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What's the difference between the omega 3 fatty acids found in flax seed oil and fish oil?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Charlap
Holistic Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Different fats

The fatty acid most commonly found in flax-seed oil is ?-linolenic acid (ala, 18 carbons and 3 double bonds).
In fish oil, they are eicosapentaenoic acid (epa, 20 carbons and 5 double bonds), docosahexaenoic acid (dha, 22 carbons and 6 double bonds). Ala converts to epa and dha, but in limited amounts. Best to get your epa and dha from actual wild salmon and your ala from flax.

In brief: Different fats

The fatty acid most commonly found in flax-seed oil is ?-linolenic acid (ala, 18 carbons and 3 double bonds).
In fish oil, they are eicosapentaenoic acid (epa, 20 carbons and 5 double bonds), docosahexaenoic acid (dha, 22 carbons and 6 double bonds). Ala converts to epa and dha, but in limited amounts. Best to get your epa and dha from actual wild salmon and your ala from flax.
Dr. Steven Charlap
Dr. Steven Charlap
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