20 mg or 20 ml? Does the EPA/DHA content of the tablets make any difference?
Sorry to be such a dummy.
Sorry to be such a dummy.
Lisa:Moderator wrote:njmom wrote: Gareth, If you are eating enough fish, as in getting 5g Omega-3s per day with what you are eating, then you don't need the fish oil. Actually, you need to have 3/4 of the 5 grams omega-3 taken as fish oil or by eating fish and the other 1/3 from flaxseed oil.......rachelh wrote: Hi there... showed I had high mercury levels. (I had been eating a lot of tuna and swordfish). My doctor - who specialises in nutrition - recommended backing off the big fish - concentrating on the smaller fish down the food chain (mackerel etc)......
Thank you both for your posts, quite correct. For further clarification on ALA conversion from fish or flaxseed oil, please see the FAQ here, about the 6th one in the Diet category: http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/Resources/FAQs/
There is a lot of discussion about whether flaxseed oil is 'as good' as fish oil. Given that our oceans are gradually becoming more polluted, particularly with heavy metals like mercury, and that heavy metals are known to cause neurological problems, it would be good if a plant-based oil like flaxseed oil could provide all our omega-3 needs.
The problem is that the fatty acid in flaxseed oil, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), needs to be converted in the body to the fish oil fatty acids, eicosapenanoic acid (EPA) and then docosahexanoic acid (DHA). I have seen various figures put on this conversion, mostly up to 10% of it being converted, dependent on general health, saturated fat consumption, alcohol consumption, and a number of other variables. Udo Erasmus in his excellent book 'Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill' does the best calculation I have seen on this. Erasmus quotes a figure of 2.7% per day of the ALA being converted to EPA. He says that this figure is likely to be higher for people getting all the essential nutrients from diet and supplements. As most people's fat deposits contain about 2% ALA (quite a bit higher for those following the diet and supplements here), this is about 200g of ALA, which could make about 5400mg of EPA (as there is 180mg EPA in a 1000mg capsule of fish oil, this is equivalent to about 30 of the 1000mg capsules of fish oil).
If there is no ALA in your fat deposits at all (if you had been taking no omega-3s in your diet whatsoever), then just taking two tablespoons of flaxseed oil would supply enough ALA to make about 378mg of EPA, equivalent to what is in two 1000mg fish oil capsules. But as can be seen from the above calculation of body stores, most people have enough stored if they are supplementing every day, to make quite adequate amounts of EPA and DHA.
The advantage of doing it this way rather than taking it as fish oil is not only related to chemical toxins like mercury in fish oil, and to questions about the sustainability of our fish stocks, but also that the EPA made this way is fresher, in the body every day. There is also the bonus that there is minimal saturated fat intake this way, as fish oil contains quite a bit of saturated fat. I prefer to take two dessert spoons of flaxseed oil a day (20mls) on the days when I don't eat oily fish.
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