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View Full Version : flaxseed oil vs. fish oil capsules



WaterWalker
02-14-2003, 11:17 PM
Which one is better???:spam:

socrates
02-15-2003, 12:25 AM
Fish oils primarilly salmon oils contains more EPA and DHA gram per gram in contrast to any other omega-3 fatty acids.

The key is to get a good quality oil that does not smell rancid when you break the gell cap.

restless
02-15-2003, 02:25 AM
FIsh oil.

Flax and other plant sources almost don't get converted into DHA, or they only do at an almost insignificant rate, so you end up only getting EPA.

My choice is cod liver oil, and make sure it's bottled in glass containers because if it (or the caps) are comming in plastic containers oxidation will occur to some degree as both the caps and the botlle are air permeable.

goobermor
02-15-2003, 04:35 AM
best info can be had by doing a serach on it...lots of info has been posted about it on the forums

as everyone else has said...fish oil is better, hands down. way more effective product, but watch out for the brand, cause some have been known to cause constapation.

prolly want a dosage of 6-8grams a day

bradley
02-15-2003, 05:02 AM
Originally posted by restless
FIsh oil.

Flax and other plant sources almost don't get converted into DHA, or they only do at an almost insignificant rate, so you end up only getting EPA.

My choice is cod liver oil, and make sure it's bottled in glass containers because if it (or the caps) are comming in plastic containers oxidation will occur to some degree as both the caps and the botlle are air permeable.

Do you use a flavored cod-liver oil and if so what flavor? I think I remember you posting something about it. From what I understand straight up cod-liver oil is not very tasty.

restless
02-15-2003, 05:21 AM
Originally posted by bradley


Do you use a flavored cod-liver oil and if so what flavor? I think I remember you posting something about it. From what I understand straight up cod-liver oil is not very tasty.

I use a deodorized, lemon falvored cod liver oil and use one or two tablespoons of it to get around 2-4 gr of EPA/DHA per day, plus sardines and some walnuts. Be sure to get one that went through the molecular distilation process or some other process that get's rid of heavy metals as cod builds up quite high leves of methylmercury in their livers. Apparently, if it doesn't have any cholesterol in his composition then it's ok because the same filtration that clears pollutants also clears cholesterol.

body
02-15-2003, 05:33 AM
why not eat the whole fish? it has protien in it as well

restless
02-15-2003, 05:43 AM
I do eat the whole fish, but there's a limited amount of sardine cans I can tolerate. Also, most fish is comtaminated with heavy metals making the maounts you have to eat on a daily basis to get enough O3 dangerous in the long run. Farmed salmon is not an option as it haves a lot less EPA/DHA than wild one.

aka23
02-15-2003, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by WaterWalker
flaxseed oil vs. fish oil capsules
Which one is better???

It depends on several factors including your diet, your health, your lifestyle, and your goals.

Flax contains both omega 3 and omega 6 fats in what many would call a good ratio, while EPA/DHA fish oil suppliments do not contain omega 6 type. For those who eat very low-fat diets and supplement healthy fats, flax may be more useful because it contains nearly all the essential fats needed in the diet, and DHA and EPA is not as complete.

However, the average American gets more omega 6 type than they need. For these persons the EPA/DHA fish oil suppliments may be more important since fish oil being a more readily available source of EPA and DHA than flax. Some sources say that only 3-5% of ALA will be converted to EPA/DHA, others say 10-15% conversion. The amout converted depends on things like your diet, health, and lifestyle.

Another consideration is that bodybuilders, preventing the immune response, through excessive EPA/DHA, or other types of inflammatory prevention, like aspirin or excessive vitamin E, may interfere with the hypertrophy process.

Also note that it is not an either/or question. You can take both suppliments or your can take a total EFA suppliment that contains ALA/GLA/EPA/DHA,...

A final consideration is that when taking large amounts of suppliments in unnatural form, they can have unexpected negative consequences. For example come types of EFA suppliments have been known to increase requirement for Vitamin E, which is found naturally in foods that contains these EFAs. A recent study found that fish oils suppliments with high Vitamin A (cod liver oil) may increase risk of bone fracture when you are older, by interfering with vitamin D storing calcium in the bones.

restless
02-15-2003, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by aka23


It depends on several factors including your diet, your health, your lifestyle, and your goals.

Flax contains both omega 3 and omega 6 fats in what many would call a good ratio, while EPA/DHA fish oil suppliments do not contain omega 6 type. For those who eat very low-fat diets and supplement healthy fats, flax may be more useful because it contains nearly all the essential fats needed in the diet, and DHA and EPA is not as complete.

However, the average American gets more omega 6 type than they need. For these persons the EPA/DHA fish oil suppliments may be more important since fish oil being a more readily available source of EPA and DHA than flax. Some sources say that only 3-5% of ALA will be converted to EPA/DHA, others say 10-15% conversion. The amout converted depends on things like your diet, health, and lifestyle.




Aka, a couple of things. The word is supplements, not suppliments. :)

Second, as I just recently learned none of the plant sources actually contain EPA/DHA, only ALA which although it is converted to EPA doesn't seem to be converted to DHA in significant amounts. I agree that there's nothing wrong with using both animal and and plant sources mixed though.




A final consideration is that when taking large amounts of suppliments in unnatural form, they can have unexpected negative consequences. For example come types of EFA suppliments have been known to increase requirement for Vitamin E, which is found naturally in foods that contains these EFAs.

Natural is a tough concept to define when it comes to nutrition. To me, fish oils are totally natural but something like grains and cereals aren't, as they can't be eaten raw and unprocessed, while fish could always be fished since the dawn of times. Unfortunatelly, we managed to contaminate all fish with heavy metals and these days you are better off having filtered fish oils rather than fish.


A recent study found that fish oils suppliments with high Vitamin A (cod liver oil) may increase risk of bone fracture when you are older, by interfering with vitamin D storing calcium in the bones.

I know the study that you're talking about and theres no reason to think that this applies to bodybuilders, as we all know weight training significantly increases bone mass.

WaterWalker
02-15-2003, 12:20 PM
Good stuff guys. Hey Bradley. What are your stats? I'm just curious.

aka23
02-15-2003, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by restless
I just recently learned none of the plant sources actually contain EPA/DHA, only ALA which although it is converted to EPA doesn't seem to be converted to DHA in significant amounts..

ALA can be converted to EPA in the liver by adding two carbon atoms. EPA can be converted to DHA. Studies have found that most Americans have a far better EPA to DHA conversion than ALA to EPA. Theoretically a healthy person with a good diet could get the essential EPA/DHA by only taking flax oil suppliments. There is no question that they would get larger amounts by consuming EPA/DHA suppliments.


Unfortunatelly, we managed to contaminate all fish with heavy metals and these days you are better off having filtered fish oils rather than fish.

All is a very strong statement. Some types of fish in some areas may have too high levels, but plenty of fish do not. If you are very conserned about heavy metals than you should avoid to excessive consumption of predatory fish such as shark, tuna and swordfish; and not overindulge in shellfish. In general, just eat a variety of types and do not consume excessive amounts. Fish are excellent sources of high-quality protein, low in saturated fat, contain unique combinations of nutrients not found in other foods. I think the vast majority of nutritionists and food safety authorities would recommend moderate consumption of fish.


I know the study that you're talking about and theres no reason to think that this applies to bodybuilders, as we all know weight training significantly increases bone mass.

There have been many studies. One author suggested that the problem was related to the VA interfering with calcium in the bones. If this is the case, then bodybuilders probably would not be immune. They would have a higher risk than bodybuilders who did not take the excessive VA.

restless
02-15-2003, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by aka23


ALA can be converted to EPA in the liver by adding two carbon atoms. EPA can be converted to DHA. Studies have found that most Americans have a far better EPA to DHA conversion than ALA to EPA. Theoretically a healthy person with a good diet could get the essential EPA/DHA by only taking flax oil suppliments. There is no question that they would get larger amounts by consuming EPA/DHA suppliments.



Yes, but the conversion rate is rather unpredictable and there's no way of saying exactly how much you're getting from it. Not good to control freaks like me.



"Can adults adequately convert alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3)?

Gerster H.

Vitamin Research Department, F. Hoffman-Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland.

A diet including 2-3 portions of fatty fish per week, which corresponds to the intake of 1.25 g EPA (20:5n-3) + DHA (22:6n-3) per day, has been officially recommended on the basis of epidemiological findings showing a beneficial role of these n-3 long-chain PUFA in the prevention of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. The parent fatty acid ALA (18:3n-3), found in vegetable oils such as flaxseed or rapeseed oil, is used by the human organism partly as a source of energy, partly as a precursor of the metabolites, but the degree of conversion appears to be unreliable and restricted. More specifically, most studies in humans have shown that whereas a certain, though restricted, conversion of high doses of ALA to EPA occurs, conversion to DHA is severely restricted. The use of ALA labelled with radioisotopes suggested that with a background diet high in saturated fat conversion to long-chain metabolites is approximately 6% for EPA and 3.8% for DHA. With a diet rich in n-6 PUFA, conversion is reduced by 40 to 50%. It is thus reasonable to observe an n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio not exceeding 4-6. Restricted conversion to DHA may be critical since evidence has been increasing that this long-chain metabolite has an autonomous function, e.g. in the brain, retina and spermatozoa where it is the most prominent fatty acid. In neonates deficiency is associated with visual impairment, abnormalities in the electroretinogram and delayed cognitive development. In adults the potential role of DHA in neurological function still needs to be investigated in depth. Regarding cardiovascular risk factors DHA has been shown to reduce triglyceride concentrations. These findings indicate that future attention will have to focus on the adequate provision of DHA which can reliably be achieved only with the supply of the preformed long-chain metabolite."


All is a very strong statement. Some types of fish in some areas may have too high levels, but plenty of fish do not. If you are very conserned about heavy metals than you should avoid to excessive consumption of predatory fish such as shark, tuna and swordfish; and not overindulge in shellfish. In general, just eat a variety of types and do not consume excessive amounts. Fish are excellent sources of high-quality protein, low in saturated fat, contain unique combinations of nutrients not found in other foods. I think the vast majority of nutritionists and food safety authorities would recommend moderate consumption of fish.

Yes, it is a very strong statement. I myself mainly eat sardines and avoid the fish higher in the food chain, like you suggested. Mercury is no joke, it builds up on your system and there's no way off telling what the consequences will be in the long run.


There have been many studies. One author suggested that the problem was related to the VA interfering with calcium in the bones. If this is the case, then bodybuilders probably would not be immune. They would have a higher risk than bodybuilders who did not take the excessive VA.

I guess.... Still I don't think this is something to worry about for a bodybuilder.

MrWebb78
02-15-2003, 02:52 PM
once again, the whole food is far superior to the supplement. just eat, and save your money, one less supplement youll have to buy

restless
02-15-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by MrWebb78
once again, the whole food is far superior to the supplement. just eat, and save your money, one less supplement youll have to buy

Yes, and since we're all mercury deficient.....

bradley
02-15-2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by MrWebb78
once again, the whole food is far superior to the supplement. just eat, and save your money, one less supplement youll have to buy

Although I would usually agree with the above statement, but when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids I find it hard to get adequate amounts from whole foods. A little flax oil and or fish oil is a beneficial supplement IMO.