Q: Are the advantages of fish oil dietary supplements the identical as consuming fish? What about flaxseed oil; is that simply pretty much as good?
A: The well being advantages of taking fish oil dietary supplements are the identical as what you get from consuming important fatty acids in fish. In keeping with a 2007 research carried out by world renown omega-3 skilled Dr. Invoice Harris, your physique absorbs the 2 wholesome fat (EPA and DHA) present in fatty fish and in fish oil dietary supplements similarly, no matter the way you get them (consuming vs. supplementation). That is nice information for individuals who dislike fish or do not eat a whole lot of fatty fish.
Flaxseed, however, is a unique story. The omega-3 fats present in flaxseed, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is called a short-chain omega-3 fats, whereas different omega-3 fat like EPA and DHA (I will not bore you with their scientific names) are long-chain omega-3 fat. EPA and DHA are present in fatty fish like salmon and in fish oil dietary supplements. Whereas it is potential to transform ALA into EPA, this conversion within the physique may be very inefficient and ridden with roadblocks. And in accordance with new analysis, it’s primarily unimaginable to transform ALA to the even longer DHA molecule.
So, what does this imply for you? Mainly, you need to intention to get each short- (ALA) and long-chain (EPA and DHA) omega-3 fat into your food regimen, as all of them have distinctive well being advantages. However irrespective of how a lot ALA you pack in, it will not make up for not getting sufficient (or any) EPA or DHA. This has been a standard dilemma for vegetarians, who usually complement their diets with flaxseed oil to make up for the shortage of long-chain omega-3 fat of their food regimen. Since we all know this is not an efficient choice, what’s a vegetarian to do?
I like to recommend that vegetarians discover an algae-based DHA complement. Sarcastically, the oil in fish oil dietary supplements is not made by fish. It is made by algae. The fish eat the algae, the omega-3s get saved within the fish, after which we eat the fish. If you happen to’re a vegetarian, merely search for vegetarian DHA dietary supplements. Your physique will convert a few of that DHA again all the way down to the marginally shorter EPA, and you will have your whole long-chain omega-3 bases coated.
Meet the Food regimen Physician: Mike Roussell, PhD
Creator, speaker, and dietary advisor Mike Roussell, PhD holds a bachelor diploma in biochemistry from Hobart Faculty and a doctorate in vitamin from Pennsylvania State College. Mike is the founding father of Bare Diet, LLC, a multimedia vitamin firm that gives well being and vitamin options on to customers and trade professionals by way of DVDs, books, ebooks, audio applications, month-to-month newsletters, stay occasions, and white papers. To study extra, try Dr. Roussell’s in style food regimen and vitamin weblog, MikeRoussell.com.