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Flax Seed Or Fish Oil

Posted by Sean Gillespie on

This conversation was taken from a facebook conversation last night and I thought it was worthy of posting to our blog:

Fish oil or Flax seed; which is better? I have a strong opinion on this one but wanted to see and hear from others which they think is better and why?

Travis Fairbairn I'm scared to answer hahaha! 馃槀 I don't want to answer wrong!!
Sean Gillespie I just got educated, so no shame in taking a stab.
Travis Fairbairn I would think the quality would make a difference.... but I'm going to take a guess that fish oil is better if its of good quality/sourcing etc!!
Travis Fairbairn although i have a feeling its the opposite 馃槀
David T Thornton Fish Oil off its Good brand like Carlson. I'm sure Udo Erasmus would disagree
Daniel Pulldown My preference is on fish oil, like Travis, assuming a high quality product. Minimum/free of mercury, has vitamin e to protect it from oxidizing are what I look for. I prefer it over flax purely for the EPA/DHA content that flax just can't match. Flax is a great source for ALA but I'm ultimately after the epa/dha anyways. I'm curious to see other people's opinions on here.
David T Thornton I, too, am in it for the EPA/DHA. Most of the pills don't have enough but the Carlson liquid has a great amount
Daniel Pulldown I've never heard of Carlson liquid fish oil before, I might have to check that out (pending Sean's opinion on fish oil haha). Thanks for the heads up 馃憤
Devin Mosher-Arrand It's gotta be triglyceride form to be any good in my opinion. Otherwise, flax seed is better absorbed ?
David T Thornton That's exactly right
David T Thornton Triglyceride only
Conrad Gillespie The body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA. The enzymes that do this conversion also convert LA into longer chain omega-6s, and can be saturated with omega-6s if there is a lot in the diet. If they are saturated with omega-6s, they are not able to conve...See More
Chris Irvin Fish oil, has all the benefits of flax and then some
Sam King Flax/plant based. DART 1&2 studies have interesting results on fish oil. Curious to see what you learned and who from Sean Gillespie
Tim Lewis It's not even a race. Plant based n-3 fats are short-chain ALA. Fish oil and other animal based n-3 fats are the long-chain variety, EPA and DHA. DHA is what we really need for reduced inflammation. DHA can be broken down into the other fatty acids, but the conversion of ALA to DHA is next to nil.
Sean Gillespie I thought I had the right answer but some of the responses here are making me question what I thought I knew. I sent the same question to three very prestigious medical doctors;one of them being Dr. Serrano. I would let you know what they add to the topic.
Sean Gillespie I thought the clear answer was ground flax seed for two reasons: A) as much as 86% of the fish oil in the market is oxidized and B) the ALA in flax Seed is a precursor to DHA and EPA. The common school of thought is that ALA does not convert efficient...See More
David T Thornton Also, ground flaxseed can go rancid pretty fast
Sean Gillespie I am friends with Dr. Michael Kim (formerly Executive Director of Medicine, Research and Education at Muscle Pharm). Dr Kim, "For a good fat product you need all three." My response: "Wouldn鈥檛 the ALA from Flax Seed give you all three?" Then Dr. Kim ...See More
Sean Gillespie My first message to Dr. Eric Serrano, "If only 1% of ALA is converted into EPA or DHA, then why should anyone ever take ALA?" His response back, "Because it is still essential, fish oil and not parental oils but a manufacturing of the ALA, which gets incorporated into the cell wall."
Sean Gillespie My next question to Serrano, "Wouldn鈥檛 the ALA from Flax Seed give you all three?" His response, "No".
Daniel Pulldown Boy this is a good conversation, I'm glad I got in on this. Thank you Sean for reaching out to your contacts and sharing with us. It has opened up some useful information.
Sean Gillespie NP Daniel Pulldown, we are working on a new product to prolong life an ALA will be an ingredient. Discussions on ALA being a precursor to DHA and EPA let to the initial conversation and I wanted to put it out here as well. I just heard from Dr. Jerem...See More
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Chris Allen Fish Oil
LikeReply23 hrs
Tim Lewis Oxidized/rancid n-3 fats is a real concern. They're quite fragile acids and best stored in the fridge. Once they're oxidized, they're a problem and will cause inflammation rather than eliminating it. If it smells bad, pour it out.
LikeReply122 hrsEdited
David T Thornton Ground flaxseed can easily go rancid also. The whole seed not so much but needs to be ground before ingestion
LikeReply122 hrs
Sean Gillespie Tim Lewis, you raise a great point but most people take fish oil in a gel cap versus the raw liquid. If taking the liquid, you can easily tell if it is rancid. Not so easy in the gel form.
LikeReply22 hrs
Tim Lewis Sean Gillespie, it's simple enough. Cut one open and sniff. If it smells bad, I'll chuck the rest of the bottle. Normally, it will only have a mild fishy smell, but nothing offensive. When they're bad, it smells like a fishes armpit!
UnlikeReply122 hrs
Jonathon Pierre Flax seed. There is no mercury.
LikeReply17 hrs

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