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Fish oil vs Flaxseed oil: A cross-section of differences | Fish Oil Blog

Fish oil vs Flaxseed oil: A cross-section of differences

Fish oil is often compared with flaxseed oil. This is because both are omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil is often replaced by flaxseed oil. However, flaxseed oil is very different from fish oil in many ways on account of the composition of fats in flaxseed oil. This article will draw upon the differences between both the oils and state the properties/similarities of both.

Fish oil vs flaxseed oil

Extraction: Fish oil is extracted from fish which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Usually, fish oil is extracted from the flesh/tissues of fish like salmon, flounder, tuna, herring, sardines, mackerel etc. Flaxseed oil is a plant oil which is extracted from a plant known as flax. Also called linseed oil, flaxseed oil is produced by solvent extraction through cold pressing. The important feature of flaxseed oil is, it dries when it makes contact with air and is even called, “drying oil”. When flaxseed oil comes in contact with oxygen, it causes a polymerization reaction, leading to hardening of oil, which is useful for several applications of the oil.

Composition: Flaxseed oil and fish oil are rich sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Both are crucial for the healthy functioning of the body as they contain elements that enhance blood circulation, heart health, brain health and even prevent skin allergies. Flaxseed oil contains ALA   while, fish oil contains large amounts of EPA and DHA. Though all are important for proper body functioning, fish oil is better compared to flaxseed oil in many ways. This is because it comes with proteins of from fish.

Taste of the oils:
Fish oil has a stronger flavor than flaxseed oil. The flavor is more difficult to hide and  more shocking to some people. Flaxseed oil can be used in a variety of recipes including salad dressings.

Contaminants of the oils:
Contaminants of fish oil are excessive presence of vitamins A and E and mercury which can lead to heavy metal poisoning. It is important to choose a fish oil supplement from a reputable company that regularly tests for these contaminants. Look for fish oil of the pharmaceutical grade on the label or other marks of quality manufacturing and testing. Flaxseed oil contains no mercury or other contaminants such as heavy metals or contaminants. Both oils are subject to rancidity.

Importance of fish oil and flaxseed oil:
Both fish oil and flaxseed oil fight inflammation and are good for reducing cholesterol levels. Fish oil is especially important for proper body functioning as it reduces the triglycerides and harmonizes the cardiovascular system, controlling cholesterol  levels.

Side effects fish oil and flaxseed oil:
Apart from these advantages there are many side effects for both the oils. Flaxseed oil is considered a carcinogen and consumer can be at a risk of breast cancer. People taking flaxseed oil can also show allergic reactions.  Irregular bowel movements or flatulence are common side effects of flaxseed oil. Fish oil too has its own set of side effects. Some fish species maybe high in toxic substances like heavy metals which cause stomach problems, indigestion and heartburn. These are the most common side effects of oily fish. Sometimes people even get nausea or abdominal swelling.  After experiencing the benefits and side effects of both flaxseed oil and fish oil, it is difficult to decide what is best. Both are good in providing required supplements.

Posted in Buying Fish Oil on Oct 20th, 2017, 11:26 am by Jessica   

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