Last updated on June 8th, 2017 at 07:04 pm
Flaxseed oil and fish oil contain crucial dietary fats that have multiple health advantages, consisting of avoidance or treatment of dry eyes.
Other benefits include a lower risk of heart disease and a decrease of chronic swelling that can result in a variety of major illness, consisting of cancer and stroke. Chronic swelling also has actually been shown as an underlying cause of osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Daily supplements of flaxseed oil or fish oil, when used alone or in tandem with oiling eye drops, appear to decrease dry eye symptoms, consisting of burning, stinging, redness and periodic visual disruptions. For this reason, lots of eye doctors now are suggesting flaxseed oil and fish oil supplements for their patients who struggle with dry eyes.
Research also suggests these same fats might lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
So which is better — flaxseed oil or fish oil?
Flaxseed Oil For Dry Eyes
The nutritional worth of flaxseed oil (and fish oil) comes from its omega-3 fatty acids that are needed for optimum health. Flaxseed oil includes high levels of an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). During digestion, ALA is converted into two different omega-3 fatty acids — called EPA and DHA — that are used throughout the body to secure cell membranes.
Flaxseed oil supplements are available both in capsule and liquid forms. Although flaxseed oil pills are more convenient, you might have to take a great deal of pills to achieve the day-to-day dose your optometrist recommends to treat dry eyes.
The nutritional value of flaxseed oil is quickly destroyed by light, heat and oxygen. When acquiring liquid flaxseed oil, look for a cold-pressed variety and keep it cooled.
As an alternative to flaxseed oil, you can get the exact same omega-3s by grinding whole flax seeds in a coffee mill and spraying the ground seeds over a salad, adding them to a smoothie or mixing them in fruit juice. If you choose this choice, make sure to use the seeds instantly after grinding them to get the complete omega-3 benefits.
Popular eye vitamins that contain flaxseed oil include: TheraTears Nutrition (Advanced Vision Research), Dry Eye Formula (EyeScience) and Tears Again Hydrate (Ocusoft).
Comparison Of Fish Oil With Flaxseed Oil
Fish oils and fatty fish — such as salmon, tuna and sardines — are outstanding food sources of omega-3 fats essential to brain and eye health.
Fish fat contains the “long chain” omega-3s (EPA and DHA), which are the omega-3 fats the body needs for vital functions, including eyesight.
In contrast, the “brief chain” ALA omega-3 fat found in plant foods such as flaxseeds must be converted to EPA and DHA in the body for helpful eye impacts. When you eat plant foods, your body transforms only about 5 percent of dietary ALA into important EPA and DHA.
Likewise, many Americans’ diets are too expensive in omega-6 fats — an imbalance that even more reduces the amount of ALA from plant foods that gets converted to EPA and DHA. This imbalance likewise blunts the advantages of EPA and DHA omega-3s obtained straight from fish and fish oil.
Omega-6 fats are found in vegetable oils (corn, soy, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower) used in many snacks and prepared foods — whether packaged, frozen, restaurant or take-out.
Researchers concur that the majority of people need to minimize their intake of these otherwise healthy omega-6 fats, which obstruct omega-3 absorption and promote swelling when eaten in excess.
Fish oils, like flaxseed oil, are available in pill and liquid types. Some consist of lemon flavoring or are processed in other ways to reduce any “fishy” taste. Cod liver oil is another great source of EPA and DHA omega-3 fats.
A more pleasurable method to acquire fish oil advantages is by eating grilled cold-water fish a minimum of 3 times a week. Great sources of EPA and DHA omega-3s are salmon, sablefish, tuna and halibut.
Popular eye supplements that contain fish oil or cod liver oil include: TheraTears Nutrition (Advanced Vision Research), BioTears (Biosyntryx) and HydroEye (ScienceBased Health).
So Which Is Better: Flaxseed Oil Or Fish Oil?
Due to the fact that fish oil includes natural EPA and DHA omega-3s (that don’t have to be converted from ALA), many nutrition professionals advise fish oil over flaxseed oil.
However other factors are worth thinking about:
- If you are a vegetarian, ground flax seeds or flaxseed oil will likely be your preferred option.
- Ground flax seeds are more economical than either fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes omega-3 fatty acids from fish as GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe). However, fish oil can cause stomach upset and/or diarrhea in some people, particularly in high dosages. Other possible side effects consist of increased burping, heartburn, heartburn and abdominal bloating or pain. Risk of these side effects can be minimized if you take fish oils with meals and if you begin with low doses.
- A fishy aftertaste prevails with some fish oil supplements. This can be lowered by cooling the capsules or liquid, or by purchasing brands that guarantee no such issues.
Concerns about mercury poisoning from fish oils generally are unfounded. When present in waterways, methylmercury accumulates in fish meat more than in fish oil, and testing of fish oil supplements reveal they usually consist of little or no mercury. Still, if this is an issue, using flaxseed oil as an alternative removes this issue.
As with any nutritional supplement, it’s a smart idea to talk to your family doctor or eye doctor before taking significant amounts of flaxseed oil or fish oil for dry eyes. This is especially true if you take any prescription or non-prescription medications, as unfavorable drug interactions can occur.
Be especially cautious if you take blood thinners (even aspirin), as both flaxseed oil and fish oil can increase the risk of bleeding and minimize blood clotting when used together with these medications.
Long-lasting use of fish oil might cause a vitamin E shortage in some individuals. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to try to find fish oil supplements that also include vitamin E, or take a numerous vitamin that contains this vitamin if you take fish oil supplements for dry eyes.