Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil

Flaxseed oil and fish oil are both sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids that the human body needs for healthy function.

Omega-3 fatty acids are not manufactured by the body and can only be obtained from the diet. In the modern Western diet, omega-3s are in short supply because agricultural practices have yielded foods with higher omega-6 fat content vs omega-3 fat content.

Omega-6 fats are more "inflammatory" than omega-3 fats and the latter are needed to balance the production of inflammatory omega-6 lipids that can lead to atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases.

There is debate about whether flaxseed oil is an equivalent source of omega-3 fatty acids vs fish oil.

The answer is probably NO and the reason is because fish oil contains the omega-3 fats DHA and EPA, already in the form needed by the human body.

Flaxseed oil omega-3s have to be processed biochemically by the body into DHA and EPA before they can be utilized. As a result, this requires more metabolic activity (oxidative processes that can cause inflammation).

Also, most people are not efficient at converting flaxseed omega-3 fats into DHA and EPA. As a result, the required dosage of flaxseed oil required to get the necessary DHA and EPA is higher than for fish oil.

When you consume fish oil, the DHA and EPA is readily available to the body in high concentration with no metabolic conversion steps required, so it is generally accepted the fish oil is the optimal source of essential omega-3 fatty acids for humans.

Although there are benefits of flaxseed oil, they may be harder to obtain. Fatty acids aside, as a source of fiber, flax seeds benefit health in other ways.

This is the theory anyway.


1. n -3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: navigating toward

2. Normal Subjects Consuming Physiological Levels of 18:3(n-3) and 20:5(n-3) from Flaxseed or Fish Oils Have Characteristic Differences in Plasma Lipid and Lipoprotein Fatty Acid Levels1. (JOURNAL OF NUTRITION)

3. Flaxseed Oil Vs Fish Oil. (BUZZLE.COM)