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Thread: Flaxseed or fish oil

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Flaxseed or fish oil

    I've read where flaxseed if supposed to be better than fish oil for treating ocular rosacea and dry eye symptoms. Why would this be? Has anyone found this to be true?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Auburn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    New England


    Hi Calgal,

    I had been taking flaxseed oil and flaxseed meal daily for quite some time (a couple of years, I think) when I came across this article: I did some more research and learned that:
    Although studies have found that eating fish (which contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) regularly may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a recent study including two large groups of men and women found that diets rich in ALA may substantially increase the risk of this eye disease. More research is needed. Until then, people with macular degeneration should get omega-3 fatty acids from sources of EPA and DHA (such as fish or fish oil), rather than ALA.
    Flaxseed oil contains the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts into EPA and DHA rather inefficiently.

    Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and help prevent certain chronic diseases. Studies are mixed about whether flaxseed oil is useful for the same conditions.

    So I stopped consuming flaxseed meal/oil because, papers aside, I don't really think that humans are supposed to eat massive quantities of any particular substance (and it takes massive amounts of flaxseed to make the same amount of omega-3 you can get from a piece of wild salmon). In other words, if flaxseed/flax oil were something our bodies were designed to use, then it would be readily available, like fish has always been.

    In any case, I developed mild ocular rosacea symptoms last year, while supplementing with flax.

    I started supplementing with wild salmon and cod liver oils a few months before I stopped taking the flax so it's been a while now. My ocular symptoms come and go but remain mild. I think that dry indoor air worsens the condition, at least in my case.

    Hope this helps some.
    Last edited by Auburn; 30th March 2010 at 09:48 PM.
    I've treated seb derm successfully with raw honey and virgin coconut oil and have been symptom-free since June '09. Follow this ---> link <--- for details.

  3. #3
    Moderator Melissa W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    new york


    I totally agree with Auburn's post.
    Omega 3's all the way. Aim for at least 1000 mg per day of EPA and DHA combined.

    Fish oil is better than flaxseed for this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern CA, USA


    Also, some individuals (a lot of them actually, there are studies I've seen referenced online) CANNOT convert the ALA at all, so flaxseed is useless to them. Fish oil seems to be the best source in the end.
    Types I, II, IV - mild to moderate, depending ...

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