In my household we have those who love their flax seed oil, as well as those who believe fish oil is a better option. Nevertheless, I have personally seen the benefits of flax seed oil on the joints and skin of my family members taking it and would never discourage its use. In fact some of us take both! For my wife the benefits have been primary noticed in her joints and bones for me the primary benefit seems to improved energy and stamina.
The benefits derived from flax seed oil are derived from fat. Yes, I did say fat! If you were to simply read the label and not know anything about healthy or unhealthy fat you would likely never buy flax seed oil. For every teaspoon there are 45 calories (all from fat), 8% total fat, 3% saturated fat, 11% polyunsaturated fat, and 11% monosaturated fat. So if we add all that up we get 33% of flax seed oil consists of fat. With numbers like these it seems flax seed oil should be in automotive department rather than located on the health isle.
But the catch is that not all fats are created equal. In fact your body requires certain fats for cell membrane health, muscle health, brain function, blood pressure regulation, hormone production, blood coagulation, and nervous system development and health. The key is consuming the right types of fats rather than those which raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.
In the case of flax seed oil its main health promoting elements are omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega 6 (linolenic acid), which are considered essential fatty acids. Most studies suggest omega 3 and omega 6 support cellular and heart health and provide an additional energy source for the body.
While our flax oil is a very healthy option there are is one flaw that make it a less desirable for the health purest than pure fish oil. Lets explore this obstacle which might send us over to the dark side to try fish oil instead.
Omega 3 comes in three different forms DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and of course the omega 3 found in flax seed oil ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). For your body to reap the benefits of essential fatty acids ALA must be converted to DHA and/or EPA. Through the conversion process some of ALA is lost. There is also another rare condition where a person may not be missing the genetic capability to make the conversion. For these individuals fish oil is the only real supplemental alternative.
Fish oil on the other hand is high in the omega 3 essential oils that count; DHA and EPA. With no conversion being required you will be receiving the maximum benefit possible.