What are the benefits of flaxseed oil vs. fish oil?
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Q:

What are the benefits of flaxseed oil vs. fish oil?

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Quick Answer

Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids types, and flaxseed oil consists of one kind that breaks down into the other two types, according to The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Flaxseed is a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it takes more flaxseed oil than fish oil to consume the two main types of omega-3 fatty acids.

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Full Answer

Harvard explains that 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, or 7 grams of the substance, converts into 700 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. Many 1-gram capsules of fish oil contain 300 milligrams of EPA and DHA per capsule, so 7 grams of fish oil has 2,100 milligrams of usable omega-3 fatty acids. In one brand of flaxseed oil capsules, one serving is six capsules versus just one capsule per serving of fish oil.

WebMD reveals that a 2008 study sponsored by the Canadian Flax Council discovered EPA levels rose in one control group but only at higher doses of flaxseed oil between 2.4 and 3.6 grams per day. Those taking flaxseed oil versus fish oil did not have any DHA in their blood over the 12-week study.

Studies have shown fish oil is more potent than flaxseed oil in terms of omega-3 fatty acids, according to Harvard. For people concerned with mercury levels, purified fish oil capsules are a better choice than eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout.

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