What’s the difference between omega-3 supplements made from fish and from flaxseed oil?
-Feb 12, Jenny Paul, Health -
Fresh salmon is packed full of omega-3’s, which are great for glowing skin, glossy hair and for a brain-boosting sense of wellbeing. But, eating salmon every single day simply isn’t an option for most of us, who tend to eat on the run without a private chef, nutritionist, (or, indeed, an A-list food budget) to fall back on, so a growing number of people are relying on taking omega-3 in supplement form.
Since 2004, sales of omega-3 supplements have risen by 40 per cent, with the bottles of cod liver oil that our grandmothers used to swear by being (thankfully) consigned to the annals of history.
Fish oil-based supplements have received some bad press recently, with the inventor of the popular 5:2 diet, health guru Dr Michael Mosley, telling Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper that he doesn’t think much of them.
However, an excellent way of ensuring you’re getting enough omega-3 in a supplement form is by taking one which contains flaxseed oil – which a lot of people prefer due to fears over all the contaminants in our seas.
What’s the difference between flaxseed and fish oils?
We asked Lumity’s creator, Dr Sara Palmer Hussey, PhD, what the benefits of flaxseed oil over fish oils are and which one is better for your health.
Sara says: “Flaxseed oil contains one of the highest concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is needed by every cell in the body. It helps cell membranes (walls) stay flexible so that nutrients can enter easily.
“Omega-3 fatty acids have also been demonstrated to reduce inflammation, stabilise sugar levels, lower insulin levels, increase the radiance and elasticity of the skin, improve cardiovascular health, increase energy levels and boost the immune system.
“The body uses ALA to make all the other omega-3 fatty acids that it needs, including both EPA and DHA (the form found in fish oils), but without the possibility of contaminants. Contaminants in fish oils might include mercury, arsenic, dioxins and PCBs.
“Ideally, you might actually eat fish, such as salmon, once or twice a week and combine with a plant source of ALA, such as flaxseed oil, for optimum levels of all omega-3 fatty acids.”
So there you have it; if you want the easy way to the many benefits that omega-3 gives you, then take a quality daily supplement that contains flaxseed oil, and eat fish just a couple of times a week.
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