Or are you an Krill/Fish Oil fan?
You could be both I guess.
The question still remains and gets asked all the time.
Which type of Omega 3 fats should I be taking?
Which one is better for me?
They both have benefits, but one is superior to the other in many ways.
Flaxseed contains ALA, which MAY convert itself into usable omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) based on certain conditions.
Krill oil contains EPA and DHA already and does not require a conversion to take place. This is clearly a more efficient way, but is it better?
Flaxseed have plenty of nutritional benefits and makes a great topping to put on a salad or you can use flaxseed oil in dressings. It is a way to increase your omega 3 fatty acid intake, but with one caveat.
Flaxseed contains ALA (alpa linoleic acid) and this form can be partially converted into useable EPA and DHA.
Now while research studies have confirmed that ingesting ALA from sources such as walnuts and flaxseed there is still a problem.
Not everyone can convert flaxseed into omega-3 fatty acids. Your body also depending on demand elsewhere decides that your body needs to use that ALA for other reasons and will not allow it to be converted to EPA and DHA.
This results in less available EPA and DHA to be used from the ALA source.
So while a good nutritional source of potentially EPA and DHA your body has the ultimate decision on if it will be used as that or will it be needed elsewhere.
Another alternative to get omega 3 fats such as EPA and DHA more consistently is by consuming krill oil.
Benefits of Krill Oil
Krill oil comes from deep in the ocean. Krill are crustaceans that are a food source for sea creatures and whales. Thanks to strict krill sustainability laws there is more than enough krill for us as well as the whales and other sea creatures.
Krill oil can provide a better source of omega 3 fats because of the phospholipids and EPA/DHA that it contains. There is no conversion or decision by your body as to how it will be used.
This makes it highly efficient and utilized properly.
I mentioned phospholipids and that is because this is the backbone of krill oil and what makes the absorption ability of the omega 3's better than fish oil.
It increases the absorption of DHA and EPA in your intestines more effectively than fax seed or fish oil.
This results in an INCREASE of EPA and DHA levels in your blood.
One area of significance is your brain. Phospholipids are one of the few things that cross the blood brain barrier so krill oil can get places that conventional fish oil can't.
Krill oil is not just bound by phospholipids, which help the absorption and increased concentration of EPA/DHA, but it also contains a powerful natural antioxidant called Astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is a type of algae that provides various health benefits.
The most important health benefit is its antioxidant capability by covering your cell membrane and trapping free radicals (harmful cells).
Once trapped by astaxanthin they are brought to the cell surface to be destroyed by another antioxidant such as Vitamin C.
Researchers believe free radicals can lead to various diseases so this is not only important to your cells, but to your body as well. We want to rid ourselves of free radicals before they grow into potential diseases.
So let's finally make a decision on the Krill Oil vs Flaxseed debate.
They both contain omega 3 fatty acids, but krill oil contains a greater absorbable form of omega 3 fatty acids and do not require a conversion and decision by your brain.
If the conditions are right the ALA in flaxseed will be converted to EPA and possibly DHA, but this is only a partial conversion.
Krill oil contains EPA/DHA in a readily available form and it is not dependent on specific conditions.
To make it as easy as possible for you to consume EPA and DHA in a phospholipid form you should take a high quality krill oil supplement.
Flaxseed is an alternate option to add in as a complement or if you are allergic to fish or krill.
Remember though that flaxseed is only PARTIALLY converted to omega 3 fatty acids and makes it a lower quality option for increasing EPA and DHA.