There is a lot of confusion when it comes to which oils to use. As quickly as you read about fish oil is great for you, you can stumble across more information saying just the opposite. There are thousands of studies which have been done over the last century proving the powerful healing effects of different oils, including fish oils, olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil and others. How can one possibly make a clear decision when there is so much differing information to decipher through. Hopefully, this article will help to clarify a few main bullet points when it comes to Fish Oil and Flaxseed oil.
While you hear mountains of advertising about the wonders of fish oil, you probably won’t hear much about the benefits of flax seed oil. That’s because fish oil has a better PR agency. Even though that’s a joke, there’s more truth than fiction in the phrase.
Is Fish Oil Good For You?
Fish oil is good for you, that’s true. One of the reasons is the omega-3 fatty acids the fish oil contains. The omega-3 fatty acids help your body in many ways. It is an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce many different types of disease and improve many conditions such as coronary problems or even asthma. Many doctors think that excess inflammation at the cellular level may be the cause of many different types of disease. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure, aid in depression, help those with ADHD, aid those with arthritis and benefit those with ADHD. It also provides protection to the immune system. There is research to show that it also may help preclude Alzheimer’s disease.
Fish Oils Contain EPA and DHA – Flaxseed Oil Does Not, But…
Flax seed oil also contains omega-3 fatty acid. In fact, it contains even more than fish oil. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil include EPA and DHA, flax seed oil does not contain these two. However, flax seed oil contains ALA, alpha-linolenic acid, and the body can use the ALA to make other omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA. The body also produces the exact amount of each type of fatty acid necessary so there’s never a question of how much is too much.
While your body can make EPA and DHA from the ALA in flax seed oil, it cannot convert the EPA and DHA into other essential omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re already taking fish oil supplements, you should add walnuts, another good source for ALA or flax seed oil to your diet.
Fish Oils and Fasting Blood Sugar
There is evidence that the ALA is slightly better for those with type II diabetes since it doesn’t alter the blood sugar levels. The fish oil can change the fasting blood glucose levels and may increase or decrease the sugar levels throughout the day. While most people taking insulin don’t notice the change if they’ve taken fish oil before starting an insulin regimen, these subtle changes can make a difference if they begin a fish oil regimen or end one.
Fish oil is an excellent and usually uncontaminated source of EPA and DHA, which the body uses to make the “calming” omega-3 fatty acids and keep the brain healthy. Consuming them directly can ensure that one gets enough. Flax seed oil contains ALA, which the body can use to make all the omega-3s that it needs. The body needs ALA to make other omega-3s, even when it gets enough EPA and DHA from fish or fish oils.
One problem many people grapple with is the potential contamination of the fish oil. Fish, like most animals, hold many of these contaminants in their fatty cells. Of course, the fat is the oil. While most studies show that fish oil is clear of contaminants such as mercury, DDT, industrial toxins and pesticides, there are still some fish oil products not as closely monitored or made from fish in high contamination areas. In most cases, the worry caused from suspicion of contamination is worse than the potential for contamination.