T Nation

Flax or Fish


Which do u guys recommend more, flax or fish oil?

WHats the best kind of fishoil to get. Cod LIver?

Thanks Alot



Read, my son, read. This info is all on the site.

Fish oil.

Flax seed (milled or ground) is a good addition for fiber and some omegas, but fish oil should be the primary source of omega-3.

No, liver oils are not a good choice.


Agreed. Flax is a source of "the plant omega-3 fat", which is helpful to many people* but the fish-based EPA and DHA (also omega-3) are the usual focus due to potency and documented physiologic benefits.


Let me help you out. Flax seed and fish fat are both Omega-3 oils. Walnuts also contain Omega-3 fat.

Land Omega-3 fat (ex. flax, and walnuts) are (LNA) Alpha-linolenic acid. Once LNA is taken into the body, they convert in small quantities to (EPH) Eicosapentaenoic acid and (DHA) Docosahexaenoic acid. Remember, I said in small quantities.

Water Omega-3 fat (ex. salmon, tuna) are already EPH/DHA. The body does not have to convert it. This makes it an efficient form of Omega-3. Water Omega-3 fat are also "eicosanoids". All you have to remember about eicosanoids are they are "natural" inflammation reducers. That means they could reduce aches and pains especially in the joints (A big bonus). In addition it may reduce cholesterol.

Enough said.

1) Fish is superior to Flax.
2) Salmon is your best choice as it contains the most Omega-3 content.
3) Real fish is a better way to get Omega-3 than a pill (plus all the extra protein).

A common side affect to fish oil capsules is that you may burp and it could leave a slight taste in your mouth (A minor set back considering the benifits). I have found a fish oil capsule with absolutely no bad taste. At GNC, they have fish body oils 1000. They are simply great. I got a good deal because the 2nd one was half off. I hope this helps. (Shawn).


Thanks for the post.

One more ?

Would u put fish oil on a salad or would that taste like ass? i put flax oil on my salads now so if i switch to fish oil would i be able to put it on my salad?

Should i just get fish oil pills?

Do i have to keep fish oil and fish oil pills refrigerated?

Thanks alot



It would taste like fish ass. Keep the flax or use olive oil, which is also a great oil to use on food.

Just take the fish oil capsules. If you get the enteric kind, you probably won't even have fish burps. Keep em in the fridge if your house/apt gets hot. If you have air conditioning, then it's probably not necessary.



One thing to note about fish oil (caps or not): little research justifies the use of fish oil supplements aside from patients with very high triglycerides who've not responded to other treatments, or for those w/pacreatitis. Too much of these oils in the body COULD lead to internal or external bleeding - though I believe you'd need to ingest significantly high quantities. Also, since fish oil is considered a food supplement by the FDA it is unregulated, which means companies can use whatever methods they see fit to produce the oils...a bit scary if you ask me. The fish & fish parts used to produce the oils can also be impure and contain high concentrations of highly toxic elements.

Personally, I use an EFA oil blend combining Omega 3-6-9 oils from flax, olive, evening primrose & wheat germ. In addition, I try to eat fish 2 or more times a week to get the quality omega-3s from the flesh rather than oil. There are some fish oils out there that claim to be tested and of high purity, you just gotta look around to find them rather than buy what you find at your local store. Just a personal preference, but thought I'd throw the above out there.


Borage oil is the only land-omega 3 I know of that's already activated into EPH and DHA. And it's pretty potent. Still, fish oil is probably the best way to go.


Why are you taking a supplement with Omega 3,6, and 9? I try to offset the ratio between 3 and 6 as much as possible, cause I get plenty of 6 without even trying. And as far as I know the fish oils are regulated for toxicity.


Putting 'em in the fridge eliminates fish burp for me.


As I said, I take an EFA oil mixture which has preset ratios of 3, 6 & 9. I just prefer to know I'm getting what I need via supplementation, and any extra I get from whole foods is fine. EFAs assist in both bulking & while cutting, so no harm in getting plenty. I'd simply rather take a liquid blend than pop more pills.

If you have info on fish oils being regulated, then I'd be interested to read it. I don't believe canned tuna is even regulated for mercury toxcicity (if it is they do a poor job), and what I've read states fish oils would be even less so since it's considered a supplement. I'd just go with fish oil from a supplier who lists evidence of purity.


Tried lots of brands of fish oil. My favorite is Carlson's The Very Finest liquid. No fishy taste, smell, or burps. In a blind taste test I don't think I could reliably distinguish it from canola oil, but I still do not use it on salads because a significant amount gets left in the dish. Fish oil is too expensive to waste any. I pour it into a spoon and gulp it down.


A little confusion here, actually. But you're on the right track! Eicosanoids are 20-carbon compounds synythesized in the body from polyunsaturated fatty acids. One example is prostaglandin E2, which is inflammatory (and is combatted by aspirin, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor). Leukotrienes and thromboxanes are also eicosanoids. (eicosa = "20").

A benefit of long chain highly unsaturated fats like EPA and DHA is that they result in the body producing less inflammatory eicosanoids (such as the 1 and 3 series prostaglandins).

And Need4speed is right. There are many articles in the archives with all the gory details - both practical and biochemical.