When you compare flaxseed oil VS fish oil, the primary thing that you need to know is that flax seed does not contain DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) or EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid). It contains only ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid). The studies that have been conducted focused primarily on DHA and EPA.
ALA is of some value in the human diet. It is an prenatal dha supplement omega3 fatty acid. It is simply not as valuable as DHA or EPA. The long-held belief is that ALA will be converted to DHA or EPA on an as-needed basis, within the body. But, recent studies indicate that the amount that will be converted is actually very small. In people with low levels of DHA circulating in their bloodstreams, ALA supplementation did not correct the deficiency. That means that DHA, itself is essential in the human diet.
Low levels of DHA in the bloodstream are associated with depression and other disorders. Low levels of EPA have been found in suicide victims. Both DHA and EPA have been used in studies that aimed to provide relief from depression. When it comes to relieving depression, in the flaxseed oil VS fish oil comparison, only fish oils are effective.
An alternative that has been recommended for strict vegans is microalgae, which provides DHA. DHA can easily be converted to EPA and other fatty acids, because it is the longest chain. The body need only drop two carbon bonds.
When it comes to benefits for heart health, EPA, DHA and DPA have been studied. The most benefit is seen when all three are combined. The most effective for lowering cholesterol is DHA. So, once again in the flaxseed oil VS fish oil debate, it is clear that fish oil is the winner.
When it comes to anti-inflammatory activity, the natural triglycerides from fatty fish have the most anti-inflammatory activity, twice what is found in the concentrated esters. A supplement containing 800mg of omega3s was compared to one containing 500mg of omega3s and 500mg of natural triglycerides. The one with the natural triglycerides had double the anti-inflammatory activity.
I can find no research concerning the anti-inflammatory activity of flax seed oil. While it is edible oil, flax has been primarily grown to produce linen. The oil has a strong odor and an unpleasant odor. So, it is not a natural component of the human diet.
So, if you consider what one would normally eat in the flaxseed oil VS fish oil debate, flax seed oils lose again.
Some of the fatty acids in flax seed have been linked to health problems, rather than health benefits.
For example, it contains palmitic acid. According to the World Health Organization, there is evidence that palmitic acid in the diet increases the risk of heart disease.
It is well known that increasing intake of EPA and DHA reduces the risk of heart disease.
So, who is the winner of the flaxseed oil VS fish oil debate? I believe that the answer is obvious.
That is why it is important to take fish oil supplements that are naturally high in EPA and DHA like I do and are also high in anti-inflammatory properties.
See my website for more details about all the health benefits that you can get if you suffer from depression, arthritis, or diabetes just to name a few.