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What are the differences between Fish oil, Flaxseed oil and Perilla oil ?

What are the differences between Fish oil, Flaxseed oil and Perilla oil ?

Omega 3, 6 and 9 are all unsaturated fatty acids. Their numeric suffix represents the position of the double bond. Among these polyunsaturated fatty acids, EPA and DHA are the two most well-known ones as they may assist in stabilizing cholesterol, reducing the chance of thrombosis and thus preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They are also vital for the development of brain and eyes. ALA, which is another member of omega 3 fatty acids family, can be converted to EPA and DHA in the body according to needs.


Fish oil:

Rich in DHA & EPA, fish oil is good for brain, heart and eye health. However, the quality of fish oil supplement varies as pollutants and heavy metals are often found in poor quality fish oil. Therefore, when it comes to choosing quality fish oil product, it is important to pay attention to its origin, and whether quality guarantee is available. People always get confused between fish oil and fish liver oil. They are in fact very different. Fish liver oil is made of the oil extracted from the fish liver. It provides a good dietary source of vitamin A and D, but excess intake of these vitamins would be toxic. On the other hand, fish oil is made of deep sea fish, typically the brain or eye parts, and is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.


Flaxseed oil:

Flaxseed oil is an excellent plant source of omega 3 fatty acids in the form of ALA. It also contains omega 6 essential fatty acids and omega 9. While ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA internally, it is noteworthy that the efficiency of this process varies individually. It seems that women tend to have better conversion efficiency due to the lower rate of utilization of dietary ALA for beta-oxidation. Also, there are many factors, such as lifestyle, the balance of omega 3 and 6, alcohol consumption, and supplementing vitamins and minerals, which can affect the conversion efficiency. Flaxseed oil is extremely perishable due to its short shelf life and thus it is prone to oxidation and rancidity. Because of this, it is not recommended to use it as cooking oil and is better to consume flaxseed oil in the form of capsule as this can keep the oil’s integrity.


Perilla oil:

Similar to flaxseed oil, perilla oil is also a vegetarian alternative to fish oil due to its high content of omega 3 fatty acids ALA. In fact, the content of ALA in perilla oil is higher than that of flaxseed oil. In addition, perilla oil also contains omega 6 and 9 fatty acids. Perilla oil delivers all the health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids. Moreover, clinical studies show that perilla oil can alleviate nasal allergic symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and congestion. Therefore, it is a natural remedy for fighting hypersensitivity.

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