For many legitimate reasons, some people don’t want to or cannot take fish oil and have been lead to believe that flax oil is a viable alternative to achieve healthy levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Flax oil, like many plant-based sources of omega, contains the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which through the body can convert to the omega-3 essential fatty acids eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are found in fish oil.
However, the conversion rate for this physiologic process is very limited – it is very low – most research puts the conversion rate around 4%. So, flax oil is not an adequate substitute for fish oil.
Recently, algae-based omega-3 supplements have been developed that solve the problem for people seeking to supplement their diet with a plant-based omega-3 product that provides a legitimate source of EPA and DHA.
Please read Vegetarianism – a slippery slope.
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