Omega-3 fatty acids are important factors in ensuring cardiovascular health, cognitive function and more. Fish oil is often the term used when referring to DHA and EPA, two essential omega-3 fatty acids. Linseed oil on the other hand contains ALA another omega-3 fatty acid that is a precursor to DHA & EPA. So is either superior?
- EPA & DHA are preformed and readily usable by the body once absorbed
- ALA however requires conversion to EPA & DHA and the human body has limited capability to do so, estimated at between 0-20%
Therefore, fish oil would be the preferred option of meeting the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 1g/day of EPA and DHA.
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Harris, W.S., 2004. Fish oil supplementation: evidence for health benefits. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine, 71(3), pp.208-221.
Burdge GC, Jones AE, Wootton SA. Eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids are the principal products of α-linolenic acid metabolism in young men*. Br J Nutr. 2002;88(4):355-364.
Burdge GC, Wootton SA. Conversion of α-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women. Br J Nutr. 2002;88(4):411-420.