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High Cholesterol Message Board


High Cholesterol Board Index


Which is better Flax Seed or Cod/Fish Oil? Why? How much should I take per day and when to help lower Cholesterol? Thanks!
[quote]Originally posted by BaltoHonInMN:
[b]Which is better Flax Seed or Cod/Fish Oil? Why? How much should I take per day and when to help lower Cholesterol?[/b][/quote]

I assume you are looking at these for their Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Here is what I would recommend and why.

Cod liver oil in the winter and for people that don't get a lot of sunshine, Fish oil for summer and when you get plenty of sunshine. Dosage would be about 1 teaspoon or 1000 mg of oil per 50 lbs body weight.

Flax contains the Omega 3 fatty acid alpha linoleic acid (ALA). Your body can't utilze this directly, but must first convert it to the longer chain Omega 3 essential fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Studies have shown that the conversion rate of ALA to EPA/DHA is at best 10% in healthy individuals. This means that if you have a healthy metabolism, you would have to consume 1000 mg of ALA to get 100 mg of usable EPA/DHA. If you have abnormal lipids, then your metabolism is likely compromised and your conversion rate would probably be less than 10%.

Both Cod liver oil and fish oil contain the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA - no conversion necessary - it goes right into the tissues. Cod liver oil also contains large amounts of Vitamin D and Vitamin A. While these are also necessary in your diet, excessive amounts can have a negative effect on your health. Your body produces Vitamin D from cholesterol when the skin is exposed to sunshine. The reason for using fish oil in summer/sunshine rather than Cod liver oil is that fish oil doesn't contain Vitamin D; therefore, you won't build up excessive amounts of vitamin D. Most people don't get enough sunshine in the winter months, so Cod liver oil is entirely appropriate and a quite beneficial source of vitamin D under those conditions.

Alan





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