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Flaxseed Oil versus Fish Oil

Fish Oil versus Flax Seed Oil - A Comprehensive Comparison

Burgeoning population, increased food demands and lack of nutrients has compelled us to include supplements in our diet to make it a balanced one. Here we will be discussing about two supplementary oils- fish oil and flax seed oil, and compare them. To come to a conclusion regarding which is better of the two, we have to look at the following aspects:

  1. Availability
  2. Nutrients found
  3. Mode of intake
  4. Health benefits
  5. Precautionary measures
Several fish oil pills Availability

Fish oil- tissues of oily fishes are the major sources of fish oil. This oil is accumulated in the body and liver of fishes like flounder, lake trout and salmon. But certain species of predatory fishes also deposit toxic substances alongwith the oil, hence their usage is discarded by food authorities. As of now, salmon and some algae have become the most common sources of fish oil.

Flax seed oil- the oil extracted from flax seeds is a kind of vegetable oil known as linseed or flaxseed oil. Linseed oil has been used in varnishing and painting for centuries. Flax is primarily used for its fibre content instead of the oil percentage.

Nutrients found

Fish oil- fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are required to reduce inflammatory symptom which is a biological response of tissues against pathogens. Apart from this, fish oil also contains EPA(Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA(Docosahexaenoic Acid).

Flax seed oil- in addition to omega-3 fatty acids, flax seed oil is rich in carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Certain other minerals like niacin, folate, thiamine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and calcium are also found in linseed oil.

Mode of intake

Fish oil- fish oil is readily available in the market in the form of soft gel capsules which can be taken in through water.

Flax seed oil- flax seed provides greater serving options as it can be taken in with water, mixed with yogurt, baked and can also be taken in the form of sprouts which have a spicy flavor.

Health benefits

Fish oil- there are numerous benefits arising out of fish oil:

  1. Intake of fish oil helps reduce the cholesterol level in the body. This maintains the body composition.
  2. Fish oil reduces the risk of disorders arising out of depression significantly. The EPA found in fish oil reduces the stress levels and prevents suicidal attacks.
  3. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have excellent protective effect in Parkinson痴 disease and also Alzheimer痴 disease. It protects the brain from such cognitive problems caused by these diseases.
  4. Fish oil is also very effective in reducing or reducing the hallucinations and delusions caused by Schizophrenia.
  5. People suffering from coronary heart diseases are advised to consume fish oil daily.
  6. Prostate cancer growth can be lessened by taking in fish oil.
  7. Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and hypertriglyceridemia are some conditions in which fish oil is found to be specifically useful.
  8. Fish oil also increases survival rate and reduces the chances of breast cancer.

Flax seed oil- advantages with flax seed oil are also multifarious:

  1. The lignans found in flax seed oil benefit the heart and are used in treating specific types of tumours.
  2. Diabetic patients are advised to take in linseed oil as it lessens the severity of sugar level in the blood.
  3. Constipation is also relieved using flax seed fibre as it improves the digestive system.
  4. Flax seed oil also helps in lessening breast and prostate cancers.
  5. Linseed oil can be a replacement for eggs where people who do not take eggs can take in linseed oil for recovering the essential nutrients requirements.
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Precautionary measures

Fish oil- certain fish species also accumulate toxic elements like mercury and chlordane which are harmful to us. Hence, fish oil source should be selected carefully.

Excessive intakes of fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids can result in bleeding and hemorrhagic attacks.

Certain fish oil brands contain alarming levels of PCB which should be discarded from intake.

Flax seed oil- linseed oil contains traces of alpha linolenic acid that can result in higher chances of prostate cancer.

Overconsumption of flax seed fibre without proper liquid diet can cause intestinal and digestive blockage and even obstruction of the bowel.

If already you are taking oral medication, then use of flax seed fibre should be discouraged as it can cause vomits and reduces the effects of the on-going treatment.

A final comparison

No doubt, both fish and flax seed oil are equally nutritious and important supplements. However, concerning the sources and varieties of intake method, flax seed oil definitely has an upper hand over fish oil. The ultimate decision rests upon the user, based on his specific requirements and needs. Last but not the least, medical suggestion is necessary before going for any of the two.

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