If your torn between taking flaxseed oil vs. Fish Oil, you are not alone. It’s a longstanding debate and one that many people have difficulty understanding. Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the similarities and differences so that you can choose the oil that is right for your unique needs. Flaxseed oil and Fish Oil are both beneficial, but in different ways.
The Types of Omega-3s
The first thing to consider in the flaxseed oil vs. Fish Oil debate is the fact that both products contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Your body uses omega-3 fatty acids in many bodily tissues, and it is vital to many processes throughout the body. Flaxseed oil and Fish Oil contain different types of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil contains only APA, while Fish Oil contains EPA and DHA. Your body can use EPA and DHA as-is, without any further processing. However, your body must process APA in order to break it down into EPA and DHA. Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of the flaxseed oil can be processed into these beneficial fatty acids.
Flaxseed Oil vs. Fish Oil – Is ALA Better for the Heart?
Some experts claim that the ALA contained in flaxseed oil is better for the cardiovascular system than EPA and DHA. Keep in mind that DHA is a very important component in the brain and it helps to create healthy brain cells, synapses, neurons, and tissues. EPA, on the other hand, plays a role in sending chemical signals within the brain, which may explain why it is beneficial for those who have mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. The FDA has approved Fish Oil for lowering triglycerides, but the same cannot be said for flaxseed oil. This is because more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of ALA as they pertain to the cardiovascular system as a whole.
Should You Take Both Together?
In an effort to put an end to the flaxseed oil vs. Fish Oil debate, some people take both supplements together. Although many people experience no side effects from doing so, it is important to keep in mind that your risk for serious adverse reactions will increase if you take both supplements. For example, both have been shown to thin the blood, and both can weaken the immune system, so taking both increases these risks. Be sure to talk to your physician before you take both supplements. People who take medications to suppress immune function and the elderly should not use both products at the same time and should speak with their physicians before using either product; these products may put these patients at high risk for infection and uncontrolled bleeding. To learn about how much fish oil per day to take, click this link.
The flaxseed oil vs. Fish Oil debate may continue to rage on, but the truth is that Fish Oil has been clinically proven to provide a variety of health benefits, and the FDA has approved it to lower triglycerides. The same cannot be said for flaxseed oil, but clinical studies and trials continue to determine its efficacy.