Why would I take a fish oil supplement when I can obtain Omega-3s from flax seed oil?
You need to make sure you’re getting enough of the fatty acids EPA and DHA
Although the ALA in flax seed oil offers numerous benefits on its own, many of the beneficial effects of ALA in flaxseed oil are due to its metabolic conversion to EPA. However, some studies show that, even under ideal conditions, only 20% of the ALA ingested will be converted to EPA. This percentage can be much smaller in many individuals – many factors may impair the conversion of ALA to EPA, including excessively high consumption of LA and other lifestyle factors such as smoking, sugar and alcohol consumption, stress, vitamin deficiencies, and high levels of saturated fat and trans-fatty acids in the diet. Some disease states, such as diabetes and eczema, are also associated with impairment of the enzyme needed to convert ALA to EPA.
Supplementation with fish oils that are rich in EPA and DHA is necessary to ensure you are receiving adequate amounts of these nutritionally important fatty acids. Overall, it’s a beneficial to supplement with fish oil, in addition to flax oil, to meet your omega needs.