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Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil V Freshly Ground Flaxseed ...f

I've been reading various articles on the net comparing fish oil to flaxseed. With the intention of taking either for their heart benefits.

I've read that the best type of fish oil is pharmaceutical grade fish oil, which is highly refined and is much more effective than other fish oils such as cod liver oil.

I've also read that freshly ground flaxseed is better than flaxseed oil, as freshly ground flaxseed has the additional benefit of fibre, lignans and protein.

I've read that there are three primary omega-3's: ala, epa, and dha. Flax contains ala, an omega-3 essential fatty acid that cannot be manufactured by the body. As a result, we must get it through our diet. Fish contains the pre-formed omega-3 long chain fatty acids epa and dha. However, because our bodies naturally convert ala into epa and dha, these omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are not considered essential (although they are still very important). Ala conversion rates can vary from person to person, and more research is needed in this area.

So i'm left wondering if it is better to take freshly ground flaxseed, or pharmaceutical grade fish oil?

Any opinions...?
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replied January 31st, 2007
Flax Vs Fish
Pharmaceutical grade fish oil is a superior source of epa and dha. Your body has to convert ala in flax into epa and dha, and it's a poor conversion process, you only get 5-10% maximum, assuming you are digesting correctly and you have no major health issues. Age, alcohol, drugs, diabetes and a long list of health issues can intefer with the conversion process. Your body has to manufacture 2 enzymes, delta 5 and delta-6 desaturase to convert ala to epa/dha. So 2 tablespoons of flax oil = approx 1 teaspoon fish oil.

Ground flax has the benefit of fibre and lignans too, but as far as omega 3 goes - fish oil - including cod liver oil (rich in vitamin a & d) is the greatest.

To answer your question epa/dha are efa's - essential.

You could always use both! Supplement with fish oil and use flax oil on salads and pasta etc! Or ground flax on cereal in the morning.

I personally use ascenta nutrasea or carlson's cod liver oil in the winter for extra vitamin d. Both availbale at my health food store

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replied February 5th, 2007
Fish Oil Is Superior But Be Careful

steven is right - epa and dha are scientifically classified as essential to human health because your body can’t synthesize them.

And yes, if you take flaxseed, the conversion rate of ala to epa and dha is very inefficient (around 10 %) this is due to the high consumption of


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