Lately, there has been a debate between supporters of fish oil and flax seed oil. Both camps have dedicated fans but I believe that some of these consumers are in the wrong discussion. These are not competing products. They can be taken together but for different reasons.
First, omega 3 fish oil has two essential fatty acids called DHA and EPA. Flax seed oil also has an omega 3 essential fatty acid but it is called ALA. By essential, that means the body can not make it. It must be outsourced.
The health benefits of DHA and EPA are beyond dispute. They are recommended by the FDA, American Heart Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Eye Institute and the Arthritis Foundation among others.
The ALA from flax seed oil does not directly provide most health benefits. The body must first convert it to DHA and EPA in order to work. Some people think by using flax seed oil in cooking, it will enhance the benefits.
Not true. Heat breaks this down faster than a guilty witness in an old Perry Mason court room trial. Those of you old enough to remember that reference need to pay particular attention to this next point – the older you are, the less ability your body has in converting ALA to DHA/EPA. To give you an idea, it is estimated that most adults would have to consume 10 – 40 grams of flax seed oil to produce just 0.2 grams of DHA.
In other words, if you are looking to get the DHA/EPA omega 3 benefits from flax seed oil, you are doing it the hard way, assuming it happens at all.
Why should I take flax seed oil?
Not for the fish oil benefits. However, the ground up seeds provide beneficial ingredients such as soluble and insoluble fiber and lignan. Studies show that lignan possesses anti-cancer properties. Research results have been most promising in breast cancer prevention. It is thought that lignan can inhibit the onset of estrogen-stimulated breast cancer.
The fiber aids the digestive system and helps lower cholesterol levels.
Should I take both?
Each of these essential fats have benefits that the other does not. It is important that you do your research on both supplements.
To get the amount of omega 3s you need, you should consider a supplement. However, there are many bad fish supplements. They can be rancid, contaminated and contain very little DHA or EPA. Stick to a quality product. Check out the companies website. The few good ones will tell you everything you need to know. The bad and mediocre ones think the word disclosure is no longer part of the English language – they make all sorts of claims and will hide everything they can to prove those claims. Remember, this is an unregulated market.
I do not use flax seed oil. I use ground up seeds in cereal, salads etc. If you get an ALA supplement or an omega 3 6 9 product, you are not getting the fiber or the lignan. Also, I do not have to worry about potential negative side effects from an overdose.
In conclusion, do both. Get your EPA and DHA through a fish oil supplement. My website can help in that area. Any decent health food store offers ground flax seeds.
Get my free five-part mini course on the benefits of omega 3, including critical information on why you should take omega3 fish oil. To sign up for the course and get more tips on the importance of omega 3, visit my website: http://www.omega-3-guide.com/
Article from articlesbase.com
Related Flax Articles