T Nation

EPA/DHA

Berardi recommends consuming around 6-10 g combined of EPA and DHA per day. He guestimated that 1 tbl of flaxseed oil converted to approximately 2.5g of EPA/DHA. If his estimates are correct, what are the added benefits of supplementing with fish oil capsules? It seems to me that all the bases are covered in a less expensive and an easier to consume flax oil.

Thanks ahead for any insight.

Berardi said 1 tbsp. of flax oil, if it were lucky, converts to 2.5 g EPA/DHA.

Two reasons come to mind:

  1. With fish oil, you get more EPA/DHA with fewer overall calories/fat grams. Take 20 fish oil softgels to get 6g combined EPA/DHA and you’ll have 180 calories from 20g of fat. However, to get the same amount of EPA/DHA from flaxseed oil, you’ll need to take in roughly 2.5 tbsp, or 330-340 calories and 37-38g total fat. Most of this 17-18g additional fat is extra polyunsaturated fat that won’t offer much incremental benefit over the fish oil. Personally, I’d much rather get my EPA/DHA directly and use the additional 17-18g fat for a tbsp. of olive oil, which will give you some heart-healthy monos and boost your T levels.

  2. I believe that the conversion JB listed assumes optimal circumstances. However, the conversion of linolenic acid to EPA and DHA is not totally efficient, and it becomes even less efficient as we age. Plus, even if you take in plenty of linolenic-rich foods regularly, you still might come up short on EPA and DHA because the fatty acid quality is often degraded due to the typical overprocessing that occurs in commercial production. Also, let’s not forget that caffeine ingestion inhibits the conversion.

Learn to love Salmon

I take one serving twice a day of fish oil with a P+F combo, and my last P+F meal before I go to bed I take a tablespoon of flax. Works perfectly, and is pretty easy to manage since the fish oil is in EPA/DHA concentrated gel caps and the flax is refrigerated. The tablespoon of flax I consider food because of the amount of calories, and works perfectly taken with the P+F night meal.

Thanks Cressey,

That’s the kind of answer I was looking for.

Eric,

I have a few questions if you don’t mind. First off, I understand the 20 fish caps a day for 6 grams of EPA/DHA. That gives me 20 grams of fat and roughly 200 calories. Since I am dieting down exactly how many grams of fat should I shoot for? I just bought a 500 count bottle of fish caps from Vitamin World because I got it half off for 15 bucks. I also bought a bottle of flax oil caps as well, 90 count. How many of those should I take a day? After I’m done with the flax bottle I’ll look into getting some olive oil. Lastly, should I keep these bottles in the fridge or just in a cool room? Thanks in advance, JB

JB,

Q: Since I am dieting down exactly how many grams of fat should I shoot for?

A: This is no set amount; it depends on your goals and the macronutrient ratios to which you best respond. Some people love high fat diets, some people hate them. I would read over the “Diet Manifesto” here at T-Mag if I was you.

Q: I also bought a bottle of flax oil caps as well, 90 count. How many of those should I take a day?

A: Again, same as above; there is no ideal. Just shoot for at least 3g combined EPA/DHA (in your case, 10 fish oil softgels) per day, preferably more. If you don’t want to take more than 20 fish oil per day, you can get a little more from the flaxseed. I do, however, prefer the actual oil (high lignan) and/or ground flaxseeds over the softgels with flax.

Q: Lastly, should I keep these bottles in the fridge or just in a cool room?

A: To the best of my knowledge, a cool room is fine with softgels; it’s the liquid forms that you need to refridgerate.

Hope this helps; sorry I couldn’t give you a definitive answer to your first question.

-EC

Is one able to buy fish oil in loquid form, and if so, are you able to mix it in a vinegrette like the lovely flax?

Dr. Mercola sells fish oil in liquid form. Haven’t tried it myself, but I would trust his sources as much (or more) than most others.

http://www.mercola.com/forms/carlsons.htm

Yeah, Health from the Sun makes a high quality liquid form. You can get it cheap at iherb (be sure to use the promo code and buy in bulk to save via quantity discounts and free shipping). It even comes in lemon-lime flavor:)

I’ve been using TwinLabs, Emulsified Super Max EPA. Two Tbs. contain 2028 mgs of EPA and 1353 mgs of DHA.
It’s thick with a peppermint flavor. Occasionally I can detect a bit of fishiness but, it’s not at all bad. I do refrigerate it.
When’s Biotest going to release their EFA suppliment?

Eat more pussy. Pussy juice has 3g of EPA/DHA per serving.

Hey A7
What would the standard serving size be for the afore mentioned juice???

Snipe, that is a good question my friend. According to JMB, 1ml = 1 serving. But my gilfriend insists that it takes 3ml to get one serving.

Ditto Cressey here:
The Health from the sun brand is an excellent, high quality selection.
Watch out with the lemon-lime flavor though as it only goes well w/certain foods.

And it doesn’t require refrigeration. Quite the opposite…hopefully.

But pussy has a short half life, and it spoils quickly. You might end up having to eat pussy all day long. I suggest buying pussy in capsule form, that you can take it with you everywhere you go and still hit your daily requirments.

The “Doesn’t require refrigeration” comment of course refers to the little sub-thread we have here and not bottled fish oils.
Back to the original subject…I did just find a very good price ($9.65) for TwinLab Super Max EPA on webvitamins.com
The list is around $18 and most local stores only discount 30% max on Twin.
Haven’t ordered from them so, I can’t vouch for their service. Just thought I’d pass it along.