Difference Between Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil

Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil

A main difference between flaxseed oil and fish oil is in their composition. But, it is true that both flaxseed oil and fish oil contain a great amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Both flaxseed oil and fish oil supplements are taken by people as they have many health benefits. They are both full of nutrients. As mentioned before, their specialty is the presence of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil and fish oil are taken from different sources. There are different ways you can consume flaxseed oil and fish oil. All of this information will be discussed in this article. When those facts are cleared, you will have a clear idea about the difference between flaxseed oil and fish oil.

What is Fish Oil?

Fish oil can be obtained by eating fish directly or consuming fish oil supplements. Fish oil is collected from the tissues of oily fish. So, if you are planning to obtain fish oil by eating fish you should know what types of fish usually have fish oil. Fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, bluefish, sturgeon, sardines, and herring are believed to have high amounts of fish oil omega-3 fatty acids. If you are going to take fish oil by consuming fish oil supplements then you should know some information about them as well. Normally, fish oil supplements are made from whale or seal blubber or salmon, cod, tuna, halibut, herring, mackerel livers.

Difference Between Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil

When it comes to the nutritional value of fish oil, this is what can be observed. Fish oil has two types of omega-3 fatty acids. They are Eicosapentanoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). Since fish oil comes from fish, it is said that fish oil does not have a fiber content. Fish oil is believed to have benefits such as lowering triglycerides and blood pressure. It is also believed to have the power to lower the risk of heart disease. It also can reduce chronic inflammation.

What is Flaxseed Oil?

Flaxseed oil is made from the seeds of the flax plant. So, in order to make the oil, these flax seeds are ground or crushed. Manufacturers obtain flaxseed oil by pressing the ripened, dried flax seeds. You can take flaxseed by mixing it with food. However, too much flaxseed oil is not good as too much of any nutrient is not good to health.

Talking about the nutrients, flaxseed oil has Omega-3 and 6 in it. As a matter of fact, flaxseed oil has more Omega-3 content than fish oil. When it comes to Flaxseed oil, as it comes from flax plant, it has omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It contains about 50-60 percent of this type of fatty acids. However, our body is constructed in such a way that conversion of this ALA to omega-3 found in fish oil is not very efficient. So, ALA from flaxseed oil may not grant the same benefits in EPA and DHA that are found in fish oil.

Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil

Flaxseed oil has a fiber content in it. If you would like to include more flaxseed oil in your diet then make sure to include sources of fresh water fish so that EPA and DHA factors are also taken care of.

The benefits of Flaxseed oil are having ALA, which can be converted to EPA and DHA (though it is not a very efficient process). At the same time, flaxseed oil is believed to have anti cancer effects.

What is the difference between Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil?

• Fish oil is taken from animal tissues whereas flaxseed oil is taken from flax plant.

• Fish oil is prescribed as a remedy for digestive ailments whereas flaxseed oil is difficult to digest.

• Fish oil has fatty acids EPA and DHA. Flaxseed oil fatty acids have ALA, which the body can convert to EPA and DHA.

• Flaxseed oil has more Omega-3 content than fish oil.

• Flaxseed oil in addition to Omega-3 has 6 also in it.

• Flaxseed oil has fiber content in it, which is not in fish oil.

Some argue that there are weight loss benefits in flaxseed oil and fish oil. But, there is no research based evidence to affirm that. It is only a belief among some that fish oil and flaxseed oil help in weight reduction. Strictly speaking they are not proved to assist in weight loss. Fish oil contains in fact 100 calories per tea spoon.

As a supplement you can take Krill oil with flaxseed oil since Krill oil is said to be a good source of EPA and DHA. This is because of the fact that flaxseed oil provides Alpha linolenic acid only and hence a good source of EPA and DHA too is necessary for the maintenance of health. Else, you can eat fish products that have EPA and DHA and make sure you get ALA by including Flaxseed oil in your diet too.

Images Courtesy:

  1. Fish oil by Wuhazet (CC BY 3.0)
  2. Flaxseed oil by Handwerker (CC BY-SA 3.0)