Monday, July 20, 2009

Which is Better For Brain and Heart Health : Fish Oil or Flax Seed Oil?

Do you know the difference between fish oil vs flax seed oil? This article discusses the pros and cons of each and why one is better for brain and heart health than the other.

The debate between fish oil vs flax seed oil has yet to come to a conclusion. Some say that one is better, while others say that the other takes the cake.

So who's right?

Flax Seed Oil vs Fish Oil

There's no question as to whether or not both supplements contain omega-3s, because they both do. But it's the benefits of the types of omega-3s each contain that there's much debate about.

A quality fish oil supplement contains high levels of DHA and EPA omega-3, which have been shown through a majority of studies to have the most benefits for the heart and mind. This is because these are the types of omega-3s that are most readily available to the body.

Flax seed oil, on the other hand, only contains ALA omega-3s. This type can be converted to EPA and then DHA.

However, this can be very difficult for elderly people and people with health problems. ALA has 18 carbon bonds; since EPA has 20 carbon bonds and DHA has 22, it's very hard for the body to add 2 or 4 carbon bonds.

By consuming a quality omega-3 supplement with high amounts of EPA and DHA (especially), then it's much easier for the body to make ALA by dropping bonds instead of adding them.

So for the simple fact that DHA and EPA provide the most health benefits for your brain and heart, it's safe to say that taking a quality fish oil supplement is best.

Flax seed oil is a common choice for vegans or by doctors for people that are on blood-thinning medication. For those people who are not able to take fish oil supplements for one reason or another, it's a good replacement.

If you are unsure about what you should be taking, you can always make a quick call to your doctor and ask for their opinion.

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