A commonly asked question is “which is best for you flax seed oil or fish oil?” In my opinion the answer to this is fish oil. The reason I say this is that because although both of them are good for your health and both of them contain omega threes, it comes down to the different types of essential fats that are contained within these omega3’s; and for me essential fats in fish oil carry more health benefits for you than the essential fats found in the flax seed oil.
The difference in the omega3 fats are contained in flax seed oil and fish oil is that flax seed oil contains the essential fat ALA and fish oil contains two essential fats EPA and DHA. Out of the three fats ALA is actually the parent fat, which in essence means that it can turn into the of the two fats within the body. The ALA fat is also quite common in our diet, because foods that you see on the shelves in the shops which say they contain omega three often contain this kind of omega three. Even though it can change into the other two fats though the amount that converts is a very small percentage which means you would have to eat an awful lot of these type of foods to get the health benefits you will get from fish oil.
So what is so special about the essential fats found in fish oil?
There are lots of the health benefits to be had from the fats found in oily fish, and research has being going into them for the best part of 30 years now and even today they are still finding new benefits to be had from them. One of the first areas that was discovered was how it helps protect the heart; it does this by thinning the blood which in turn reduces the amount of plaque buildup and this is important because by reducing the buildup reduces the likelihood of clots forming which can obviously have devastating consequences. On top of that it also lowers triglyceride levels, boosts the amount of good cholesterol in the blood and also helps to regulate the heartbeat.
But it doesn’t stop there, it is also now known that there is a lot of DHA fat in the brain, it in fact acts as a membrane around the cells which the neurons passes through to get from cell to cell. If we do not have enough DHA in our diets than the body substitutes it with DPA fats which are not as flexible and therefore the neurons cannot pass through properly. It is thought now that this can lead to conditions such as depression mood swings and ADHD in children.
In addition to this, it is also now been scientifically established that the DHA fat helps fight inflammation. Normally we would associate inflammation with conditions such as arthritis, however it is behind much more serious conditions than that such as aneurysms and strokes to name two. What researchers have found is that within the body the DHA fat turns into a new substance called Resolvin D2, this then reacts with inner lining of the blood vessel to create nitric oxide, and when this occurs it prevents inflammation from taking place.