavy metals like the before mentioned mercury. On the other hand – flaxseed oil is completely safe when it comes to pollution.

So which one is better? Hard to say, I think the jury is still out there. But by knowing the facts and differences between the two you can make a better and a more informed decision on which one to use.

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