Fish Oil vs Flaxseed- Which is a Better Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

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Flaxseed is commonly recommended as a source high in omega 3 fatty acids; however, is it an efficient source of bio-available omega 3 fatty acids compared to fish Oil?

The short answer, without question, is fish oil is not only better bio-available omega 3 fatty acid but it is also a much more cost-effective source. We have found better results treating dry eye syndrome by eliminating the flaxseed oil and greatly increasing the EPA and DHA (we like 2000 mg to 3000 mg of EPA and DHA combined).

Unstable at Room Temperature

Flaxseed oil is very unstable and thus has a short shelf life at room temperature. Flaxseed oil also does not contain omega 3 fatty acids; instead, our bodies must convert the ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) contained within the flaxseed into the omega 3 fatty acids that can then be used by our bodies.

Marginal Bio-Availability

Another disadvantage to flaxseed oil is that our body’s conversion of flaxseed oil to EPA or DHA is very inefficient. The conversion ALA to EPA/DHA rate has been reported to be between 4% and 15% (worse for DHA than EPA and lower for men than women). A person’s conversion rate can vary based on many factors. Therefore, fish oil is a much better source of omega 3 fatty acids.

Our Recommendation for Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of a comprehensive dry eye syndrome treatment plan. At Total Eye Care, we recommend 2000mg to 3000mg of the triglyceride form of omega 3 fatty acids per day as an important component of a comprehensive dry eye treatment program. This is approximately the equivalent of 4 ounces of salmon per day. This is usually taken as 2 capsules twice a day. For patients with severe dry eye symptoms, you might consider increasing the frequency to 3 times per day. Not all fish oil supplements are created equal. For help in determining which kind of fish oil is best see this article.

Now that we know this does flax have a role in the treatment of dry eye syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment at Total Eye Care

Omega 3 fatty acids are very helpful as an important component to a comprehensive dry eye treatment program. However, many patients need a more comprehensive dry eye treatment plan.  At Total Eye Care, we have helped thousands of patients get relief from for their dry eyes. If you would like relief from your dry eye symptoms please call us. You can reach our Colleyville office at 817.416.0333 or our Keller/Southlake office at 817.431.4900. We look forward to seeing you soon.