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Best Tips Inflammation Busters: Fish Oil vs. Flax Seeds

Naturopathic doctors have historically documented inflammation as the origin cause of most chronic diseases, such as heart disease and malignancy. Today, doctors in the allopathic or conventional paradigm now also recognize inflammation as an underlying cause of cardiovascular sickness.
The beneficial benefits of fish oil and flax seeds are plentiful. Fish oil and flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. They are termed indispensable because the being body cannot make them so they must be obtain from the diet. They are implicated in many physiologic processes, and a deficiency of them is implicated as a causal factor in many chronic situation, as well as hormonal imbalances, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and eczema.


Physiologic Role of necessary Fatty Acids

Both fish oil and flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids,  producing anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic effects (thinning the blood). They also have a useful impact on one’s lipid profile, for they increase HDL cholesterol and decrease triglycerides. This translate to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Not All Omegas are Created uniformly

Both omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are essential to the human body (must be consumed in the diet). While source of omega-3 fatty acids are few in the human being diet, sources of omega-6 fatty acids are much more prevalent in today’s Standard American Diet (SAD). Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include the ever-so-healthy fish oil and flax seeds. Sources of omega 6-fatty acids take in seeds, nuts, corn, wheat, soy, refined oils, and processed foods.

While one of the noteworthy actions of omega-3 fatty acids is to decrease inflammation, the actions of omega-6 fatty acids are mixed. Omega-6 fatty acids can be both pro-inflammatory and also anti-inflammatory.  Again, both are important, meaning we NEED these fats in our diet. But…there must be a sense of balance.

Currently, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is about 18 to 1. It has been calculated that thousands of years ago (when we were first and foremost hunters and gathers, before agriculture), the ratio between omega-6 to omega-3 oils was a more balanced 5 to 1. The disproportion of oils may play a role in the rise of asthma, certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, and neurological diseases. All of these diseases are due to pro-inflammatory state and likely too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3’s.

Differences Between Flax and Fish

As stated above, there are difference between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. There are also differences between flax seeds and fish oil, both of which are omega-3 fatty acids.
Flax seeds are a good vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it is important to note that they are a sub-optimal source as compared to fish oil. Flax seeds are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). To achieve anti-inflammatory effects, however, ALA be obliged to be converted to EPA and DHA. Not all individuals are efficient converters. Therefore, fish oil, which is intrinsically rich in EPA and DHA, is all-in-all a better foundation of omega-3 fatty acids.

With that said, I advocate that both fish oil and flax seeds be consumed. While flax seeds require that additional step of conversion to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits, they are an EXCELLENT foundation of fiber. Flax has the power to lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and promote healthy bowel movements! And as a major bonus for peri-menopausal women, flax seeds have been found to significantly diminish the occurrence of hot flashes due to their high phytoestrogen content.
I recommend ground flax seeds over liquid flax oil because of the added payback the seed provides (as stated above)- good source of fiber, ability to stabilize blood sugar and its phytoestrogenic effects. Flax oil, on the other hand, does not have these supplementary benefits AND is incredibly fragile and goes rancid easily, creating free radicals in your body.

not compulsory Dosage and Storage of Fish Oil and Flax Seeds

The majority of research studies show that to achieve an anti-inflammatory effect, one should consume a minimum of 1.2 grams per day of TOTAL omega-3’s (DHA and EPA combined). You can eat cold-water fish, such as salmon, a couple nights a week or take a daily supplemental liquid fish oil for optimal wellness. Store your fish oil in the fridge and judge buying professional-grade fish oil to be sure it is free of contaminants, such as mercury.

A dose of 2-4 tbsps of GROUND flax-seeds per day is recommended. By consumption ground flax seeds, you can utilize the anti-inflammatory effects. Otherwise, if they are whole seeds they will pass right through your digestive tract. You can add ground seeds to smoothies, oatmeal, soups, salads or stir-fries. They add a nice nutty flavor and touch to your food.

I counsel buying whole seeds and grinding them yourself in a coffee grinder. You can grind a week’s worth and store them in an air-tight container in the freezer. This prevent the fragile fats from going rancid.

Flax seeds and fish oil are truly “Super Foods.” They can be used in both the conduct of chronic diseases and also for anticipation and each day wellness.


Editor’s Note: The in sequence in this article is intended for your enlightening use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other skilled health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical circumstance and before undertaking any diet, enhancement, fitness, or other health program.



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